Page again chosen for Bassmaster Oklahoma All State Team
Cherokee Nation citizen Dakota Page, a three-time Bassmaster All-State selection, will compete in collegiate fishing at the University of Central Oklahoma. COURTESY
CLAREMORE – Many anglers would like to spend more time fishing. Cherokee Nation citizen Dakota Page has, through his angling success, achieved recognition and added more fishing days to his academic future.
For the third straight year, Page has qualified for the Bassmaster Oklahoma All-State Team, and the 2020 graduate of Claremore Sequoyah High School will be attending the University of Central Oklahoma and representing the Bronchos in collegiate fishing competitions.
“To qualify for the all-state team, they look at your tournament records – your winnings or your placings – and they also look at your grades for school,” said Page, 17. “There are no tournaments for making all-state. You get the title and you get put into consideration for the all-American roster.”
Page was one of 49 chosen from more than 300 all-state nominations, but missed being one of the 12 named to the all-America team.
“I still haven’t won a tournament, but I’ve been consistent,” he said. “It’s really helpful to consistently place in the top 10 or top 20. That is what me and my tournament partner have focused on.”
In competitions, Page’s teammate is Cody Clowdus, an Alabaman residing in Edmond. Page previously fished with Bryce Blue, who Page credits for getting him interested in tournament fishing, but Blue graduated from high school in 2019.
In a tournament, a team tries to catch five fish with the highest total weight. Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are accepted, but they must be within the “slot” length of 12-16 inches.
“You can keep them if they are that length, and you just put them in your live well,” Page said. “You keep your best five fish of the day, and the best five fish at the weigh-in wins.”
To be considered for a Bassmaster All-State Team, a student must be nominated by a parent, coach, teacher or school official. Students enrolled in grades 10-12 with a current-year grade point average of 2.5 or higher were eligible.
Page will soon be taking his fishing gear to UCO when the all-clear is given to hold on-campus classes. The school offers a fully funded fishing team, covering travel fees and boat fuel.
“With UCO, everything just really worked out,” Page said. “Of course, I wanted to go to college, and we were applying everywhere. But I made a college visit to UCO because a friend had recommended it, and I just loved the campus. It also turned out that I had some other friends that were going there. They offer the degree I wanted in architecture and design, and the fishing team was a bonus on top of that.”
Page has also been cognizant of his Cherokee lineage and has actively participated in cultural activities. “I was on the Cherokee Challenge and Language Bowl team, and that was a huge part of my life for eight years, first grade through eighth grade. We competed in the tournaments in Tahlequah. I learned the language, the heritage, the culture and about the people.”
High school brought other activities and responsibilities that left less time for the language team, but Page is grateful for what he learned from the tribe, and has continued to learn with its help.
“The Cherokee Nation is a big part of my education because it is helping me with scholarships,” he said. “They paid for my first semester of college at Rogers State University – allowing me to get some credits out of the way – and they are paying for my next semester as well, which is very helpful and I am thankful for that.”