Arkansas Team Wins Collegiate Bass National Championship
The University of Arkansas recently claimed the BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship on Lake Lewisville near Dallas.
The tournament’s final day was reminiscent of the old Southwest Conference, with Arkansas topping four Texas schools with a five-bass limit that weighed 17.37 pounds.
Arkansas’s Bodie Drake and Kazuki Kitajima anchored their catch with two bass that weighed nearly four pounds to fend off Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
The Razorbacks’ Drake and Kitajima qualified for the five-team final from a field of 194 anglers representing 53 schools from 21 states.
They used a Berkley Power Finesse worm in blue flake on a shaky head to catch most of their fish. They also found success on a War Eagle jig and a deep crankbait. They followed shad around Lake Lewisville in 5 to14 feet of water, concentrating on rocks on a short lake point.
Texas A&M, the defending champion, finished second with 16 pounds. Texas Tech was third with 11.98, Texas A&M-Kingsville was fourth with 11.17, and Baylor took fifth with 3.34.
In addition to a substantial trophy, Arkansas brought home $14,000 in scholarship funds for its fishing club (bass fishing is not an NCAA-sanctioned sport, so teams compete as members of school fishing clubs).
The Razorbacks’ win follows this past summer’s victory by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in the Under Armour College Bass National Championship held on Lake Maumelle and a private lake in central Arkansas.
Drake and Kitajima also won $1,500 in merchandise for posting the “Berkley Big Bag,” the heaviest catch on the tournament’s final day.
Television coverage of the tournament will air this month on Fox College Sports and affiliated networks.