Hundreds of college fishing’s top anglers will be in Russellville, AR at Lake Dardanelle to compete in the first Association of Collegiate Anglers event of the season
San Antonio, TX (OCTOBER 3, 2021) – The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open will be the first major televised Association of Collegiate Anglers event for the 2021-22 season. Set to take place at Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR on October 9-10, 2021, this nationally televised event will feature an elite field of over 400 college anglers competing for more than $20,000 in prizes and contingencies, double points towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, and automatic qualification into the 2022 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. The two-day, traditional five-bass limit collegiate bass fishing tournament is a high-stakes event that will greatly impact the national rankings in the School of the Year race.
When: October 9-10, 2021
Where: Lake Dardanelle-Russellville, AR
Watch: Outdoor Action TV
**Live weigh-in will be streamed each day on Outdoor Action TV
What’s at stake?
Anglers will be competing in this no-entry-fee event for a shot at winning their share of over $20,000 in prizes and contingencies. 1st place overall will earn a spot in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, go home with $1,000 in Bass Pro Shops gift cards, $50 in AFTCO gift cards, and win a mix of products to include two HydroWave H2 units, and a Rapala & 13 Fishing prize package.
Along with the valuable prizes up for grabs, numerous tournament contingencies will be available as well. This includes Yamaha Power Pay, ACA logo contingency, Garmin Tournament Rewards, and other prestigious programs. To view a complete list of discounts and contingencies, visit this link.
In addition to the winning team locking up a spot in the 2022 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, the 2nd to 5th place finishing teams at the 2021 AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open will also earn automatic qualification into the ACA Championship at Pickwick Lake.
Schools will also be eligible to earn double points towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. 1,250 points will be awarded to 1st place, with point increments decreasing by 10 all of the way down to 125th place. The highest two finishing teams in the Top 125 of the tournament standings for each school will earn points towards the School of the Year race.
Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia
Being that this is the first ACA event of the 2021-22 season, it is also the first double points opportunity for teams looking to surge up the rankings in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.
7 of the top 10 teams in the current rankings will be competing at Lake Dardanelle this weekend.
Adrian College currently holds a commanding lead after the first four months of this year-long race. The team from Michigan has 5,620 points on the season. Auburn University trails in second with 3,670 points, and two-time School of the Year winner McKendree University sits in third with 3,400 points.
The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open is a key event in the annual chase for Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. This is an opportunity for teams to supplant themselves as a contender, or possibly prove to just be a pretender. In years past, Adrian College enters the AFTCO Open with a commanding lead in the School of the Year race but fails to put together a dominant performance at Lake Dardanelle, opening the door for other teams to enter the race.
Last season is a key example of how important this tournament is. The University of Montevallo had yet to be ranked number one in the nation entering the 2020 event. Following the conclusion of the tournament, Montevallo took command of the number one ranking in November and marched its way to the school’s first-ever title in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.
The next standings update in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia will be released tomorrow.
Lake Dardanelle is a 34,000-acre impoundment located along the Arkansas River, just outside of Russellville, AR. The lake features 315 miles of shoreline lined with rock, timber, vegetation, and other great fish-holding habitat.
October presents some of the most ideal fishing conditions of the year out on Lake Dardanelle. The abundant baitfish population is starting to push back into the many creeks and bays throughout the fishery, setting up the bass to be in full feeding mode all throughout the day.
Anglers will be able to fish their strengths in pursuit of catching a limit of Lake Dardanelle bass. Whether it be rocks, wood, lily pads, or other varieties of cover, anglers can cast a variety of baits through all layers of the water column in search of bites.
Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topwater lures, and soft plastics will all be in play on this Arkansas River fishery. Each year, similar techniques and patterns produce for college fishing’s elite anglers. Anglers who can find a feeding group of fish in a less pressured area of the lake will be set up for success at the first ACA event of the 2021-22 season.