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National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship

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A couple press releases for the upcoming National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship if your interested...(I will also blog some entries about the tournament while I'm down there as well)

"The field is set for the 2008 BoatU.S. National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship (NCBFC), with 106 two-person teams representing 57 schools from 23 states registered to participate. The full-field enrollment makes it the largest college bass tournament ever held.

Presented by Careco Multimedia and Fox College Sports, the three-day tournament takes place on Lake Lewisville, Texas (near Dallas), Sept. 18-20. The stage is unlike any other in collegiate sports because regardless of school size, each team competes against one another on equal terms in head-to-head competition.

Among the mix are traditional college-sport Division I powerhouses from the Big 12, SEC, Pac-10, Big East and more, but there are also many small schools that don’t have big time athletic programs. A team from North Carolina State won the inaugural event in 2006. Last year it was a Texas A&M team. However, it was the University of Montevallo (Alabama) that won a large regional event earlier in the year over schools like Auburn, Ole Miss and Georgia.

“This is fishing and bass don’t really care about who’s on the other end of the line,” said Wade Middleton, tournament director and a longtime television fishing show host. “That’s the beauty of this sport and why the field can be so diverse and every team has a chance at winning. Many of our participants excelled at other sports in high school but couldn’t or didn’t want to compete at the college level. In fishing, just about any student who wants to can get involved,” he said.

From last year’s winning Texas A&M team, Justin Rackley had aspirations of a pro baseball career before an injury ended the dream. Now he’s known on campus for his bass fishing success and has his sights set on a pro fishing career.

Montevallo’s Clent Davis has always been focused on fishing. “I grew up fishing, love the sport and am thrilled to have this opportunity to fish on our school’s team,” he said. “We like the fact that we can go right up against the big guys and know we can beat them. Right now our team members are recruiting new students to carry on what we’ve started.”

Also unlike other college sports, bass fishing teams can be male, female or co-ed. In some instances, it has been the girls responsible for starting their school’s fishing program. That was certainly the case with Tiffany Spencer from the University of Texas-Arlington and Kat Cammack from the Metropolitan State College of Denver (Colo.). Both ladies were instrumental in getting fishing clubs started and their teams entered into the championship.

For teams to be eligible to compete in the championship they must be officially recognized school fishing programs. During NCBFC competition, each team is responsible for full operation of their boats. Only artificial lures are allowed and each team is allowed to weigh-in five bass, measuring at least 14 inches in length for largemouth and 12 inches for spotted bass, each day. Team standings are based on cumulative total weights each day. After the second day of competition, only the top five teams advance to the third and final day. The finalists compete from equally rigged Ranger Z-21 bass boats with Yamaha outboards, MotorGuide trolling motors and Garmin electronics.

All teams are fishing for the more than $35,000 in scholarships and prizes, but in the true sense of college rivalries most say the real honor comes in carrying the national championship award back home to their schools. “Trevor (Knight) and I lifting the trophy over our heads last year was an unbelievable experience that I’ll never forget,” said Texas A&M’s Rackley. “It’s something I’d like to do again this year.” Rackley has a chance to repeat as he does return, but with a new partner as Knight graduated since last year’s win.

The championship will be featured along with several other collegiate regional bass fishing events as part of the 13-episode NCBFC television series produced by Careco Multimedia in conjunction with Fox College Sports that begins airing in early October on Fox College Sports and affiliated networks."

"The 200+ anglers competing in the 2008 BoatU.S. National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship (NCBFC) are certainly getting some royal treatment as a result of their participation. Both the event and college bass fishing in general have caught the eye of many businesses with vested interests in outdoor sports, causing them to step forward in support of growing the activity and what they hope will become a new stream of loyal customers.

Leading the way is BoatU.S., the Boat Owners Association of the United States and the nation's largest advocacy group for recreational boating. The organization has been the title sponsor of the championship since the first event in 2006, and company officials say involvement was an easy decision.

"Combine the enthusiasm of college sports rivalries with the fun of competitive bass fishing and you've got something really special here," explained Chris Edmonston with BoatU.S. "Although this isn't a traditional sport such as football, we consider these participants to be athletes who are just as committed to excelling in their sport as those of others. We've found their passion for the activity to be genuine and their appreciation for support refreshing. We're proud of our association with college bass fishing and we enjoy seeing the future of the sport growing today."

In addition to financial support, BoatU.S. also provides championship participants with free membership into their BoatU.S. Angler program. Program members have access to 24-hour roadside and on-the-water service assistance that covers just about every imaginable scenario around boat and tow vehicle problems.

Many sponsors, including Stearns, Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Sperry Top-Sider sport shoes, Berkley, Abu-Garcia, Fenwick, American Rodsmiths and others, are offering special discount purchase opportunities to championship contenders in advance of the championship.

Stearns, long known as a leader in personal flotation devices, is helping anglers make the trip to Texas. They are providing each championship team with identical travel stipends of $250 each.

Once the anglers arrive in Lewisville, mail-order and destination-retail giant Cabela's is hosting a "College Day" outing to their nearby retail location. Each team will receive a $100 Cabela's gift certificate to use for a shopping spree at that time, with buying assistance coming from top professional bass anglers like Luke Clausen, Kelly Jordan and Jeff Kriet.

"We're blown away by the generosity of the special offers the championship sponsors have been extending to us," said Mitch Kistner, an Arizona State University angler. "Every penny we can save is a big help on our travels to the championship in Texas and I'd say many of us have taken advantage of discount purchase opportunities for sunglasses, rods, reels, fishing line, lures, etc. The travel stipend, the roadside assistance program, the gift certificates - everything coming our way is a huge benefit to our being able to make the trip. We are stoked and ready to fish."

Almost every sponsor takes advantage of the opportunity to meet and greet the participants during official registration day. It's also a time that many of them will provide their product samples and goody-bags to the participants. Sponsors often stay throughout the practice and tournament days for further interaction with anglers at the dinners and other activities.

On the last of the three competition days, Ranger Boats, another original NCBFC sponsor, is putting the top 5 advancing teams in Z-21 bass boats equally rigged with Yamaha outboards and Garmin electronics to battle it out for the championship.

The unique support by each of the NCBFC sponsors goes on and on for every company involved and many of the names are category leaders in the outdoor industry. In addition to those already mentioned, other sponsors include: Anglers' Legacy, Aviva Fishin' Buddy, EPIC Sports Video Cam, Falcon FTO tackle organizers, Frogg Toggs, Gemini Sport Marketing, Lago Vista Lodge, Gene Larew Lures, MotorGuide, PowerPole, Rapala's Fishing Frenzy, Sebile, Sperry Top-Sider, Stearns, TruckVault, Witz Sportcases, Yamaha, City of Lewisville, Sneaky Pete's Marina and Fox College Sports."

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if they only had it when i was in high school. I know i wouldnt be selling boats smile

Good Luck

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Wow has our passion and sport come along way...Like Bass N Spear said had that been available when I was College that would have been a no brainer. Makes me want to go back to school to do! Oh well long gone now, what an awesome opportunity you have.

Go get am down there see you on Tonka this weekend.

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This is a cool event. I watch it on cable later when they air it on the college sports station.

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