TNE Editor

Bassmaster College Series comes to NSU

Published 2/27/18


Tabby Talbot

TNE Writer

The Bassmaster Classic is the largest fishing tournament in the U.S. Anglers across the U.S. strive to compete in this competition. This summer, the NSU fishing team will get a chance to qualify and compete in this tournament. Tour Tahlequah, NSU, Cherokee Nation and other local businesses will sponsor the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship taking place on Lake Tenkiller.

“This tournament is the granddaddy of all college tournaments because if you win this tournament you are one step away from fishing the Bassmaster Classic,” said Donald Hart, NSU fishing team president.

Blayke Haggard, NSU fishing team vice president, said the Elite Series Pros work all year to earn their spot in the Bassmaster Classic. Haggard said this tournament is where the best of the best face off. The winner of the classic receives $300,000 and bragging rights.

“It is incredibly difficult to get to that tournament,” said Haggard. “To even step foot on the stage and compete would be a great accomplishment. That’s why winning the collegiate national championship is such a big deal.”

To qualify to compete in the College Series National Championshp, teams must compete in regional and state qualifiers. The qualifying teams are placed into a bracket, and the bracket winner will go on to fish in the Bassmaster Classic.

“This year we had two teams qualify for the FLW college national championship on the Red River in Shreveport, La.,” said Caleb Gibson, NSU fishing team treasurer. “We also had a team place second on Grand Lake in the Quantum Next Generation Tournament.”

The NSU fishing team is a club with approximately 15 members. They travel all over the country fishing several circuits. Anyone can sign up as long as they are a full-time NSU student and have the passion to compete at the collegiate level of bass fishing.

“It's a great group of guys that can share their passion for the sport and compete at the same time,” said Haggard.

Haggard said he attributes his love for fishing to his father. His father started taking him fishing when he was young and taught him everything he knows about the sport. He fished in his first tournament at the age of 8.

“I love the excitement and competition of the sport,” said Haggard. “I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and competing is one of my favorite things to do. It has taught me a lot about overcoming adversity after a rough day on the water and also to be grateful for the opportunity to get to actually participate in the sport. The sport has also taught me a lot about persistence and patience, as well. If you don’t have those two qualities, then you can’t be successful in this sport.”

The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship will take place July 19-21.

For more information about the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, visit Bassmaster.

For more information about the NSU Fishing Team, email Hart.

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