The 2017 Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open is finally here! This event format in the past has proven to be one of the more popular college bass fishing events of the year. And for the second year in a row, it will be hosted by the Russellville Arkansas Tourism & Visitor’s Center on Lake Dardanelle.
This year’s event promises to be a shootout with mild weather over the past few days that will surely trigger a migration of fish into the shallow waters for the college anglers. The Open also features some of the top ranked teams in college fishing from around the nation, including seven of the Top Ten ranked bass fishing teams according to the most current Cabela’s School of Year presented by Abu Garcia rankings. Ranked in order from 1st to 4th, competing in the Open, are Bryan College, University of North Alabama, Mississippi State, and University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open is the also the second of the four nationally televised Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series events for the 2017 season.
For the second consecutive year, Russellville, Arkansas and Lake Dardanelle will be the back-drop for the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, “We are very proud to host the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open. It is always a wonderful sight to see all of the anglers from so many different schools travel to Russellville to compete at this event, and this year’s field of top ranked teams will be fun to watch on site and in the television series,” stated Christie Graham, Executive Director of Russellville Tourism and Visitors Center.
The Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open is a two-day tournament, which offers a one of kind team format different than any other college series event. This event allows a team the opportunity to work with their partner boat to bring in the best possible 6 fish bag. “We wanted to create an event unlike any other, giving all the anglers and schools competing a different format than they see in other collegiate bass fishing events – that’s what makes this event so special. This style format allows the teams to work with their partner boat to bring the best 6 fish to the scales while also allowing for communication between the top boats during the event to talk strategy,” said ACA Director, Wade Middleton.
As with all of the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series events come the opportunity to earn coveted Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia points. “Our guys are really excited about their position right now, and they realize how important the Open is in keeping that position in the School of the Year race. Any time you are fishing a double points tournament, it can make or break you. I think everyone looks forward to Dardanelle. It’s a great venue and a great lake,” stated Coach Mike Keen, Bryan College. The schools rounding out the Top Ten in Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia standings, and fishing the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, are University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Murray State, and Calhoun Community College – all looking to make a jump in the standings following this event.
The Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open final official practice day will be Friday, March 24th, followed by the two-day event on Saturday, March 25th and Sunday, March 26. We would like to encourage all the friends and families of the anglers and schools competing out to weigh-in at Lake Dardanelle State Park starting at 3pm both days. If you cannot make it to the weigh-in we will have our Live Stream powered by Garmin and RAM, and you can also follow along with updates throughout the weekend through our Live Blog brought to you by Cabela’s and Ranger Boats.
Thank you for the continuous support from our partners allowing us to host such great collegiate bass fishing tournaments – a huge thank you to: Cabela’s, BoatUS, Ranger Boats, Yamaha Marine, Garmin, Costa, RAM, Berkley, Sebile, Gemini Jerseys, Big Bite Baits, Gill, Power-Pole, BUFF USA, SPRO, Arctic Ice, Bob’s Machine, Sunline, ProRule, Stratos, Abu Garcia, Denali Rods, Abu Garcia, Bubba Blade, Russell Marine Products, Eagle Claw TroKar, Temple Fork Outfitters, Sawyer, Sure Life, Engel Coolers, Valley Displays and Russellville Arkansas.