Local team finding success in little-known high school sport – bass fishing


March 30, 2022

Courtesy of Alicia Nichols

Bode Nichols, center, and Gabe Thomas, with Boat Captain Tristan Nichols, get set to fish for bass on the Willamette River. They won this tournament with a haul of 21 fish, the five largest weighing 10 pounds, 8 ounces.

Gabriel Thomas and Bode Nichols have the level gaze and physical stature of successful high school athletes. But their sport isn't played on a field, a course, a pitch, a track.

They compete on water – usually with a definite current, sometimes in the deep recesses of a lake.

They fish. For bass.

Thomas, 16, a sophomore at Sweet Home High School, and Nichols, 14, an eighth-grader at Sweet Home Junior High, are in their second season of high school team bass fishing competition – Nichols has a waiver to participate at the high school level.

And they've done well.

The boys last year...

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