Student anglers compete for big prizes at annual College & High School Bass Open

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Bassmaster Elite Series pro and Knoxville-native Brandon Card will host the fifth annual Brandon Card College & High School Bass Open December 5 on Norris Lake.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The fifth annual Brandon Card College & High School Bass Open, hosted by Bassmaster Elite Series angler Brandon Card, will take place Saturday, Dec. 5 at Lonas Young Park on Norris Lake. This unique event features both a college and high school tournament, with each division competing at the same time for separate trophies, payouts and prizes.

Through the annual event, Card hopes to help grow sportfishing among student anglers. His own history and career path serves as motivation for building more grass-roots support for fishing.

“I fished for the University of Kentucky and was the first collegiate angler to qualify for the Elite Series,” said Card, a native of Knoxville. “If we can push high school anglers along, they’ll be better when they get to the college ranks. And, the better they are at the college level, the better they’ll be in the Opens which will give them a better chance to move into the Elite Series.”

Positively impacting the next generation of anglers is a big reason why Elite Series pro Chad Pipkens, of Lansing, Mich., has been involved in the four previous tournaments and feels the event is so valuable for young anglers across the region.

“Some of the kids are just fishing for fun while others are fishing to try and have a future in the sport," said Pipkens. "Whichever path they chose, it has been great as a pro to be involved with them and give these anglers insight on how to make it work."

While every angler receives a swag bag, the first place collegiate team will win $2,500 while the top high school team will walk away with $1,500. A prize raffle caps-off the Saturday event.

“The presenting sponsors for this event are Suzuki, Navionics and the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce. There are a lot of other sponsors, too. I cannot say enough about their help and participation,” said Card. “Last year we were able to give away more than $20,000 in cash and prizes for the tournament payouts and prize raffles.”

The team event is $50 per boat, and registration will be held at the ramp prior to takeoff. The high school weigh-in takes place at 2:30 p.m. ET from Lonas Young Park in La Follette with the college weigh-in to follow at 3:30 p.m. For more information, contact Tournament Director Drew Russell at [email protected].