Friday, October 13 – 7:05 PM

Over 450 anglers came through registration tonight and are set to compete in the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR.  This will conclude live blog coverage of the final official practice day.

Tournament coverage will continue bright and early tomorrow, beginning with the live blog on the website and takeoff being live streamed on Facebook.  Also, be sure to follow along on ACA social media channels for more content and coverage!

Friday, October 13 – 5:25 PM

As anglers proceed through registration, they will be provided with a yellow AFTCO Bank Bag.  The AFTCO Bank Bag program encourages anglers to clean up local parks, rivers, lakes, and streams.  Anglers will be able to fill up the yellow bag with trash throughout the weekend and return it full to an ACA staff member in return for a $25 AFTCO gift card.

AFTCO prioritizes conservation through a variety of programs including the Bank Bags, Bass Bus, and 10% Pledge to Protect & Conserve.  Various AFTCO clothing items are made with recycled products.  Learn more about the AFTCO Bank Bag program at ACA events.

Friday, October 13 – 3:05 PM

In less than an hour, anglers will begin to arrive at the Hughes Center for official registration and the tournament meeting.  As anglers complete registration and work their way to a seat, they will be able to stop and meet with representatives from Bajío Sunglasses, receive free product from Rapala/VMC, get an AFTCO Bank Bag, view discount and contingency programs, check out Turtlebox speakers, and pick up a snack bag.

Friday, October 13 – 2:10 PM

Yamaha has been a long-time supporter of college fishing and the Association of Collegiate Anglers.  As part of this support, each ACA event is sanctioned as part of the Yamaha Power Pay tournament contingency program.  This top-level bonus program has paid out over $1,000,000 since its inception several years ago.

Qualified anglers will be eligible to claim the Yamaha Power Pay bonus this weekend’s event.  Find out more details about the program and register here.

Friday, October 13 – 1:45 PM

The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open is a no-entry-fee tournament that will pay out more than $20,000 in prizes and contingencies.  This payout includes prizes to the Top 20 teams, several exact places, and a Power-Pole for the Overall Big Bass.  The prize list includes product and gif cards from Bass Pro Shops, AFTCO, Power-Pole, Garmin, Bob’s Machine Shop, Bajío Sunglasses, Rapala/Crush City, Turtlebox, Trailer Valet, and Evolution Fishing.  View the complete prize list here.

Friday, October 13 – 12:40 PM

Tournament contingency bonuses offer anglers a great way to earn additional payouts when they place well in sanctioned events.  This weekend’s tournament is eligible for the Ranger Cup, Nitro Rewards, and Triton Gold programs offered by Bass Pro Shops and the White River Marine Group.  Qualified anglers could earn up to an additional $8,000.  Read more about these programs and sign up at this link.

Friday, October 13 – 12:10 PM

Lake Dardanelle is a great place to be during the fall of the year.  The surrounding area provides beautiful scenery and the fishery presents great angling opportunities!

Leading up to tournament week, local reports were saying that the lake is in great shape.  The water clarity is very good, and bass are spread out biting up and down this Arkansas River impoundment.

Quality bites like this, that Drew Pitts from Top 25 ranked Carson-Newman caught during practice, are what anglers will need to find themselves near the top of the leaderboard.

Soft plastics and moving baits will all be key players this weekend.  With bass spread out feeding up on shad, the field will be able to find success along a variety of the fish catching cover scattered across Lake Dardanelle.

Friday, October 13 – 11:40 AM

The host site for this weekend’s event is Lake Dardanelle and the town of Russellville, AR.  The Association of Collegiate Anglers has been contesting major college events here for close to 10 years.  2023 marks approximately the fifth straight year in which the event has been contested during the fall.

Russellville offers a great host site for a major national tournament.  From the Hughes Center for hosting the meeting to the amazing facilities at Lake Dardanelle State Park, Russellville and the surrounding community is a great place for hundreds of top college anglers to travel to and compete.

The Association of Collegiate Anglers would like to give a special thanks to the Russellville Tourism & Visitors Center, as well as the staff at Lake Dardanelle State Park for their help and support!

Friday, October 13 – 10:50 AM

Snack bags are being made!  Each of the more than 240 boats registered for the event will receive a snack bag presented by AFTCO.  Special thanks to AFTCO for making this possible!  The more than 450 anglers competing in this no-entry-fee event will be treated to some great snacks while out on the water!

Friday, October 13 – 10:30 AM

The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open is the second ACA major event of the season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  Schools will be eligible to earn points for their two highest-finishing teams inside of the Top 150 for the final tournament standings, and first place will received 1,750 points to count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

Read our most recent article breaking down the latest points update.

Entering this event, McKendree University is in first place.  A total of 21 of the Top 25 teams are set to compete at Lake Dardanelle this weekend.  View the complete current rankings at this link.

Friday, October 13 – 9:20 AM

Today’s live blog is presented by Denali.  Denali makes premium fishing rods and reels designed for anglers of all skill levels that will fit any budget!

Fall time fishing is an interesting time of the year to go bass fishing.  While fish might be biting on a variety of different techniques from top to bottom in the water column, those same bass can also be very finicky and demand an exact, precise presentation.

Through its AttaX Series of rods, Denali offers rods that are designed for specific regions.  One of the regions that these rods targets is the Ozarks.  The Ozarks Series boasts a total of eight different rods.  These rods come in different actions to target bass using baits ranging from jerkbaits, to crank baits and topwater, as well as flipping shallow docks and cover.

Along with the extensive lineup of fishing rods, Denali recent introduced a lineup of casting and spinning reels to fit your needs.  The new Novus lineup of casting reels includes the Novus, Novus Pro, and Novus Elite.  These reels are made with premium components are available in multiple gear ratios to match the presentation you’re throwing.

Denali offers college anglers a discount program with 40% off rods and 30% off reels.  Find out more and apply for a discount code here.

Friday, October 13 – 8:55 AM

Fall is a great time of year to travel to this part of the state, as temperatures start to drop and leaves change colors…it turns into a sportsman’s paradise.  Weather patterns in Arkansas during the month of October can vary drastically.  In years past, the ACA has contested this event with bright, sunny skies and temperatures pushing 90 degrees.  However, other times, highs didn’t get out of the 60’s, it was rainy, and fall weather was in full effect.

Entering this weekend’s event, the weather pattern appears to be stable.  Highs are projected to be in the mid-60’s with nightly lows dipping down near the 50 degree mark.  Both tournament days show a minimal chance for rain, with light and variable winds.  Combined with decent cloud cover, these conditions will create chamber of commerce type weather that will make for an awesome time to be in the outdoors!

Friday, October 13 – 8:00 AM

Good Friday morning from Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR!  The Association of Collegiate Anglers is set to host its second event of the season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open will be contested on October 14th – 15th.  Today marks the final day of official practice for this no-entry-fee, nationally televised, double points event.  Live blog coverage for the last day of practice is presented by Denali Rods.

Stay tuned here throughout the day for product features, updates from on-the-water, and more!