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Collegiate Bass Fishing???

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How does this work? Are these strictly college kids spending their own (family's) cash to compete under their school's name? Are they officially sponsored by their schools? Is there any credit from college for it? I'm guessing some have a major that's connected, but have no idea. A quick Google of the subject doesn't give much info. It seems not too many people are really interested in it right now.

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It's usually a school sponsored club. The kids in the club look for boater's who can volunteer their time and effort to give them a boat to fish from. They're are different collegiate tournament trails, including the Bassmaster Carhart College Series, which ultimately leads to a Classic berth, and one by Cabela's that was run similarly to the Texas Team Trail.

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Man, had this been around when I was that age, I'd be a lot better angler now.

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It depends on the school. Some schools (I want to say maybe Tennessee and West Virginia both do but I'm not positive) supply boats for the anglers, have it listed as a D1 sport, and student's competing are eligible for scholarships. Others have scholarships but you need your own boat. Most though are listed as sports clubs but not D1, and the university doesn't supply scholarships, boats, or trucks and the kids are responsible for providing this.

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While "college" tournaments started in the early 90's, the major sponsored college series' started in the late 00's. The 3 biggest players are FLW, BASS, and Fishlife. Many colleges have fishing clubs or teams that they then affiliate with one of the aforementioned circuits.

Fishing clubs must be officially recognized by the university in order to compete. Most clubs must raise their own money by having dues and fundraisers. Overtime they may raise enough to purchase club equipment like boats or rods but most anglers use their own personal or family-owned boats and gear. Some, but not all, clubs do get help from their respective college/university to help deter equipment/travel/lodging costs.

You also must be a registered full-time student in good standing and an official member of the club to compete.

Some colleges have official fishing "teams" that are recognized and supported by the university. These teams are much more likely to get financial support for team equipment and scholarships. As long as the college angler meets the requirements, whether they are apart of a club or team does not matter to the circuit, it mainly affects university involvement/support.

 

The university then chooses to send a team or teams (depending on the circuit) to each qualifying tournament in their predetermined region. There will be a certain place you must finish higher than in order to move on to the next tournament, some have multiple steps before reaching the national championship in their own series.

These tournaments do not have entry fees to keep the cost to compete down for college kids. But on the same note, there are no personal winnings. The same reason a collegiate football player cannot be paid. There are winnings that are awarded to the represented club that can then use the money for equipment or traveling/lodging costs.

Most if not all of these clubs and teams compete among themselves for practice,fun, and sometimes to choose who represents the school at official college tournaments. They also may compete against neighboring schools for practice/fun/fundraising as well.

Some new/inexperienced clubs may choose not to compete in any series and can be more oriented around fun/recreational fishing.

 

College fishing has really taken off the last few years as more and more schools get involved and clubs/teams get created. There are an estimated 600+ college clubs/teams in existence and that number is steadily climbing each year. It is a great way for college students to get the experience of both competition and camaraderie at a higher level with out investing too much money.

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Reel, may I suggest contacting the bass clubs at some of the universities and colleges and ask them how they operate their club; if they are FLW or BASS affiliated; and how they raise funds to fish the various tournaments. In addition, do you need a boat?

There are bass fishing clubs in many schools of higher education and each operates their club differently.

So do some research and make your matrix so you can have an excellent overview of how different school clubs operate.

Good luck.

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