San Antonio, TX (May 4, 2022) – Over the past 10+ years, the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia has grown into one of the most prestigious, hardest to win, and most visible titles in all of collegiate bass fishing. Schools from California, to Michigan, down to Texas, and everywhere in between are given the opportunity to compete both regionally and nationally to earn valuable points. Those points that are earned in competition give colleges/universities a chance to be recognized by their peers and the media as one of the top ranked teams in college bass fishing based on their performances on the water.
The program that was created by the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA), which has given anglers the opportunity to compete and earn points towards a national ranking system, is college bass fishing’s only all-encompassing rankings system. This includes awarding points at three National Championships, other major national events, as well as smaller regional and school-run tournaments.
Over the years, the growth and excitement behind this race has continued to build. More so now than ever, the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is drawing a high level of attention and recognition. Schools are traveling both near and far in hopes of staking claim to as many points as possible to earn the distinction of ‘School of the Year,’ as well as be ranked in the Top 25 in the nation. Schools are using this to help recruit, fundraise from alumni, gain sponsors, and grow their program. The overwhelming media attention and the effort being put in by schools, coaches, anglers, and fans speaks to the magnitude of this title.
At its core, the Association of Collegiate Anglers exists to provide collegiate anglers with the opportunity to fish and grow their careers, both personally and professionally. This has been the ACA’s goal for college anglers since day one, both on and off the water. The ACA takes great pride in working to create events that have no entry fees, no membership fees, provide meals and more on-site. The ACA also works directly with the fishing industry to manage discount programs, provide the largest media exposure in the sport of college bass fishing, and provide assistance for fundraising for those programs that need it. These are all core principles that the ACA will strive to maintain as college fishing continues to grow and evolve in the coming years. As an organization, we feel it is important for seasoned and new college anglers to be able to compete in events both close to home and afar on a national level.
As we prepare for the 2022-23 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia race, the ACA is announcing changes to the points system that will make the race even more competitive. In addition, the ACA will be expanding the payout and opportunities for teams to earn more prizes and recognition for being the School of the Year and finishing the season highly ranked. The changes are part of the evolution of college fishing and will likely bring even more attention to the 2022-23 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia race than ever before.
Looking ahead, more boats will earn points at MLF And B.A.S.S. events, and the ACA BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will be worth more than ever. Additionally, more teams will have a chance to earn a berth into the ACA Championship due to top finishes in smaller events during the season.
One of the key variables in the race for Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia are school-run/other sanctioned events. These local tournaments offer 100 points to the winner, awarding points down to 20th place. Local and regional events are very valuable to collegiate bass fishing teams. Not only do they offer coveted School of the Year points, school-run/other sanctioned events are used by many as fundraising opportunities for college bass fishing teams/clubs. The money raised through these tournaments helps teams to send anglers to national tournaments, and for many schools this is the sole source of funding they receive. The ACA provides prizes and promotion to help these events take place and the ACA will continue to support these events for years to come. In addition, many college anglers are only able to fish these particular events, so at its core the ACA will continue to support and recognize school-run/other sanctioned events.
Only one month remains until a number one team is crowned the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia at Pickwick Lake following the conclusion of the 2022 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. As the next season is just around the corner, the Association of Collegiate Anglers is proud to announce the points system for 2022-2023 here:
See you on the water!
Wade Middleton, ACA Director, & ACA Staff