Elite Field Set to Compete at Lake Dardanelle for the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open

SAN ANTONIO, TX (October 11, 2023) – This upcoming weekend, the Association of Collegiate Anglers will host its second event of the season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open will be contested at Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, AR on October 14-15, 2023.  Over 450 of the top collegiate anglers are set to compete in this no-entry-fee, nationally televised, double points event.  The full field will compete for two days in hopes of claiming their share of the over $20,000 in prizes and contingencies on the line, as well as double points to count towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

Official practice begins on Thursday, with the final day of official practice and mandatory tournament meeting happening on Friday.  Saturday and Sunday will be official competition days, with weigh-in and takeoff happening at Lake Dardanelle State Park.  Each tournament morning, takeoff will be streamed live on the ACA Facebook page.  Live weigh-in will be streamed each afternoon on the ACA website.  Official weigh-in will begin at 3:00 PM on Day 1 and 1:00 PM on Day 2.

Lake and weather conditions are setting up for a fantastic tournament weekend.  A mild cold front is projected to push through the region and bring slightly cooler temperatures on Saturday and Sunday.  Fall fishing will be in full effect as air temperatures will work to cool the water and send the bass on the move.  Anglers will be able to fish their strengths across the entire fishery to catch keeper bass to bring to the scales.  Read a complete lake preview at this link.

Leading up to the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open this weekend, ACA Managing Director Kyle Curry spoke with Mat Higby from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR on Episode 189 of the Rapala #WeAreCollegiateBass Podcast.  Mat, and his fishing partner John Foster Case, got the win in this event at Lake Dardanelle last year.  Tune in to this episode as Mat previews the event and talks about current lake conditions. 

The total payout for the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open exceeds $20,000 in prizes and contingencies.  The no-entry-fee AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open will pay out the Top 20 places in the final standings, several exact places, and the Overall Big Bass.  This prestigious prize payout is comprised of product and gift cards from companies including Bass Pro Shops, AFTCO, Garmin, Power-Pole, Bob’s Machine Shop, Rapala, Evolution Outdoor, Turtlebox, Trailer Valet, and Bajío Sunglasses.  View the complete prize list here.

The Top 10 finishing angler pairings at the 2023 AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open automatically qualify to compete in the 2024 Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. These qualified angler pairing entries must compete as the same angler pairing that competed at the 2023 AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open.

The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open will be the second ACA double points event to count towards the 2023-24 Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  First place will receive 1,750 points, and schools will be eligible to earn points for their two highest-finishing teams inside of the Top 150 of the final tournament standings.

21 of the Top 25 teams are registered to compete at Lake Dardanelle this upcoming weekend.  For teams that have two high finishes, there is potential for them to earn well over 3,000 points.  First through fifth are separated by roughly 1,000 points, and sixth through 25th are only 3,000 points apart.  Given that the standings are stacked so tightly now, there will be an opportunity for teams to make major moves in the rankings.

View the complete rankings for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

Live coverage for the event will begin with the Live Blog on the final day of official practice on Friday.  The live blog will also be active during both days of tournament competition.  As mentioned above, live weigh-in will be streamed on the ACA website both afternoons.  Also, follow along with ACA social media channels for additional coverage and content.  Follow this link to keep up with all things regarding the AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open.