ACA Announces Changes to 2018-2019 Cabela’s School of the Year Program

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (6/6/2018) – Last month, Bethel University was crowned the 2017-2018 Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, joining Bryan College, University of North Alabama, and a long list of other teams in the exclusive club of Cabela’s School of the Year winners.   

2017 – 2018: Bethel University

2016 – 2017: Bryan College

2015 – 2016: University of Alabama

2014 – 2015: University of North Alabama

2013 – 2014: University of North Alabama

Immediately following the conclusion of the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Cabela’s on May 25th, the 2018-2019 tournament season began.  With a new season now underway, the ACA is introducing several new rule changes for the upcoming year to help crown a champion in one of the most challenging races in college fishing.

“We’re excited to see this program grow, not only to recognize the top college bass fishing team in the nation for the past 12 months, but also to help identify and recognize the teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation based upon their on the water performance. I’ve said it for years, this isn’t a popularity contest. It’s not about one trail or event, it’s about a season long grind, fishing bodies of water all over the nation at various levels. The teams that win and end up ranked in the top 25 should be proud of their finishes,” says Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers.

The 2018-2019 major event locations for the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, run by the Association of Collegiate Anglers, has been set and these nationally televised major events will provide a wide range of points earning opportunities.    *Dates and locations subject to change.

– AFTCO Collegiate Bass Fishing Open – Lake Dardanelle

-Texas Lunker Challenge presented by Mossy Oak Elements – Sam Rayburn

-Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley – Kentucky Lake

-BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Cabela’s – Pickwick Lake

ACA major events will award 500 points to the winning school.  Points will decrease incrementally by five points for each team, all the way to the last team earning points for their place in the standings.  A team must weigh in fish in order to receive points.  For schools with more than two teams participating, the two highest finishing teams in the final standings will earn points towards the SOY race.   Schools may enter as many teams in Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series events as desired.

All F.L.W. and B.A.S.S. college events will count towards the Cabela’s School of the Year point totals.  For the 2018-2019 season, first place in all major F.L.W. and B.A.S.S. tournaments will be worth 400 points regardless of field size.  Point distribution will decrease in 10 point increments all the way down to the last place team earning points for their places in the standings if they weigh fish and are noted in the standings.  Only the highest finishing team from every school will earn points at any of these events.    

Outside of major national events, B.A.S.S also runs numerous state qualifying events.  Schools will be able to earn points in the state qualifier for the state that their school is located in.  First place will earn 75 points at each event and the standings will decrease in five point increments.  Results for B.A.S.S. state qualifying events must be provided to the ACA by emailing Amanda at  Any school participating in a B.A.S.S. state-run event may provide these results to the ACA.  If results are not provided to the ACA, they will not be included in the school of the year program.  Only one team from each school will earn points at these events.

Another way of earning points towards the race for Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is through school-run sanctioned events.  Universities and colleges will be allowed to host up to three sanctioned events for this upcoming season upon approval from ACA staff.  The host school will earn points as part of a hosting bonus based upon the following criteria:

-School-Run Events with 50 or more boats earn a 100-point bonus

-School-Run Events with 40-49 boats earn a 75-point bonus

-School-Run Events with 30-39 boats earn a 50-point bonus

-School-Run Events with 20-29 boats earn a 40-point bonus

-School-Run Events with 10-19 boats earn a 30-point bonus

The winning team of a school-run event is eligible to receive 100 points towards the Cabela’s School of the Year.  Points will decrease in five point increments until the last boat in the standings that weighed in a fish receives five points.  Schools interested in hosting a sanctioned event must contact Amanda at directly.

“We feel these school run events are such an integral part of college fishing as many clubs use these as fundraisers to help travel to the national level events and we want to both reward and incentivize schools and groups to support these events,” says Wade Middleton, Director of the Association of Collegiate Anglers.

In addition to the above points earning opportunities, the ACA is looking at several other ways to add points to the school of year program, and college anglers should expect to learn more about those soon.  Prizes for top finishing teams in the 2018-2019 season will also be announced shortly .

For a complete look at the rules for the 2018-2019 Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, click here.

1 reply
  1. Garry Mason
    Garry Mason says:

    Winning the School of the Year award is one of the most prestigious awards available t a college fishing team. For Bethel University it is the one of the greatest awards that we have achieved. We thank you guys for this huge opportunity and we look forward to the challenges of competing for the coveted school of the year award once again in the 2018-19. Season.

    Good Fishing
    Garry Mason
    Head Bass Fishing Coach
    Bethel University


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