WEST POINT, MS - Mollie Brown and Lidia Portera of West Point, Mississippi, will be heading to Pickwick Lake to cast for their place in the 2019 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing World Finals. The two anglers and their coach/boat captain, Gene Brown, will be representing the West Point High School Fishing team in a field of over 300 teams.
The duo became fishing partners in spring, 2018. Brown was in need of a tournament partner to share the open seat in her boat and Portera was in search of a partner with a boat. Portera humorously stated, “It’s much better when your partner has a boat.”
Brown and Portera both share a mutual bond in being students of the sport and to the fish. They focus on learning all they can from each outing and applying those lessons into their next cast.
“As a team, the girls complement each other very well,” said Coach Gene Brown. “Lidia excels in slow fishing as she skillfully presents worms, frogs and other types of finesse lures with patience. Now, when it comes to power fishing, Mollie has a great grasp on that and then they learn a great amount from one another.”
Portera, heading into her junior year, also serves as one of the team leaders on the West Point High School’s Archery Team, leading their team to a state championship last year and a second-place state finish this year. She envisions a potential career in agriculture, but is in no hurry to make that decision official. She hopes to make competitive fishing a part of her life beyond high school.
Brown, a soon-to-be freshman, envisions herself to be either a nurse or a special education teacher. She also hopes to pursue competitive bass fishing beyond high school.
When asked about their expectations of the tournament, Portera commented, “I’m not focused on how well we place as much as I am on having fun fishing to the best of my ability.” Brown agreed that enjoying the moment in a competitive field is the priority.
The tournament takes place out of McFarland Park in Florence, Alabama. The actual competition begins at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19 when the boats will take off out of McFarland Park. Each day’s weigh-in will take place at 1:30 each afternoon. Each day has the same schedule and runs through Saturday, June 22.
Viewers can watch the weigh-in live at https://highschoolfishing.org/saf-live/. More information about the tournament and the Student Angler Federation can be found at https://highschoolfishing.org/2019-saf-tournament-schedules-info-results/.