Collegiate anglers throughout the country are preparing for Kentucky Lake and the 2012 Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, Presented by Pepsi. Serving as host for the third consecutive year, The Henry County Alliance of Paris, Tennessee, and the Paris Landing Marina will be tournament headquarters. Fishing takes place June 23-24, with the registration, dinner, and pre-tournament activities to be held Friday, June 22, 2012 at the Henry County Fairgrounds.
This unique event features a true team format that allows teammates to share information and work together to amass the largest amount of weight possible over two days of competition. The winning team will be determined by the combined weight of each team’s top two boats each day.
According to Danny Blandford, Program Director for the ACA, “Between the team aspect of competition and a first-class fishery like Kentucky Lake, we have a winning combination in Paris, and it’s great to keep growing the event with the Henry County Alliance.”
Larry Crawford, CEO of the Henry County Alliance, added, “We are excited about hosting the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open for the 3rd year. We are adding some new events to encourage additional community participation, while continuing to ensure the students have a great experience in Henry County, Tn.”
To kick off the event, anglers will be participating in a “Spirit Parade” through town, featuring the trucks, boats, and of course, school spirit. The boat deemed to have the most spirit by a panel of judges will win $250 in Cabela’s gift cards, courtesy of the ACA and Cabela’s.
Cabela’s Pro Angler, Clark Wendlandt, will serve as the Grand Marshall of the parade. Clark is in town fishing for upcoming television episodes of Americana Outdoors, as well as Fishing Texas. Clark, and his Cabela’s “rig”, will lead students through Paris, starting at the Chamber of Commerce at 4:30 pm and ending with a Meet and Greet at the Henry County Fairgrounds immediately following the parade. Clark will be on hand to answer questions about his recent Kentucky Lake fishing experience, and the public is encouraged to come out and participate.
College anglers will be treated to a fish fry and registration banquet at the Henry County Fair Grounds Commercial Ag Building after the parade. The public is invited to come out and meet the students and purchase their own fish dinners, starting at 5 pm. Dinners will be sold to the public at a price of $10.00, but tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets will be available at Henry County Mayor’s Office, Chamber of Commerce, Fish Tale Lodge, Paris on the Square, and Premier Nissan. Tickets may be purchased at these locations Thursday, June 7th through Friday, June 15th ONLY.
Tournament Director, Wade Middleton, commented, “The parade, the fish fry, and the seminars and social are the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Series’ version of a pep rally the night before the big game. The anglers have a blast in the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, Presented by Pepsi, and it’s certainly a big game for the teams.”
Tyler Moberly, of the Eastern Kentucky University team, summed it up best in 2011, “The lake was on fire last year, and it was by far the most fun my partner, Kyle Raymer and I have had on the water.” The EKU fishing team is currently two-time defending champions in the Open, with the goal of making it three in a row.
The event is open to all collegiate fishing teams recognized by their university, and there is no entry fee to participate. The Open will also be the last qualifying tournament for the 2012 ACA School of the Year Program, meaning winners of this inaugural program will be crowned at Paris Landing on Sunday, June 24 at the conclusion of the event. Those teams interested in learning more should visit: Collegiatebasschampionship.com.
Daily weigh-ins will be held at Paris Landing Saturday, June 23 and Sunday, June 24. They are free and open to the public. Collegiate fishing fans, family members, and friends of competitors can follow the action by visiting Collegiatebasschampionship.com and Facebook.com/CollegiateBassChampionship.
Televised coverage will be seen on NBC Sports Outdoors, and available to over 75 million households.