Bass fishing team qualifies for shot at second state title


Brad Swallow

Mitch Geiser ’23 and Danny Swallow ’24 weigh in their fish at the National Youth Fishing Association (NYFA) qualifying tournament at Table Rock Lake May 7. They finished 6th.

Connor Gunn, Multimedia Specialist

The De Smet Bass Fishing Team will compete in the Missouri National Youth Fishing Association (NYFA) State Championships on June 11 at Stockton Lake in Stockton, Missouri.

Senior captain Mitch Geiser and junior Danny Swallow, along with boat captain Jeff Geiser, were in 128th place after two qualifying events. They needed a strong showing at Table Rock Lake May 7 to move them into the top 100.

“[Our] mindset was just to go out and have a good time,” Mitch said.” “[We] figured the more relaxed [we] were the better [we] would end up doing.”

Their mindset worked. Their four fish total of 12.45 lbs. was good enough for 6th place. They earned enough points to move into 71st place overall. They needed top 40%. They got top 27%. That was more than enough to qualify for the NYFA State Championship in June.

“We were extremely excited to get the results,” Danny said. “We did not expect it, we thought it was going to be a lost tournament. I’m excited knowing we have another tournament coming up.”

The NYFA State Championship will conclude the inaugural 2023 De Smet Bass Fishing season. It was a season that saw the beginning of a new sports team at De Smet, featuring 11 members, who also competed in six competitions in the STL Fish Cup bank fishing season at Forest Park and Busch Wildlife. The highlight of the season was Mitch and Danny winning the 2023 Student Angler Federation (SAF) State Championship on April 1 at Lake of the Ozarks. They have the chance now to add a second state championship in June.

“They never gave up, even after their rough start to the NYFA season,” team coordinator Kevin Berns said. “This is a testament to their hard work and dedication all year. Regardless of what happens at Stockton, they have wildly exceeded expectations for our first season. What a year!”