It’s a reel sport


Comal ISD Bass Fishing Twitter

Junior Mason McClellan and sophomore Ryder Cunningham showoff the day’s catch.

Emma Siebold, Staff Writer

The Comal ISD Bass Fishing Club represents the fishing teams for Smithson Valley, Canyon Lake, Canyon, Davenport and Hill Country Prep High School.

Teams compete once a month through the Texas High School Bass Association.

The Comal fishing team won first place in its tournament in Buchanan on Sept. 26, second place at Canyon Lake on Oct. 17, and first place at Lake LBJ on Nov. 18.

“It’s kind of like another opportunity for kids to be successful and belong to something, belonging to something that they’re passionate about,” head coach Jason Pape said.

Though the club began in 2019, the team gained popularity this season.

“It started last year, but we really got going this year,” Pape said. “A lot of parents approached [Superintendent Andrew] Kim about [starting a fishing program] in our schools, so they launched that program.”

Pape became the representative for bass fishing at Smithson Valley, and he also coaches all teams under Comal ISD.

“We have a tournament once a month on Saturdays,” Pape said. “We’re in the Hill Country division. So we go from Canyon Lake, Lake LBJ and Lake Buchanan, and make a pre-fish a day before the tournament, usually on Friday and then Saturday morning, roughly around 6:30, they can start fishing until 3:00.”

The team has had a successful season so far, with two wins under their belt.

“Last tournament, we finished fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth out of 70 teams,” Pape said. “And we won two of the last three tournaments. So we’re currently the top bass fishing team in the Hill Country Division. And we have, at Smithson Valley, the top two angling teams in the Hill Country Division as well.”

Though bass fishing is not a standard high school sport, the team has been successful in earning their place in the Smithson Valley athletic program.