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Association of Collegiate Anglers Completes Historic 18th Season of the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Just less than one week ago, the Association of Collegiate Anglers concluded its 18th season of the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series. The ACA completed the 2022-23 campaign with the 18th edition of its year-end National Championship event on Lake Hartwell, the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. This past season consisted of three regular season major televised events, plus the year-end Championship, which combined to result in excellent turnout of anglers, robust tournament payouts, expansive national media and television coverage, as well as overwhelming support and participation by teams in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, where the University of Montevallo achieved college bass fishing history by winning a record third-straight title.

The 2022-23 season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series began in Henry County and Paris, TN with the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley. Over 520 anglers showed up to Paris Landing State Park to fish for two days on Kentucky Lake. Anglers were competing in this nationally televised, no-entry-fee event for over $20,000 in prizes and contingencies, and double points to count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. The Top 5 anglers at this event automatically qualified for the 2023 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops at Lake Hartwell.

Parker Brown from Dallas Baptist University took home the overall tournament title with a largemouth bass weighing 7.21 pounds.  First place paid out a Power-Pole gift certificate, 10” Bob’s Machine Shop jack plate, $1,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card, Engel 80 QT. cooler, HydroWave H2, Abu Garcia fishing rod, and more!  Combined with the $1,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card Brown earned for winning Day 1 Session 3, as well as a variety of contingency bonuses, the DBU angler won over $6,000 in prizes.

Watch full episodes highlighting both days of tournament competition:

The next tournament on the schedule for the Association of Collegiate Anglers and Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series was the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open. Contested on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR, this no-entry-fee, nationally televised event had over 440 anglers compete for more than $20,000 in prizes and contingencies. The Top 5 teams at this event automatically qualified for the 2023 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops at Lake Hartwell.

The Arkansas Tech University duo of Mat Higby and John Foster Case won the 2022 AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open. For their victory, the pair won a $1,000 Bass Pro Shops gift card, $200 AFTCO gift card, Bob’s Machine Shop 10” jack plate, and a Rapala tackle package.

Watch full episodes highlighting both days of tournament competition:

The spring swing of the season started at Pickwick Lake in Florence, AL for the Pickwick Slam presented by Evolution Fishing. The ACA’s final major regular-season event before the year-end Championship boasted a field of over 200 boats competing again for more than $20,000 in prizes and contingencies, as well as double points towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. The Top 10 teams at this event automatically qualified for the 2023 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops at Lake Hartwell.

Charlie Wright & Logan Plueger from number one ranked University of Montevallo won the Pickwick Slam presented by Evolution Fishing. For two days, Wright & Plueger weighed in a total of 43.83 pounds. That total was good enough to best the next highest finishing team by more than five pounds.

Their fellow teammates, Miller Dowling & Parker O’Bryan, finished third in the event. The two Top 3 finishes helped Montevallo to secure a whopping 3,480 out of a maximum 3,490 points available at the Pickwick Slam presented by Evolution Fishing. By earning close to 3,500 points, top-ranked Montevallo earned the most points out of the more than 60 schools that were on hand in Florence, AL that weekend.

The final stop of the season placed the spotlight of college fishing on Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC for college fishing’s longest running National Championship event. The BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops saw close to 200 of college fishing’s top teams compete for over $30,000 in prizes and contingencies at this no-entry-fee, nationally televised, triple points event.

Tucker Smith and Hayden Marbut from 2nd ranked Auburn University bested the elite field of 200 teams to win the 18th BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Along with the crowning of a new National Champion, collegiate bass fishing history was made as the University of Montevallo won the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. Montevallo becomes the first team to win college fishing’s most prestigious title three times, as well as having done so in three straight seasons. The University of Montevallo edged out 2nd ranked Auburn University by over 3,700 points and Carson-Newman University finished the season ranked 3rd. 23 of the final Top 25 teams were all on-hand to compete at Lake Hartwell.

The 2022-23 season of the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series marked another great year for the Association of Collegiate Anglers. The nationally televised series reached 10’s of millions of households nationwide, amassed millions of impressions & engagements across social media, and continues to boast the largest media coverage of any collegiate bass fishing tournament series. On the water, the ACA saw great turnout at events, recorded points for hundreds of teams in the 2022-23 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, and witnessed college fishing history as Montevallo claimed its third straight School of the Year title. Along with the impressive points, prizes, and turnout at these no-entry-fee, nationally televised events, the ACA, along with its many series partners, helps to operate dozens of discount and contingency programs aimed at helping to supply anglers with top notch gear at affordable prices, as well as reward them for using those products and placing well in events.

Start making plans for next season and beyond by checking out our complete events schedule here.

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