In recent years, high school fishing has become a "thing" in North Dakota.

That's right.  I would've given anything to have something like "fishing" as a sport when I was in high school.  Schools from all over the state compete in bass fishing tournaments during the course of the school year with one tournament delegated as the state tournament.  High school fishing isn't an NDHSAA official sport yet, but I'm guessing that day is coming.

One team has been especially dominant in the short time we've had high school fishing in North Dakota.  "Team Bullinger" from Bismarck Century.

Team Bullinger is made up of 18-year-old Logan Bullinger who graduated from Bismarck Century in May and 15-year-old Ryan Bullinger who will be a freshman at Century this August.  Ryan actually celebrated his 15th birthday while competing this past Wednesday, June 21st.

The Bismarck Century duo just competed along with nearly 400 other teams in the World Semi-Finals High School Fishing  Championship.  The tournament took place on the Mississippi River in La Cross, Wisconsin June 21st through June 24th.

You must finish in the top 10 of the 393 total teams to advance to the World Championship Saturday on June 24th.  That's exactly what Logan and Ryan Bullinger did.


Bismarck Century's Bullinger Boys finished 5th in the World when it was all said and done.

Heather Bullinger
Heather Bullinger

A team from Jamestown, North Dakota also finished 9th in the world.  Pretty impressive for a state that is not known for its bass fishing.

What was the secret to the Bullinger's success at this World Championship?

They focused on high percentage areas, fished their strengths, and lure choices during the tournament were wacky rigs and ned rigs.

Heather Bullinger
Heather Bullinger

$3.3 million in scholarships were given away at the tournament.

That's right, you can get a scholarship to college these days for fishing.  They start at 1st place down to 3rd place and then any scholarships that are declined by those teams are available to the teams under them.  That's a pretty impressive purse.

Logan and Ryan Bullinger did pick up some nice prizes for their 5th place finish.

Prizes are given to the Top 10 World Championship teams.  Logan and Ryan each got 55-inch Vizio TVs, $500 Cabela’s Gift Cards, 4 fishing rods, and lots of tackle.  Scott Bullinger, the boy's father and boat captain, received a gift certificate for a Navionics chip (any region of his choice), an Aqua-Vu, and gift cards.  Logan was a graduating senior so he received a fishing rod as a gift for that as well.

The Bullinger's are a fishing family that spends countless hours on the water honing in on their craft.  Fishing is definitely their priority.  They fish all year and in all weather conditions.

Ryan plans to continue with high school fishing and Logan will move on to compete at the college level.  Both of the Bullinger boys have aspirations to fish pro someday.

Heather Bullinger and her husband Scott, as you can imagine are very proud of their sons.  "It’s been fun watching them grow in their skill and ability over the years."  "They set certain goals for themselves and work hard to achieve them."  Heather went on to say,  "Their goal has always been to make it to the final day at the World Finals and they did that this year."  "Seeing them work toward and achieve their dreams makes us very proud."

High school fishing in North Dakota has really taken off in North Dakota.

More and more kids and schools are participating every year.  A lot of it has to do with the hard work and dedication of Heather Bullinger.  She is the ND Student Angler Federation Co-Director.  She has put in countless hours over the years organizing tournaments in North Dakota.

Congratulations and continued success to Team Bullinger from Bismarck Century.  Tight lines kids!

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