By Chad Koenen


Members of the Henning fishing team has enjoyed quite a bit of success so far this year as one of the teams placed fifth in a recent tournament. 

There are no shortage of fish stories as a few hundred high school students gather for a night on the lake as part of the Heart O’ Lakes Fishing League.  There are, of course, the large once-in-a-lifetime fish you just had to be there to see, before it snapped the line, the close calls and epic stories told out on the lake. After all, a good story is just as important as the amount of fish caught on the lake.  This summer Henning High School students were able to brush up on their fishing, as well as their story telling, as they joined the HOL Fishing League. There are approximately 20 schools in the region who are part of the high school fishing league, which features schools from as far east as Bertha-Hewitt as far north as Hawley and as far west as Breckenridge.

A total of 11 people from Henning are participating in the program this year. The group was organized by school board member Matt Reinbold and school superintendent Melissa Sparks.  The 11 participants are divided into teams of 2-3 fishermen. They will stay in that team for the entire season as they collect points for the amount and size of fish they catch. 

As part of the fishing league, schools will fish on five predetermined lakes each summer with the championship fishing night set for September. Each boat has a captain who makes sure each student has a life jacket, fishing pole and bait. The captain also provides the boat. 

While some schools have struggled to find volunteer captains to provide a boat, Reinbold said Henning has been fortunate so far to have enough captains and boats for all of the students who want to participate.

“We are lucky enough to have mostly family members step up,” he said. 

Reinbold said the teams in the fishing league are broken into smaller pods of approximately six schools since some programs have upwards of 80 students who want to participate in the fishing league. 

“A lot of schools have four kids and some schools have 80 kids. It all kind of depends,” said Reinbold.

Even though the Henning group is just in their first year of fishing, Reinbold said they have found quite a bit of success ion the lake. In fact, a Henning team recently finished in fifth place during a night of fishing.

“We had a group place fifth last time and one kid on the team said that was the most fish he had ever caught in his life,” said Reinbold.

While the school district had enough captains step up to volunteer this season, Reinbold said they are always looking for boat captains for future years. Anyone who would be interested in being a boat captain for Henning School in future years should contact Matt Reinbold or Melissa Sparks at Henning School at 583-2927. 

The Heart O’ Lakes Fishing League will continue this summer, before wrapping up with the league championship in September. 

Members of the Henning fishing team get ready to get on the water during a recent outing.