college

Hollingsworth’s dedication to country and bass fishing

If you took the time to read Adam Hollingsworth’s biography, you’d get the impression the Alabamian has retired from a long career in the military and as a police officer. And, that he finally has time to pursue his passion, which is bass fishing. Here’s an incomplete list of what he has done:

While in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard he served in Iraq, Afghanistan — in Alabama as a guardsman and in Alaska on active duty. He completed training to be qualified as a paratrooper to carry out airborne operations. He also received a Certificate of Achievement for shooting 40 out of 40 during a military rifle qualification with an M-4 rifle, which designates him as a “Hawk-eye.” 

In private life, Hollingsworth was an intern/assistant for Alabama’s Tuscaloosa County District Attorney’s Office while in college. He also served as a patrol officer for the Tuscaloosa Police Department, a police officer for the Bessemer, Ala., Police Department, a field training officer/patrol officer for the Coaling, Ala., Police Department, a protective security specialist for Triple Canopy Security in Zachary, La., and a canine handler and patrol officer for the Montgomery, Ala., Police Department.

Anyone old enough to draw Social Security would be justifiably proud of serving in so many capacities.

For all that, Hollingsworth is only 34 years old.

In May of 2022 he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama with a major in criminology and criminal justice and a minor in computing technology and applications. He completed his degree with a 4.0 GPA while competing on the university’s collegiate bass team.

He also volunteered to help Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports promote bass fishing on the Black Warrior River, something he continues to do.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Hollingsworth will begin working for a master’s degree in the same subjects in the fall of 2022. He also plans to compete on four different college tours, including the Strike King Bassmaster College Series and the Southern Collegiate B.A.S.S. Nation Series. Oh, and he plans to compete in all nine Bassmaster Opens as well.

How does Hollingsworth intend to fish so many tournaments and also earn a master’s degree?

“I’m very good at time management,” he said. “I believe I got that from the military. My parents had to sign for me to join the National Guard when I was 17. I went to basic when I was 18 after graduating from high school.”

Given his duties in the military and as a first responder, Hollingsworth’s zeal for bass fishing has been an on-and-off affair. He had to put it on hold while overseas and serving in Alaska.

A 4-pound or so largemouth he caught at age 10 jump-started his passion for bass fishing. He hooked it while casting a pink Texas-rigged worm to the bank while his parents fished for crappie with cane poles.

Thereafter his father, Tim, found little time for fishing due to the increased demand for his services at his business, Sipsey Marine and Repair near Northport, Ala.

“My dad is a perfectionist,” Hollingsworth said. “He can do everything from repairing scratches to replacing stringers and transoms.”

Dewayne Allen, who had work done to his boat at Sipsey Marine and Repair, invited Hollingsworth to fish a buddy-style derby on Lake Tuscaloosa in 2014.

“That got me hooked on tournament fishing,” Hollingsworth said. “We got second place, and I caught the big fish. It weighed 4 pounds. I caught it on a shaky head with a Brush Hog. It was the only thing I knew to throw then.”

Whenever he was home on leave or working as a first responder, Hollingsworth would fish with Allen for pure enjoyment. After his mother, Paula, passed due to cancer in February of 2016, he took a leave from police work to serve with the military in Anchorage, Alaska, as a paratrooper.

“Losing my mom was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, and I still think about her daily,” he said. “I had to just get away from Alabama for a short time.”

After returning to Alabama, he went back to policing but soon deployed to Afghanistan where he served six months.

In October of 2018 he returned to Alabama. His passion for bass fishing encouraged him to resume fishing in local tournaments.

“It was like riding a bike,” he said. “I got right back into it. That’s when I decided I wanted to make bass fishing my career.”

He matriculated to the University of Alabama in January 2019 and graduated in three years by taking classes through the summer months. He joined the university’s bass team his sophomore year. The following year he was asked to be vice president by his teammates and gladly accepted. In April of his senior year, he became the team’s president.

Competing on the collegiate level allows him to sample a wide variety of bass waters and increase his bass fishing knowledge exponentially. Several events have taken place on the Tennessee River reservoirs. Others were at highland lakes, river-run impoundments and Florida’s shallow grass lakes.

“I have to be a student of the game,” Hollingsworth said. “It’s like homework in school. If I didn’t do it, I wasn’t going to pass. My dream is to someday make the Bassmaster Elite Series.”

Hollingsworth’s sponsors include Boat WrX, DD26 Fishing, Bait WrX, Caymas Boats, Crusher Lures, Bass Boat Technologies, IRod, WOO! Tungsten/Aquaflage, VFX Wraps, OT Wear, Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports, Sea Clear Power and Transducer Shield and Saver.