On July 11, a single college-age angler will claim one of bass fishing’s biggest prizes: an entry in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.
The first steps toward that banner day will happen May 20-21, the dates of the 2011 season opener of the College B.A.S.S. circuit. The tournament, the College B.A.S.S. East Super Regional, will be on the Alabama River out of Montgomery, Ala., birthplace of B.A.S.S.
“We’re expecting about 50 two-angler teams from colleges and universities throughout the eastern United States,” said tournament manager Hank Weldon. The teams will compete for prize money awarded to their entire college team, bragging rights for their college and the chance to advance to the next level.
That next level is the College B.A.S.S. National Championship, July 7-9 in Little Rock, Ark. Qualifiers from the East Super Regional, along with two other regional events this season, will compete in the championship. The two anglers on the winning National Championship team will compete against each other July 11 for the Classic berth.
At this week’s event, team members will fish from the same boat and combine their catches. Each team can weigh up to five largemouth or spotted bass (minimum length of 12 inches). The team with the heaviest weight over two days will win.
The public is invited to watch the students bring their catches to the scales. The weigh-ins will begin at 4 p.m. CT at the corner of Commerce and Tallapoosa streets at the downtown Riverwalk facility on the banks of the Alabama River. The tournament will run concurrently with Montgomery’s annual Jubilee Cityfest.
Daily results will be available at Bassmaster.com. College B.A.S.S. events will be aired on ESPNU at dates to be announced.
This is the sixth season for College B.A.S.S. but the first under the B.A.S.S. corporate umbrella. Previously run by JM Associates as College Bass, the circuit migrated to B.A.S.S. after JM Associates was purchased by B.A.S.S. in April. After a slight name change, the student circuit is now known as College B.A.S.S.
Information about the entire 2011 season is available at Bassmaster.com/college.