Tuesday, May 21st – 8:45 PM

Day 3 of Official Practice is in the books, and the anticipation will continue to build as we near the start of the 2024 Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.  Tomorrow will be the final day of Official Practice, and the Association of Collegiate Anglers will host its annual Angler & Sponsor Banquet.

This will be the final blog post for today.  Read the complete event preview article here.

Tuesday, May 21st – 8:20 PM

Earlier this year, Gamakatsu introduced its new Nano Alpha finish.  Representing a paradigm shift in hook performance, these hooks are a testament to Gamakatsu’s commitment to excellence. The Nano Alpha Hooks oer anglers a plethora of advantages, including slicker performance and enhanced corrosion resistance.

Key Features of the New Nano Alpha Hook Technology:

  • 2X Better Hook Penetration: The Nano Alpha Hooks boast an exceptionally smooth surface which increases penetration by two times over standard plated hooks. That allows these hooks to penetrate quicker and farther than standard finishes, delivering higher landing ratios for fish of all species.
  • 4X Better Corrosion Resistance: The Nano Alpha coating technology provides superior corrosion resistance over standard hook plating. This coating not only prolongs the life of the hooks but also ensures they maintain their peak performance in both freshwater and saltwater environments. It prevents rust and corrosion four times better from developing on hooks particularly on the points which quickly dulls hooks.

Follow this link to learn more.

Tuesday, May 21st – 7:55 PM

Last year, Yamaha Power Pay exceeded $1,000,000 in total payouts awarded to registered anglers.  The top-level tournament contingency bonus is eligible to be paid out every ACA event in 2024.  At this week’s National Championship, Yamaha Power Pay will pay out $2,000 to the 1st highest finishing qualified team and $1,000 to the 2nd highest finishing qualified team. 

To sign up and find out more information, visit this link or stop by the Yamaha Power Pay table during the Angler & Sponsor Banquet.

Tuesday, May 21st – 7:15 PM

From the posts and updates we’ve seen from anglers, there are a good number of quality bites to be had out on Pickwick Lake right now.  Over the last few days of Official Practice, we’ve seen several posts from anglers showing them with good fish.

Pictured here is Trenton Underwood from Notheastern State University in Oklahoma with a bass he has caught during practice.

Tuesday, May 21st – 6:15 PM

Fish care is an extremely important item for all anglers, as we work to conserve this resource and provide healthy fisheries for future generations.  One of those items that assists greatly in keeping fish alive to return them back to the lake in premier condition is G-Juice from T-H Marine.

G-Juice – formerly known as U2 Pro Formula – was developed from over 15 years of research spent in the bait fish, fish transporting, and sportfishing industries. G-Juice is not only a convenient liquid, but also a single phase, full-function water conditioner for use in freshwater and saltwater. G-Juice should be used when conditioning water entering the livewell and in fish transport situations.


  • Only liquid livewell treatment on the market
  • Simple to dose livewell correctly
  • Liquid vs. Granular: G-Juice activates instantly!
  • Product does not get hard in bottle.
  • Concentrated formula more economical
  • Adds essential electrolytes – “Gatorade for fish”
  • Removes chlorine, chloramines, and ammonia
  • Detoxifies nitrites and heavy metals
  • Aids in maintaining pH
  • Relieves stress
  • Promotes healing i.e. “Torn Scales, Hook Punctures”
  • Replaces lost or damaged slime coat

Anglers attending the Angler & Sponsor Banquet on Wednesday night will receive G-Juice to use during the tournament.

Tuesday, May 21st – 5:10 PM

With the growing use of LiveScope and forward facing sonar, bait companies are evolving to provide anglers with lures that will fit the trends of today’s marketplace.  Built on a tradition of innovation, Berkley is leading that charge, with three all-new baits that allow anglers to best interact with fish on forward-facing sonar and in ways never seen. Introducing the all-new Berkley Krej, Finisher, and Power Switch.

“Berkley is the leader in science-based bait development, and we take pride in providing anglers with the best solution to help them catch fish in any environment,” said Berkley’s Chief Brand and Product Officer Jon Schlosser. “We’ve known that forward-facing sonar was coming and have spent the past few years learning about the trend in anticipation of it catching on. Its impact on how anglers are approaching fisheries is advancing each day, and we at Berkley have made a conscious effort to take on the responsibility of providing those anglers with the best baits possible to interact with fish on forward-facing sonar. By taking our science-based approach to bait development and applying it to FFS the team at Berkley Labs has been able to create some truly special baits that are proven to catch more fish with FFS. It’s exciting to see how revolutionary these baits are, not only in their design, but in how they enable anglers to manipulate their baits in ways that have never been done before.”

Find out more info here.

Tuesday, May 21st – 4:20 PM

Another tournament contingency available to anglers this week is NITRO Rewards. 

It’s every angler’s dream to cash-in while doing what they love, and the NITRO Rewards® program makes it real. Eligible NITRO owners can win big bonus cash and Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s gift cards! 

Participation in this industry-leading program makes you eligible to receive up to $10,000 in extra cash when you compete in eligible tournaments and win from your NITRO boat! Choose from local, regional, and national tournaments. Remember: before you are eligible to claim prizes, you must be a registered NITRO Rewards member prior to entering a tournament.

Visit the NITRO Rewards Website for complete details and registration. Registration must be completed and submitted prior to participation in a qualifying event in order to be eligible for prizes. Program term begins January 1 of current year and ends December 31 of current year.

Each ACA event is eligible for NITRO Rewards, with the highest possible payout at those tournaments being $8,000.

Tuesday, May 21st – 3:25 PM

Each year, entering this event, it is fun to estimate the winning weight for the tournament.  In talking with the anglers from Top 25 ranked Blue Mountain Christian University on the Rapala #WeAreCollegiateBass Podcast, each of the three anglers provided their estimations.  All three believed that the winning weight will be between 42 and 46 pounds.

This follows the pattern we’ve seen here in years past.  The winning team usually averages approximately 22 pounds per day.  Look for more of the same this year as conditions are setting up just right for anglers to catch quality fish out on the ledges.

Tuesday, May 21st – 2:15 PM

Prior to the start of tournament competition, each of the 200 teams competing in the Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops will receive a free snack bag.  These snack bags are brought to you by Bass Pro Shops.  Special thanks to Bass Pro Shops for their support in providing the anglers with this awesome perk!  Snack bags are an angler favorite at each and every ACA tournament.

Tuesday, May 21st – 12:55 PM

AFTCO is a proud supporter of college fishing, and anglers from across the country.  As part of this support, AFTCO promotes conservation to preserve resources for future college anglers to be able to enjoy spending time in the outdoors.

At each ACA event, anglers are able to participate in the AFTCO Bank Bag Program.  Anglers are encouraged to fill a yellow Bank Bag with trash from around the lake and return it to an ACA staff member to receive a $25 AFTCO gift card.  Anglers will be able to pick up a Bank Bag throughout the week, including at the Angler & Sponsor Banquet on Wednesday night.  While supplies last, turn in the full Bank Bag to receive the gift card.

Tuesday, May 21st – 12:00 PM

The presenting sponsor of today’s live blog is Garmin.  Garmin offers great tools like the Force Trolling Motor and LiveScope that help anglers to be efficient and get more bites.

LiveScope is a tool that many of the anglers will be putting to use out on Pickwick and Wilson Lakes this weekend.  Garmin LiveScope allows anglers to get a real-time picture of what’s going on under the water.  This allows them to know if a fish is on a given spot before making a cast, see a fish react to and even bite their lure, as well as get a better idea for how the fish are setting up.

Pickwick Lake is known as one of the best ledge fishing destinations in the world.  Because of this, these fish have seen many baits and are very smart when it comes to being tricked into biting.  A tool like LiveScope, allows anglers to put less pressure on these fish.  During practice, the anglers can see the fish without having to make a cast.  On tournament days, LiveScope will help them to position their boat so as to not get right on top of the fish and stress them out.

Tuesday, May 21st – 11:40 AM

Today is a textbook May day on the Tennessee River.  There are light winds and minimal clouds, with high temperatures expected to near 90 degrees.  This sets up for ideal early summer ledge fishing conditions on Pickwick Lake.

For the fish that are in-between, or not quite yet out to their deep water haunts, the bright sun and warming temperatures over the next few days could help to push more fish out deep.

Tuesday, May 21st – 11:00 AM

The playing field for this week’s event are Wilson and Pickwick Lakes.  These two fisheries are located along the Tennessee River.  Denali Rods teamed-up with some of the best local sticks on the Tennessee River lakes with one goal in mind, develop the perfect set of rods to get it done on any TVA lake, any time of the year.

Here is a look at some of the rods available in the Tennessee River Rod Collection:

AC723F– Jack Hammer, Swim Jig, Topwater – 7’2”  Med-Hvy:Chatterbaits, Jack Hammers and swim jigs are winning techniques around the grass of lakes across the Tennessee River and this rod is the perfect compliment to those techniques.  Whether you are using braid or fluorocarbon this rod has the perfect “load” to allow effective casting and superior hooking.  It also is great with walking topwater baits like Spooks, Shower Blows and Sexy Dawgs.  It is great for casting small Whopper Ploppers and Pop-R style baits as well.   

AC744F- Frogs, Swimbait, Football Jig – 7’4”  Hvy:This rod is the perfect choice for frog fishing.  It handles braid up to 65lb with ease and features the right amount of back bone to quickly snatch fish out of the grass with a tip soft enough to effectively cast and work a frog around grass, buck brush or open water.  If you need to throw big swimbaits like line thrus, Bull Shads or on a big jighead this rod has the power to handle any of those.  Football jigs are a year round player on Tennessee River reservoirs and this rod matches up with any size football jig from 1/2oz to 1 oz.

AC744MTM– Multipurpose – 7’4”  Hvy:The perfect all around rod for Tennessee River reservoirs from Scroungers, rattle baits, Keitechs or jigs this rod does it all.  Being a successful angler in this part of the country requires versatility and this rod will keep you flexible to tackle a number of techniques.  

AC7104GC- Deep Cranking – 7’10” Hvy:Crank. Crank. Crank. 6XD, 8XD, 10XD.  To win consistently on these reservoirs you have to be able to crank ledges, drops, rocks, shell beds, stumps and grass. This glass rod can handle any big crank allowing you to make long casts with its length and forgiving glass construction to keep them hooked.

AS703M- Multipurpose Spinning – 7’ Med-Hvy:Dropshot, shaky heads and Ned rigs are needed for those times when the bite gets tough.This spinning rod can handle any of your finesse needs.

AC765F- Swimbait, Hvy Jigs, Flippin, Spoons – 7’6”  Xtra-Hvy:A-rigs, Glide Baits, Magnum spoons are all on the docket with the most powerful rod in this Series.  As the season progresses and the grass grows thick this rod also can handle any mat flipping with the big tungsten.  Big line and big baits, whatever you need to tie on this rod will handle it.  

Tuesday, May 21st – 9:25 AM

The Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops is the final ACA event to count towards the 2023-24 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  This week’s tournament is worth triple points.  It is possible for teams to earn upwards of 6-7,000 points at Pickwick Lake this week.

The ACA will be updating the points standings before the start of tournament competition on Thursday morning.  Be on the lookout for the latest rankings to be released very soon!

24 of the Top 25 teams are set to compete here in Florence, AL.

Tuesday, May 21st – 8:10 AM

Welcome in to live blog coverage for the third day of official practice at Wilson and Pickwick Lakes!  In just two days, this elite field of 400 anglers will begin tournament competition for the 19th annual Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Today’s live blog coverage is presented by Garmin.  Over the course of the next 12 hours, we will provide insight into official practice and cover other various items pertaining to Championship Week!