When grandfather Jesse Page would wake up Dakota Page as a young kid early in the morning to go crappie fishing, it is easy to understand why that habit continues today for the Wagoner County resident of Catoosa.
Page got hooked on fishing with grandad and it has made him one of the top high school fishermen in the state today.
For the third year in a row, Page was selected to the two-member Bassmaster State team. He again competed for the coveted All-American status against other state winners.
Page’s honor is like making All-State in any sport, but with only two state athletes selected.
“My best fishing memories are fishing with my dad and grandpa,” said Page, who will attend the University of Central Oklahoma on a fishing scholarship. “He (grandpa) would always wake me up early to go crappie fishing. He got me hooked on fishing. With dad, I love fishing with him.”
Grandad Jesse has deep Wagoner roots. He had a solid coaching career at Wagoner High School. He is also a 2020 inductee into the Wagoner Athletic Hall of Fame for his work.
Page is a senior at Sequoyah High School in Claremore. His tentative plans are to fish, of course, study architecture and design.
His high school fishing resume is long with some good tournament finishes.
“The tournaments are amazing,” he said. “But it’s the opportunity to be close to the fishing community, meet the best BASS professionals and be involved in all that.”
Dakota’s father, Jon, is an active fisherman, too. Mom, Kerry, will go along as the Team Dakota photographer.
“I’d like to thank my parents,” Page added. “They bought me a boat and set me on the path to fishing.”
Page admits, fishing is a huge part of his life. Friends could accuse him as being the Fish Whisperer because he can talk about fishing for hours.
He can even strike up a conversation with a stranger if the common ground is hook, line or sinker.
The Bassmaster All-American team was announced on May 6. Page was among 49 contenders and only 12 were chosen. No one from Oklahoma was selected.
Not making an elite team will not stop Page from following his dream as a top fisherman.