Tanner Ward has always been a small town boy, with big dreams.  He started fishing real bass fishing tournaments with his dad, Tim Ward when he was just seven years old.  This began Tanner’s fascination with fishing and he started digging deeper into it as he grew older.  Of course other things always came up, such as; football, baseball, soccer, wrestling, and hanging with friends, but in the end he ultimately always chose fishing. 

            Tanner fished bass tournaments all around Ohio with his dad all through school years, and then decided to create a bass fishing club at his local high school for him and the generations after him to enjoy.  He is incredibly passionate and dedicated to everything he does in life.  He has now graduated Coshocton High School and is on to be a junior at Kent State University with a major in Applied Engineering and Technology Management. Not to mention, he is president of the Bass Fishing Club at Kent State and has made huge improvements on their club as well.

            In Tanner’s senior year of high school, he qualified for the Bassmasters High School National Bass Fishing tournament and was able to compete with some of the top competitors at that level, and just recently qualified for the collegiate level Nationals for bass fishing all by himself. This tournament was held on Tenkiller Lake, Oklahoma on July 19-21st. Tanner drove a tedious fourteen hours pulling a boat behind him, with one thing in mind, qualifying for the last day. 

            The first and second days, everyone is able to fish, but your total weight carries over and the second and first day combined is what is going to get you through to the third and final day.  To make the cut for the final day, he had to make the top 12.  When he weighed in on the second day, he was setting in tenth place and he still had a number of boats behind him that still had to weigh in.  It came down to the very last team, but Tanner ended up in 12th place exactly. So, he was in and ready to fight for the last day. (Mind you, he’s by himself and every other team has two people in the boat).

            By God’s blessing he caught two fish and put himself in tenth place for the whole tournament out of 140 boats total. Tanner was on the front page of the newspaper, the professional photographer took several amazing pictures of him and posted them on the “Bassmaster” page, and ESPN was there videoing him for being the only one riding solo on this venture, and that should be airing in the next month. 

            Most of the other teams that were up against Tanner have very supportive colleges that are willing to buy them sponsored boats, trucks, and scholarships to go to school for fishing.  Tanner hasn’t been able to get any of that support so far, and has been trying diligently, but no luck.  Tanner’s boat is running on its 26th year of going to tournaments, and he borrows vehicles, but the one he relies on has about 250,000 miles. 

            I say this only for the point, if he is doing this well with what he works with, can you imagine how incredible he would be with the opportunities that the others are given? Sponsored truck and sponsored boat, are Tanner’s new goals for his next year’s National Tournament. With these, he would no longer have to constantly worry about whether his boat/truck is going to get him there and instead focus more on the goal, and that is to fish the professional level of bass fishing.