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

Fishing team casts high hopes


The University of Alabama fishing team expects to make a big splash this tournament season. In 2006, the fishing team won their ?rst and only national championship; that year was also their ?rst year as a club sport at the University.

Winning a title your ?rst year at any university is a huge accomplishment in any sport. This year, the team wants to prove that 2006 was not just luck. One reason this year?s team believes they can win it all is that the Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship is held in Alabama on Pickwick Lake. In past years, the tournament has been held at Lake Lewisville in Texas, giving a possible advantage to western teams. The tournament is not until May 24 and 25, but until then, there are regional tournaments the team must compete in to prove they can be winners at the national level.

“We feel very con?dent in our chances of success, now that the National

Championship is in Alabama,” said Kyle Hirschfeld, vice president of the team.

The tournaments this year favor the Crimson Tide, but heavy competition is all over the Southeast. According to the Earth Sports College Fishing Rankings, Eastern Kentucky is ranked No. 1, with Auburn ranked third, Tennessee 13th and Florida 19th. The Alabama fishing team is ranked 17th and expects to climb as the season goes on. The team placed eighth in the National Tournament last year and placed ninth in the East Regional Tournament on the Alabama River.

The Auburn Fall Classic is on Nov. 11 and 12, on Lake Logan Martin, and the Crimson Tide will face number three Auburn in this tournament. Last year, the Crimson Tide ?nished second only to Georgia College State University in the Classic, but the Tide did edge Auburn in their own tournament. Alabama is 4-1 against Auburn in tournaments in which they have faced each other. Auburn is only one team of many in the Tide?s way to a national title.

President Logan Johnson, who placed ?fth in Southern Collegiate points in all around tournaments, Dustin Connell, who ?nished ?rst in the qualifying tournaments, and Keith Kirkley are expected to be the Tide?s top anglers for the season. The fishing team is returning several top anglers from last year’s team and expects the experience they have will help get them to a title. With constant travelling to different lakes across the country for practice, or “pre-?shing,” and tournaments, it is hard to keep up with the sport. The Alabama Fishing Team has a website, www.bama?, where fans can keep up with the Tide?s progress, tournament leaders, wins and rankings. The Alabama Fishing Team is also featured on ESPNU, along with other collegiate bass fishing teams. With high expectations for the team, Johnson hopes for a large fan turnout in the local tournaments for support.

“I would really like to see students show up for some tournament weigh-ins

considering the Fall Classic and the National Championship are in Alabama this year,” Johnson said.

With qualifying tournaments for the team coming in the next month, tournaments are right around the corner. For the UA fishing team, the season really never ends – it seems they are always on the water.

“We put a lot of work and time into these tournaments,” Johnson said. “I think we have a really good chance to win it all this year.”

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