Boonsboro grad starts college fishing team

April 22, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Keedysville native Jonathan Miller, right, is founder and president of the Shippensburg University FLW College Fishing Team. In March, the team competed in the FLW College Fishing Series at Smith Mountain, Va. Here Miller stands with fellow team member Shane Claar.
Submitted photo

Whatever Jonathan Miller is doing now, you can be sure he'd rather be fishing.

From the time he was old enough to hold a rod — which he guesses was around the age of 2 — Miller has had a passion for fishing.

He inherited his love of fishing, he said, from his father and grandfather — lifelong anglers who educated him about equipment, technique and patience.

A 2008 graduate of Boonsboro High School, Miller, 20, said he was a member of the Boonsboro Bassmasters Club and entered to fishing tournaments as a teenager.

"So it seemed only natural to carry the sport with me to college," the Keedysville native said.

A junior at Shippensburg University, Miller said he couldn't imagine life without fishing.

In fact, he said, "if you could major in fishing, that's what I'd be doing."

Instead, he's studying accounting.

Miller, the son of John and Sally Miller of Keedysville, still has found a way to enjoy his favorite pastime.

He decided to organize a fishing team.

Miller is founder and president of the Shippensburg University FLW College Fishing Team, which competes in regional bass fishing tournaments.

Open to any individual, male or female, with a love of fishing, Miller said the team has eight members.

He was hoping to see more interest but hopes the team's accomplishments this year will draw more anglers next year.

The team already is involved in a major college bass-fishing tournament and has its sights set on a cash reward.

In March, the group competed in the first round of the FLW College Fishing Series at Smith Mountain Lake, Va., finishing 23rd out of 40 teams.

"I think for our first outing, we did well," Miller said. "We had to navigate a body of water that was new to us. And we had to deal with sleet, snow and rain."

But that didn't seem to hamper Miller's efforts.

"I caught the largest small mouth bass at 4 pounds that I've ever caught," he said.

Miller said the next round of competition will be June 29 at Lake Champlain, followed by rounds in July and August at Lake Erie and Thousand Islands in New York.

The tournament is open to any college-sanctioned fishing team, he said, with anglers competing for lucrative prize money.

Miller said any money the team might win would be used to support the operation of the club.

"To be the founder of this fishing team is a dream for me," Miller said. "My ultimate goal would be to somehow tie accounting with fishing — maybe be an accountant for — fishing equipment distributor."

Miller said he has received a lot of help and support from sponsors who give the team discounts on supplies "which is important to college kids."

Personally, Miller said he also has received support "from my dad and grandfather, who are there for me 100 percent of the time."

Although he's been fishing since he was a toddler, Miller said he's still learning about the sport.

"There's so much to grasp," he said. "It's just like school. There's always something new to learn."

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