Minnesota angler starts school fishing team; reaches National Championship

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Christopher Decker

Nick Blood assists an angler during the 2017 Carhartt College National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Minnesota angler Nick Blood always loved to fish. But he didn’t know about the bass fishing tournament world until 2017 when he volunteered to help at the Bassmaster College National Championship at Lake Bemidji in his home state.

This week, four years after his first tournament experience, Blood and his partner Aidan O’Donnell competed at the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors at Lake Chickamauga representing Holy Family Catholic High School, a team Blood founded.

Blood, now a rising senior, stumbled upon the 2017 College Championship when he was leaving his cabin one day. Curious, he investigated further and wanted to see how he could help out.

“I met Hank (Weldon) at Lake Bemidji,” Blood said. “I was up in my cabin and drove by and saw all these tents were set up. They got me volunteering and I helped run the fish tanks. I always liked to bass fish, but never in Minnesota had I seen a big tournament. Then we saw the College Series up there and I grew a love for tournament fishing.”

With some guidance from Weldon, Blood returned to his school and immediately started work on his school’s fishing program. 

Blood also gives credit to other teammates that contributed to getting the team going including his team partner Aidan O'Donnell, recruitment of coach Jim O'Donnell, and other team founding players, Owen Lund, Sawyer Schugel, Jans, Theis, Pearson and Rice.  Without everyone's help and contributions, there's no way we'd be where we are today.