Class selection: Fishing 101

B.A.S.S.
Brandon during the Battle of the Bluegrass State Championship on Barren River Lake.

About the author

Brandon Card

Brandon Card

Tennessee’s Brandon Card, who competed for the University of Kentucky, is the first Bassmaster College Series angler to qualify for the Elite Series.

It’s an exciting time of year. College classes are starting; and for a lot of people, that signifies the start of a new college football season. Not for me, though. For me, it signifies the start of a new college bass fishing season. Check out my college photo gallery.

The first couple of weeks are an exciting time for college bass fishing teams. It’s a time when the new freshmen sign up and relationships are built with guys that they will be fishing with all year. It’s a time when tournament schedules are made, new tackle is bought, and fishing stories are told.

I was the president of the University of Kentucky Bass Fishing Team, and my primary responsibilities were recruting new members and building a name for ourselves around campus. Although UK was one of the first six schools to compete in the first-ever College bass fishing championship, our club was still pretty small.

I would approach random people on campus to ask them if they wanted to sign up. If they had on a fishing hat or shirt, they better look out because I was coming for them.

I met my friend Aaron that way. He was sitting in the lunch room eating, and I saw that he was wearing a fishing shirt. I asked him if he liked to fish and wanted to join our team. He thought it was awesome that UK had a bass team and signed up right away. He turned out to be one of our better fishermen, and we teamed up to fish in several championships over the years.

I did anything and everything to promote the club. I once lined up a photo shoot for an article in our student paper. I convinced five other guys from the team to participate. We all met at the tiny lake at Jacobson Park in Lexington. We got in the boat and grabbed some rods and started posing. We tried to make six people in an 18-foot boat look as cool as we could, which didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure every picture that we took was bad because my eyes were closed in the one they chose for the student paper. Ha-ha! After that all the guys on the team would always give me a hard time and say, “Hey Brandon, you got anymore photo shoots lined up?” … No appreciation.

The team camaraderie was awesome. I always had someone to fish with. Almost every weekend I was either fun fishing with one of the guys on the team or competing in a tournament with them. College classes can be stressful sometimes, and bass fishing was my escape. If you ask some of my past professors, they may tell you that I “escaped” too often. 

College students – I know that you are busy moving in and getting ready for classes, but do yourself a favor and sign up with the bass fishing team on campus. It is a great experience, and I guarantee it will make you a better fisherman. There is a lot more to college than studying and partying … there is college bass fishing.

Remember to chase your dreams!

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