High school fishing is in its infancy in North Dakota, but some students are already eyeing the opportunity to join the growing national trend.

North Dakota now has a tournament for fishermen of high school age scheduled for this summer at Nelson Lake.

Badlands Bass Bandits President Paul Reinbold told the Minot Daily News that several high school-age fishermen in the state have expressed interest in participating in competitive bass fishing.

"Last year we had the guys from eastern Montana fishing with us and high school kids came and fished," said Reinbold. "We've had enough interest for high school programs. There's one fisherman from Colstrip, Montana that had 75 percent of his college tuition paid for. College fishing across the nation has really taken off the last few years."

He said his group is "just starting to put it together."

Reinbold said he hopes high school fishing will become as popular in North Dakota as it is in other states.

"I just think getting kids out in the outdoors is good," said Reinbold. "This is a great way to educate them in the outdoors, the conservation side of it."

The Bass Bandits are affiliated with The Bass Federation, a national group that promotes high school fishing. The winners of this year's state tournament will advance to The Bass Federation's nationwide high school event in Alabama.

No North Dakota high schools have been formally approached about introducing fishing as a school activity yet.