Collegiate Fishing’s Added Lure: Cash on the Line

On the college fishing circuit, which is not under the N.C.A.A. umbrella, anglers can compete alongside professionals and win prize money without consequences like a challenge to eligibility.

Comments: 28

  1. Fine and quite adorable. However, so long as underpaid adjuncts or grad students are delivering 40% or more of the education at any institution ( these people more often than not are paid about 3 or 4K per course that they teach), IMO no sports should receive any funding for travel out of state, although fishing would seem to need less $$ support than most and possibly even be self-sustaining which apparently football rarely is.

    May the basketweaving competitions begin!!

  2. The NCAA is corrupt, uses and abuses the athletes and does nothing to further academics. However, most successful major college football programs would be self-supporting. The money they earn is often used to fund non-revenue sports.

  3. Buy a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

  4. I've been watching some of the college tournaments on tv. It seems like only a matter of time until the NCAA sees the potential $$$ and decides, "for the sake of protecting the amateur student athletes" that fishing needs to be a part of the NCAA.

  5. Sitting out in the lake all afternoon fishing for bass in a souped up speed boat.

    (And probably getting academic credit towards my 'academic degree')

    Returning at night to the frat house to polish off a few cold ones.

    Hanging out on campus the next day to chit chat about the ones that got away - and to score a date for the big game on Saturday.

    And then maybe attending a few basket weaving, media studies, TV studies, gender studies, and French cultural studies class - to polish off some Bordeaux and Camembert.

    This is American higher education at its finest!!!!

    Where can I sign up for that deal!!!!!

  6. Whew! What refreshing news. Delighted so many of our children are spending their college years so wisely and not wasting valuable time in the library or the lab. And now we learn that some colleges are actually offering fishing scholarships! Such a wise investment of the college's endowment fund.

    And the investment of time and money in college fishing tournaments is likely to pay great dividends in the job market: Fishing guides, fishing advisors, fishing lure manufacturers.....the list of job opportunities are endless....and let's not forget the T-shirt entrepreneur who came up with the catchy (pun intended) phrase: "Fish Fear Me."

  7. As several commenters above have noted, none of us (you included, treabeton) know what these kids major in or how much time they do or do not spend in the library. It is, however, worth noting that one of the competitors interviewed stated that he had his laptop and textbooks with him. One does not need to spend all his or her waking hours in "the library or the lab."

    Some would also argue that these students may have a leg up since they have to balance academic time with the time needed to succeed in their chosen sport. Either way, don't dismiss the participants without greater knowledge about them.

  8. I hesitated to click on the comments for this article - knowing it would be full of unnecessary snark. Does every topic have to devolve into a critique of our society?

    These guys enjoy fishing, and happen to go to college. How do you know that they take puff classes? Maybe they study engineering or molecular genetics? You don't have to be a shut-in during college years to succeed academically.

  9. Absolutely agree with Lee. Most campuses have many club sports not under the thumb of the NCAA. And, some of these sports get sponsorship from equipment manufacturers as my son's ski team did because they were good. He very much enjoyed the experience, graduated in 4 years, and now runs company employing 400 people. I suspect he enjoyed a cold one after the races were over.

  10. OK. they're like my kids, engineers. They had a great time in college, but they weren't athletes. They studied, and they're doing well.

  11. Too bad there isn't an ice fishing division with tip-ups and spearing. The shanties could have school colors.

  12. What a lot of complainers. Fishing is an excellent pastime. If done well it requires a studious approach. I see it as a much higher level human endeavor than, for example, football. And you folks that keep mentioning beer in these comments, are you implying that football and the other front line college sports aren't beer-soaked? Oh my, that's a whopper!

  13. What's so fishy about this? Competition is a very powerful attribute in corporate America. The driven survive!

    THOSE WHO don't know how to compete, wasted their education.

  14. This is fish tale. You simply cant honestly compare the tens of millions of dollars and the politics of national college football and basketball with that of national college fishing. (National fishing??)

    You talk about money, but lets be real, at least when it comes to fishing. These fisherpeople are not skipping classes to practice. They dont have (or need) private tutors to get them through basic class work so that they can stay in school They are not betting the farm on four years of competitive fishing so that they can then enter the National Fishing League draft and earn millions per year during the short life of a fishing athlete that their wrist holds up for. They will not risk head injuries, spinal compressions, being cut from the squad or suspension for all night drinking parties with the team (well maybe the last one).

    The difference between fisher people and NCAA sports is that NCAA uses the draw of potential fame and fortune as a come on to folks who can sell the team nationally on TV to the benefit of everyone BUT THE ATHLETE while the fisherpeople have fun and hey if you earn a few dollars great, but they generally have academic goals completely beyond fishing and arent 'hooked' (joke) by the false promises of fame and fortune that almost never actually happen.

  15. Fishing?! Fishing! Who would have thought such a scenario?! I guess you cod make this stuff up!

  16. Meanwhile, Germany is making all universities tuition-free. Yes, we're sure to be "No. 1" as long as we keep this up.

  17. It is truly difficult to define what a sport is. Regardless, its hard to compare this to big time college sports.

  18. So I guess if you take College Fishing, add shantily clad cheerleaders, a cool team name which is not politically correct, corrupt coaches, sex scandals, beer commercials, instant replay and really loud crude sports announcers doing play by play that really dont know a yellow from a bluefin, buy 10 million dollars of TV time which runs too long and pushes back your favorite network TV show on Sunday night, have regional TV market blackouts unless the pier seats are sold out and have the fishing athletes covered from head to shoes in commercial logos, rank players, do a yearly draft, issue trading cards (with bazooka gum), and place faces on Wheaties boxes, we can now compare fisherpeople with footballers and basketballers of the NCAA.

    Or maybe we should take college football and basketball and subtract all of the above and put them on par with our fisherpeople instead.

  19. OK, sounds good.

  20. NCAA is a cartel. For all the talk, remember that Rodeo is an NCAA sanctioned sport, buckles and cash prizes and all. The only reason that "student athletes" aren't allowed to be paid is to improve the profit margins for college football and basketball. It's all about the benjamins.

  21. I will say, that if the Bass guys start thinking that it's going to be an easy deal to compete against college kids who are driven to compete, you are delusional! I race sailboats ( I know, I know) but college kids have one thing that adults don't have - TIME! You have no idea what you're about to encounter. Good luck!!!!

  22. You did not merntion that this was a Club Sport, a unique American category in American higher education. Club sports usually fall under the auspices of other clubs, religious groups, fraternities. The university does not support these club sports as they do the major athletic programs. Any student can start a new club sport by writing a constitution and raising money for coaches, uniforms, and transportation to games.They are run by the students themselves, but belong to national organizations and compete among other institutions

  23. Ultimate Frisbee is a great example of this. Between the Men's and Women's teams we have about 75 members and travel to tournaments hours away, compete against other schools and fundraise, recruit, hire coaches and develop as a team.

  24. "College fishing circuit"? [insert acronym for obscenely phrased query here]? Let me try that again: College fishing circuit. Nope, still doesn't make a lick of sense. The whole BASS scene is making less and less sense to me actually. Fishing as NASCAR. Weird. But these college boys beat all. Speaking of boys wanting to be "the man", it sounds like the "college fishing circuit" doesn't include women. (Other than being at Mattawoman Creek.) Whatsamatta women, you'd rather study?? You'll never make BMOCFC (Big Man On College Fishing Circuit) that way!

  25. And how do you verify that the specific boats are not cheating by "holding" fish in secret locations? I only ask because there is money involved, and as we've seen in almost any sport, this changes the dynamic.

  26. Competitive killing with corporate sponsorship as an element of higher education. If the man who kills the most pounds of animal is to be admired, there are way better ways to go about it. If an educated person who contributes to society is to be admired, there are way better ways to go about it.

  27. Don't be fooled it is only a matter of time before the NCAA gets its grubbymoney hungry hands all over competitive fishing by college students after reading this article,

    For those unaware if the actual motto of the NCAA it is "leave no student athlete unabused no matter the sport if there is any money colleges can make doing so." It is now obvious competitive fishing "qualifies" (sic).

  28. Hey Mom and Dad,

    Thanks for the tuition money over the last four years. Have had a blast and Saturday I graduate with by BA degree! The Bass of Arts. Thanks again for all your support and I will be home soon to stay for a while as I search for a job in the world of Bass Fishing. It's real competitive out there so I hope I find something in my field in less than, um, three years or so.

    Your loving and dependent son,

    Rod Holder