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of others have been garnering attention for
their sport on the college circuits and in
the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA)
Bass Fishing Championships over the past
few years. The ever-growing world of college
fishing has its own brand of May, rather than
March, madness. That’s when the BoatU.S.
Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, the
marquee event of the college series, takes
place. This year it’s in Florence, Alabama,
with the usual 100 or more teams from
around the country expected to participate.
There’s no obvious reason why college
fishing has become so popular over the past
few years. Parts of the country where hunting
and fishing are traditionally popular could
always be relied upon to have several fishermen in their student ranks. But now, even
some of the more unlikely schools, including
the ivy-league Harvard, are fielding successful teams.
“I don’t think there’s any one answer,”
says Wade Middleton, Director of Collegiate
careers.” Middleton says he fields emails and
calls daily from new colleges and collegiate
anglers about how to start, manage, and have
a team at their school.
Close to 300 schools around the country
now have college fishing programs, putting
it in the same realm as college ice hockey or
RICKY KASSEBAUM is president of the Virginia Tech Bass Fishing
Team (at press time in third place on the ACA national rankings).
were toddlers. “We do talk to kids all
the time who didn’t fish or hadn’t fished
much before college,” says Middleton.
Most clubs don’t have their own boats,
so they rely on their members, or family,
or even alumni to get out on the water.