AUBURN – Auburn University students who enjoy fishing in their spare time now have a new sports club to match their angling skills against other schools.
The AU Bass Sports Club, which hosted its first tournament last fall on Lake Guntersville, is hosting three spring tournaments and a championship on north Alabama lakes.
Bass fishing clubs began about 10 years ago in the Big 10 schools up north,” said academic advisor Jann Swaim. “It’s now catching on as a club sport across the country. Outdoor sports such as fishing and hunting need to be promoted, because many kids don’t spend time outside or don’t have the opportunity.”
The spring schedule is March 21-22, Wheeler Lake, Decatur; April 19, Weiss Lake, Centre; May 24, Wilson Lake, Florence; and the championship June 13-14, Lake Guntersville, Guntersville.
Ten university clubs will join host AU in the series, including the University of Alabama, University of Alabama in Birmingham, Faulkner University, Freed-Hardeman University, University of Georgia, University of Mississippi, Mississippi State University, University of Montevallo, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and University of Tennessee at Martin. More than 30 boats are expected in each event.
Teams will compete one-on-one during the tournaments, with the matchups determined by draw, while the championship will feature all teams competing at once. Swaim adds that monetary prizes will not be awarded, just plaques and prizes such as fishing equipment.
Twenty students with a variety of academic majors make up the current membership, which is open to all Auburn students. Each semester, members will compete in qualifying tournaments to determine the top six who will represent Auburn in tournaments the following semester. This spring’s competitors were determined last fall.
“We are very active as a club, but are very strict and tell them must keep their grades up and they can only fish on weekends prior to a tournament,” Swaim said. “They must maintain a 2.0 grade point average.”
In the tournament last fall on Lake Guntersville, AU students took first and second places among 10 schools, ahead of last year’s national champion, Virginia Tech.
“Hopefully we have a good chance to do well at the national championship this fall,” Swaim said
For more information about the AU Bass Sports Club, contact Swaim at (334) 703-7591.