Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Bass fishermen place 2nd in regional qualifier

Two members of the bass fishing club team finished second in the Fishing League Worldwide Southeast Regional Qualifier in Guntersville, Alabama, on May 17.

Charles Hurst and Logan Shaddix became the University’s third pair to qualify for the upcoming FLW Invitational.

The FLW College Southeast Invitational will be held on Lake Chickamauga in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Oct. 18 to 19. In order to qualify, a boat must finish in the top 15 at one of three invitationals held throughout the spring.

In February, Keith Kirkley and Frank Appaluccio finished sixth at the first qualifier in Bainbridge, Georgia. In March, Payton McGuinnis and John Davis, team president, finished 12th in Appling, Georgia, to qualify the second boat.

“It is a pretty big deal to qualify three different boats for the Invitational in October, and it’s the first time we’ve ever done that as a team,” Davis said. “The Invitational will be our chance to qualify for the 2015 FLW College National Championship next spring.”

Regionals in college fishing are not tournaments, he said. They are technically called “regional qualifiers,” and teams fish in regionals in order to qualify for championships and invitationals.

“In every other college sport that functions similarly, you compete in open or local events to qualify for regionals,” Davis said. “But fishing and traveling to tournaments is so expensive that the smaller local level events are skipped, and we go straight to regionals.”

Hurst said it has been a phenomenal season so far, and he has high expectations for the rest of the year.

“With these showings and other respectable finishes in various tournaments, Alabama is the place to be for competitive fishing this year,” Hurst said.

The bass fishing club team was founded in 2006 by Jeff Aul and Hank Weldon and currently has 20 members. The team sends several boats to each competition, with a two-person pair in each boat.

Davis said there are collegiate fishing tournaments all year in the Southeast, but most of the tournaments take place in the spring.

Most recently, Kirkley and Appaluccio finished in the top 10 at the ACA open tournament on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama, from May 22 to 23. They finished seventh with a two-day total of 40.88 lbs out of 160 boats from the US and Canada. The team’s next event is the College BASS Wild Card in which they hope to qualify for the championship on Lake Chatuge in Young Harris, Georgia, from July 31 to Aug. 2.

(See also “Alabama’s fishing team nationally recognized since 2006 founding“)

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