SAN ANTONIO, TX (JANUARY 8, 2024) – As the calendar recently flipped over to 2024, the Association of Collegiate Anglers has reached the halfway point of the season in the chase for 2023-24 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. College fishing’s only all-encompassing National Rankings system is a 12-month race in which teams compete in dozens of events nationwide. From north to south, east to west, including national, regional, and local events…thousands of anglers from hundreds of colleges and universities compete for valuable points in the race for Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia. Each club/team enters the season with different hopes ranging from finishing the year in the coveted Top 25 all the way up to taking home the title as the number one ranked team in collegiate fishing.
Over the next three days, the ACA will be releasing a series of articles highlighting the teams ranked in the Top 25 for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia at the mid-way point in the season. These standings include results from all points qualifying events contested prior to the first of the year. Following the conclusion of this article series, the ACA will release the next points update promptly, to include the two MLF events being contested in Florida.
Here is a look at the teams currently ranked 16th – 25th:
16) Wabash Valley College – Pre-Season Rank: 18
17) Catawba Valley Community College – Pre-Season Rank: 22
18) Dallas Baptist University – Pre-Season Rank: 16
19) University of Tennessee – Pre-Season Rank: 19
20) Southwestern Michigan College – Pre-Season Rank: 46
21) University of Alabama – Pre-Season Rank: 25
22) Missouri State University – Pre-Season Rank: 26
23) Troy University – Pre-Season Rank: 76
24) Georgia College – Pre-Season Rank: 29
25) Northeastern State University – Pre-Season Rank: N/A
The chase for 2023-24 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia is currently one of the most tightly contested races in program history. This segment of teams featured in this highlight, ranked 16th-25th, are separated by just over 3,000 points. One solid double points event could help a team to jump close to 10 places in the National Rankings. As we unveil the other Top 15 teams in the coming days, you will find that the points margins separating those teams are even slimmer as we get closer to the top of the standings.
The team that leads the way in this rankings reveal is Wabash Valley College. WVC has earned a season total of 8,610 points and is ranked 16th. After being selected 18th in the ACA’s Annual Pre-Season Poll entering the year, at the halfway mark in the current season they are less than 2,000 points outside of cracking the Top 10.
Five of the 10 teams featured in this article were ranked in the Top 25 entering this season, per the Pre-Season Poll. The University of Tennessee was picked 19th to start the year, and currently finds themselves ranked 19th. Northeastern State University received no votes in the ACA Pre-Season Poll, and the team from Oklahoma is presently ranked 25th amongst the best college bass fishing teams in the country.
This group also features a past Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia title winner, the University of Alabama (2016).
As a whole, this group of 10 features some very quality bass fishing clubs and teams. Some of these schools are no strangers to being ranked in the Top 25, while others are shooting for program best finishes come season’s end. With the remaining points qualifying events being spread all across the country, each of these teams will have plenty of opportunities, on familiar and possibly new bodies of water, to earn valuable points and help their team finish the season ranked as high as possible in the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.