For the first time history of the Bassmaster Classic, a collegiate angler will get the opportunity to compete against the top professional bass anglers on the biggest stage in the sport.
The captain of the winning team at the 2011 College Bass National Championship will secure a coveted berth in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic to be held on the Red River in Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana.
"The bass fishing world hasn't completely realized the potential of collegiate bass fishing," said Jerry McKinnis. "This qualifying slot should be a game changer."
Providing a dedicated avenue for the College Bass champion, again to be held in Little Rock, Ark., in 2011 and aired on ESPNU, will enhance the profile of college bass fishing and represent an added, youth component to the Classic.
College Bass anglers will have to fight harder than ever to make it to Louisiana against strong competition from colleges and universities around the country, beginning with a series of Super Regional qualifiers and then culminating in the College Bass National Championship.
“Every angler dreams of fishing in the Classic from the time they first get hooked on the sport,” said College Bass host Rob Russow. “Now, one College Bass angler will get that life-changing experience and I can’t wait to get started determining who that will be.”
Full information on the qualifying process for the National Championship and the Classic will be released soon.
Since its inception, the College Bass National Championship has been the only fishing tournament to air on ESPNU. In its sixth season, College Bass received extended television coverage totaling nine hours of ESPNU programming. ESPNU reaches more than 71 million households across the United States.
In 2010, Eastern Kentucky anglers Tyler Moberly and Jonas tipped the scales to claim the College Bass National Championship crown in North Little Rock, Arkansas. More than 220 schools from more than 30 states and Canada participate in hundreds of College Bass sanctioned events each season.