Outdoor Storytellers – Generation B.A.S.S.: Dakota Jones

LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. — It’s just after sunrise on Washington’s Liberty Lake and 13 year old Dakota Jones is getting more bass fishing tips from 2005 Junior Bassmaster World Champ Joey Nania.

Young Dakota is learning as much as he can because in two weeks he’ll be going to Syracuse, New York to compete for the title of 2008 Junior Bassmaster World Champion.

“That’s what iIve been working on,” said Dakota. “It’s just what I want to do.”

It’s something Dakota’s wanted ever since he joined the Inland Empire Bass Club, a club that’s helped the Mountainside Middle School eighth grader into a heavily accelerated learning bass catching curve.

“Our adult members remember what it was like when they started fishing and they wish they would have had this opportunity and they are not going to let this opportunity go by for these kids,” said Joel Nania, President of the Inland Empire Bass Club. “They’re going to help them make the most of it.”

“This club has seen some really great growth,” said Stacy Twiggs with ESPN Outdoors. “The thing that amazes me about the inland empire bass club is that half the participants are family members. And I’m not just talking brothers and sisters. I’m talking about youngsters.”

These adults are giving freely of their time with the hopes that kids like Dakota will come back from New York with the Junior World Title.

But for Dakota winning would mean more than the title or the scholarship money.

“All of my family have been wanting me to do this so I can go win a boat finally,” he said.

Yep, the kid doesn’t have a boat but it’s very possible that before Dakota starts eighth grade in September, he’ll have his own boat.