A record sized field of college anglers will be heading to Dayton, TN and Lake Chickamauga this week for the first stop on the 2014 Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series as they vie for one of college fishing’s most prestigious titles at the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open. The event at Lake Chickamauga is the first of the three major televised college fishing events that the Association of Collegiate Anglers and Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series puts on each year.
This year’s Open field currently has over 280 college anglers registered from 62 colleges across the nation. The field also features nine teams in the top ten rankings of the current Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing series School of the Year race which makes it arguably the toughest field to date in college fishing this season.
Currently, the University of North Alabama continues to have a slim lead over two strong fishing schools — Auburn University and the 2013 School of Year, University of Louisiana-Monroe — going into this event.
“Right now to be number one means a lot to our team. We worked so hard last year to fall short by placing 2nd, but this year we have made it so far. We’ve worked hard as a team and with a lot of new great fishermen this year joining the team, that has help us gain the number one ranking,” Ryan Cole of the University of North Alabama team. He also stated that, “It is kind of nerve racking coming in as number one and knowing there are a lot of great teams just right behind us. It will only take one mess up for us to lose our position and everyone is very anxious to get out on the water and defend our spot.”
List Schools Competing at Lake Chickamauga in School of the Year Top Ten:
1st University of North Alabama (Florence, AL)
2nd Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
3rd University of Louisiana – Monroe (Monroe, LA)
4th University of West Georgia (Carrollton, GA)
5th Mississippi State (Starkville, MS)
6th University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
7th University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
8th Southern Polytechnic State University (Marietta, GA)
9th Auburn University – Montgomery (Montgomery, AL)
Lake Chickamauga with over 50 miles of shoreline is located outside of Dayton, TN and this fertile fishery has burst on the bass fishing scene in the past few years, becoming noted as one of the best lakes in the nation. Several recent tournaments have been won with 5 fish limits over 30 pounds; as well as becoming common to have ten pound plus fish weighed in. It’s predicted by many that this event will turn into a slug-fest unless the area is hit by yet another blast of cold weather.
A couple of the team members from the top ranked University of North Alabama team had this to say going into the event: “This week at Chickamauga should be a fun week, although another cold front will push through Wednesday night and will affect the fishing to an extent,” Robb Young, of the University of North Alabama said. “I think the winning team will be the ones who are able to adapt to changing conditions,” he stated.
“We all expect a lot of big fish to be caught this week on Chickamauga and for it to be a great tournament. Going into this tournament we are sending a lot of teams from University of North Alabama to represent us and that will help us try to maintain the lead. We are thankful to represent such a great community and University and to have a tremendous amount of support from them,” concluded Ryan Darracott, Vice President of University of North Alabama Bass Team.
Thursday, March 13th
Final practice day: Safe Light – 2pm Registration:
3314 Rhea County Hwy
Angler Registration & Dinner: 5 – 7 pm
Welcome from Sponsors: 7 – 7:15 pm
Pre-tournament Meeting: 7 pm
Friday, March 14th
Day 1: Safe Light – 3 pm
3 pm, Weigh-In Begins
Weigh-in dinner provided for the Anglers by Temple Fork Outfitters
Saturday, March 15th
Day 2: Safe Light – 3 pm
3 pm, Weigh-In Begins
Weigh-in dinner provided for the Anglers by Abu Garcia
Awards Presentation Immediately Following Weigh-In
Logo courtesy Association of Collegiate Anglers