Introduction to Collegiate Bass Fishing
It’s early Saturday morning, and the vast majority of college students are stumbling their way back from the smoky haze of the college town bar scene. While they will likely spend the next twelve hours in a comatose-like state attempting to sleep off the long night of drinking and socializing, a relatively small, pioneering group of college students is taking part in a widely unknown and misunderstood aspect of the college life: bass fishing.
Collegiate bass fishing is one of the fastest growing and most competitive sports in the nation. The sport is comprised of dedicated, hardworking, individualistic full-time students who all share one common interest: an undying passion of the great outdoors. These students have chosen late nights of map study and research over the late night party scene, frigid mornings spent speeding across the calm waters of their favorite fisheries over warm, soft cotton bed sheets, and never ending financial burden over the security of a part-time college job.
A Rapidly Growing Sport
The sport’s explosion is made evident by the monumental number of competing schools at various collegiate trails throughout the country. While only four years ago there were a modest 50 competitive universities, there are now roughly 300 universities competing, and the number is steadily growing with each year. Fishing colleges range anywhere from Ivey League schools such as Cornell University, to major universities such as The University of Nebraska, all the way to smaller universities such as my school, Georgia College and State University.
With bass fishing colleges registered in almost every state in the country, the young sport has garnered an impressive media following. With tournament trails and championships televised by such networks as ESPN and Versus, it is easy to recognize the nation’s growing interest in the sport.
As we all know, fishing in itself is an extremely expensive sport, and being a full time college student doesn’t make it any easier. While available university funding for college fishing teams started off quite modestly, with some major universities only granting teams an annual sum of less than 500 dollars, many colleges are beginning to realize the benefits of the sport.
These days, universities are contributing very large sums of money to their respective fishing teams – some exceeding thousands of dollars. This assists the anglers in paying for portions of gas, lodging, and tournament fees, and also helps the schools gain major media attention which can be beneficial for their enrollment numbers.
Does My College Have a Fishing Team?
While there is no concrete list of every registered collegiate fishing team, there is a very good chance that your school does, in fact, have a team. While many teams may have different requirements for membership, I encourage you to ask around and utilize social media websites such as Facebook. I didn’t know my school had a team until I was a junior! Collegebass.com offers a complete list of the 158 schools that are registered with its collegiate system. While not every school is registered through College Bass, it is a great place to start.
Also, don’t be afraid to start your own college team. Talk to your university and get the ball rolling. Once the legalities and procedural work are done, you can register your team in a number of ways through various organizations, including College Bass and FLW.
It may be a lot of hard work, but it can lead to an unforgettable college experience filled with memories that will last a lifetime.
To learn more about the up-and-coming sport of collegiate fishing, check out the following websites: http://www.collegefishing.com/, http://collegebass.com/, and http://collegiatebasschampionship.com/.