After their big tournament win in October 2018, Eagle River teen Harmon Marien and his teammate, Jacob Bigelow, prepare to compete in the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship on June 18-22, 2019. 

The team will compete for the national championship title and a $5,000 scholarship to a school of their choice. Bigelow is from Cecil and attends Shawano High School.

Marien and Bigelow battled through the rain and cold to make the winning catch during the 2018 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Mosquito Lake Open in Cortland, Ohio. 

With a five-bass limit, the team brought in a total of 15 pounds, 11 ounces. This weight placed them in first out of 28 competing teams and earned them a spot in the 2019 championship this June.

This year’s 2019 High School Fishing National Championship will be held on Pickwick and Wilson lakes at Florence, Ala., fishing out of MacFarland Park. Nearly 400 teams competed in 2018 and a similar turnout is expected for the 2019 event.

With the national tournament nearing, Marien feels confident in his preparations.

“My strategy has been to study the lake since the day we qualified. Watching past professional tournaments on the lake, figuring out the main forage species of the lake and using current fishing knowledge as a whole will help me make the most of my hours on the lake pre-fishing,” said Marien. “This will allow us to be as prepared as possible when the tournament day starts and allow us to find the best possible way to win.” 

Currently a junior at Northland Pines High School, Marien has participated in competitive bass fishing throughout his high school career. His love for the sport started at an early age and grew from spending time out on the water with his grandfathers.

“I wanted to be like (my grandfathers) and fishing was a way to spend time with them,” Marien said.

For Marien, the High School Fishing National Championship is another step toward his goal of competing in bass fishing tournaments at a professional level. With his sights set on winning the 2019 championship, he hopes to use the money to attend a school that will help him get even closer to his ultimate goal.

“I am currently interested in several colleges with a bass fishing team and want to pick a college that will do the best to help me advance in my academics as well as the sport of fishing. I would love to attend whichever college will help me the most in making my dream of professional bass fishing come true” said Marien.

In addition to the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship, all High School Fishing anglers automatically qualify for the High School Fishing World Finals held in conjunction with the National Championship. This event is the world’s largest open high school bass tournament where teams compete for upwards of $150,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Harmon and his team will also compete against 50 to 60 other teams in the Wisconsin State Tournament this weekend, June 8-9, for another chance to qualify for the 2020 National Championship.