For most collegiate anglers, the summertime is when focus shifts from passing classes to winning national championships. College bass fishing is in full swing over the next few months. Most of the qualifying events including the Carhartt Bassmaster College Super Regionals have concluded, and most schools have chosen the anglers to represent their school at the national championships.
I had the opportunity to attend the Carhartt Bassmaster College Midwest Super Regional last week on the Mississippi River. I really enjoyed talking with the anglers and was impressed with the results of the tournament. Edward Rude III from West Virginia University took top honors with 31 pounds. Not too shabby for a two day tournament, and not to mention he was the only angler fishing by himself. College bass fishing events are two-man team events but anglers can fish by themselves if need be.
It’s kind of funny because I fished by myself in my first college bass fishing championship. My partner backed out at the last minute, and I couldn’t get any other anglers to fill in. The fellow competitors called me “Solo” the entire week. I wish I could say that I had the same results as Edward, but I can’t. I finished in about middle of the field and was hooked on college fishing ever since.
As college bass fishing continues to grow, more companies are seeing the benefit of supporting the future of our sport. I am very fortunate to be sponsored by one of those companies, Onyx Outdoor. Yesterday, Onyx sent me to the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship to hand out PFDs. It was pretty neat because this same tournament was my first collegiate championship six years ago. It was a great experience getting to meet all the new collegiate anglers and catch up with a few that I actually competed against.
Talking with the collegiate anglers yesterday, I can say without a doubt in my mind that we will see many more anglers go from college bass fishing to the Elite Series in the near future. These guys are good, and the competition is really tough. Take my word for it; I got humbled many times fishing collegiate tournaments. I wish all the teams the best in this week’s championship as well as the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship in July. The hype is building for that event as the top angler gets an invite to the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. I will talk about that event as it gets closer. I hope all the teams catch them this week, but I got to pick University of Kentucky for the win. Go Cats!
Remember to chase your dreams!