LAKE MURRAY, SC (May 25, 2021) – The stage is set for the final ACA event of the season as the top collegiate anglers in the nation are at Lake Murray in South Carolina to compete in the 2021 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. At this year-end Championship event, anglers will be competing two full days for a chance to be crowned National Champion, earn $30,000 plus in prizes & contingencies, and one school will be named Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia following the conclusion of Day 2 weigh-in. Championship week is the most anticipated week of the year, and the next two days of tournament competition will be the crowning moment of the 2020-21 season out on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.
Lake Murray, the playing field for this Championship event, is a phenomenal fishery with a history of hosting major Championship level events. The lake is approximately 50,000 surface acres, and features a variety of cover ranging from wood, docks, shore grass, and even lily pads in some sections.
Throughout practice this week, anglers have reported catching quality 2.5-4 pound largemouth at a very consistent rate. Baitfish such as perch and shad will be the main targets of pray for these feeding fish. Anglers will be targeting these fish with a variety of topwaters, swim jigs, and soft plastic baits.
We spoke with Abu Garcia/Berkley Pro Anthony Gagliardi a few weeks back, and here are the baits he believed would be key during the event.
“When it comes to the herring spawn stuff, obviously the Berkley topwaters are really good. The Cane Walker is good when it’s windy and when you’ve got overcast conditions. I like that one, and I like the Drift Walker. If it gets calm and it starts to slick off, when they’re biting a topwater bait…I’ll throw the Drift Walker. If they’re not wanting the topwater bait, then the Power® Jerk Shad is one of the first things I’ll pick up.”
Read the full interview here.
Championship week will mark the culmination of the 2020-21 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. The University of Montevallo enters this week with a more than 1,000 point lead over second place McKendree University. Montevallo is putting together one of the most historic runs in the history of the School of the Year race. The team took over possession of the top spot back in November of 2020 and has held on to it ever since.
The winning anglers of this event will earn 1,500 points for their respective school, and schools will have the opportunity to earn double points, meaning the two highest-finishing qualified teams for that school can earn points. Double points will be a huge difference maker in this event. If a team can place two teams inside of the Top 10, there is a good chance they will make a drastic move up in the standings and leap frog some of the other teams.
So what might the winning weight be when the scales close on Thursday afternoon? No-one knows just for certain yet, but Anthony Gagliardi offered his opinion as a local angler that’s very familiar with this lake.
“I would say if somebody caught 20 pounds every day, then you’re the man to beat. I wouldn’t feel like I had a shot to win if I didn’t have 20 pounds both days. If you catch 20 a day, you’re going to be in good shape.”
We would like to send a special thanks to the folks at Capital City/Lake Murray Country for their wonderful hospitality this week and catering to these anglers needs both on the water and around town. Listen to our latest podcast with Miriam Atria talking about the area and things to do while in town! Listen now.
Live coverage of the 2021 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will begin tomorrow morning with the live blog and streaming of takeoff. Weigh-in will be live via the Outdoor Action TV app each day beginning at 2:15 PM. Be sure to follow all social media accounts as well for continuing coverage.