Five Anglers Earn Automatic Qualification into 2023 ACA Championship at Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley

SAN ANTONIO, TX (September 20, 2022) – This past weekend, the Association of Collegiate Anglers hosted its first event of the 2022-23 season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  Close to 500 anglers competed for two days at Kentucky Lake in Henry County and Paris, TN for the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley.  Each of the Top 5 finishing anglers in the overall standings earned automatic qualification into the 2023 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC.  In this article, we will take a look at each of the anglers that finished in the Top 5 and punched their ticket to the 2023 ACA Championship.

Parker Brown – Dallas Baptist University

Parker won the 2022 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley with a Kentucky Lake stud of a largemouth bass weighing 7.21 pounds.  Weighed in during Day 1 Session 3 presented by Bass Pro Shops, that seven plus pound fish went on to claim overall top prize in the near 500 angler field.  For the first-place finish, Parker earned over $5,500 in prizes.  Combined with the Day 1 Session 3 payout and the valuable contingencies he cashed in on, Parker went home with over $7,500 in prizes & contingencies.

This will mark the third time in which Parker Brown has qualified to participate in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.  Each of the last two years, he has competed in college fishing’s longest-running National Championship event with his brother Layton.  In 2021 the duo finished in 94th at Lake Murray in South Carolina, and at the 2022 ACA Championship on Pickwick Lake in Florence, AL they finished 77th overall.

Harper Burkeen – McKendree University

Harper Burkeen is one of two anglers from third ranked McKendree University to earn an automatic qualification to compete at Lake Hartwell next May.  Harper finished second overall at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley with a bass weighing 5.43 pounds.

2023 will mark the first time that Harper has competed in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.

As a perennial top team in the country, the additional qualification spots could play a key role in McKendree University’s attempt to win the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  With the new addition to the points system of teams being eligible to earn triple points at the 2023 ACA Championship, the more boats a given school has qualified to compete in the event…the better their odds are to maximize the triple points opportunity.

Levi Mullins – Bethel University

Levi Mullins from Bethel University finished third overall at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley with 5.40 pounds.  Like Harper from McKendree in second place, Levi is also one of two anglers from his school to place in the Top 5 and earn automatic qualification into the 2023 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Levi has competed in the year-end Championship each of the last two years.  In 2021, Levi Mullins and Cody Gregory finished 18th overall at Lake Murray.  This past season at Pickwick Lake in Florence, AL, fishing with fellow teammate Matthew Cummings, Levi finished in 33rd.  At Lake Hartwell in Anderson, SC this upcoming May, Levi will be looking to secure his personal best finish at the ACA Championship.

Ethan Fields – McKendree University

Ethan Fields is the second angler from McKendree University to place in the Top 5 at the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley.  Ethan notched a fourth-place finish with a fish weighing 5.39 pounds.

Ethan is also the second angler in this feature to never have competed in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.  Provided that McKendree remains in the Top 25 for the remainder of the season, they would currently qualify to send six teams to the 2023 ACA Championship at Lake Hartwell.

Gage Sherrod – Bethel University

Rounding out the Top 5 is Gage Sherrod from Bethel University.  Gage finished fifth overall with a fish weighing 5.35 pounds.  This makes for the second angler from Bethel to earn automatic qualification into the 2023 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.

This marks the first time in which Gage has qualified to compete in the year-end Championship.

Bethel University has a long history of success at the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.  The team has won three ACA National Championships and claimed the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia once.  Two additional qualifications will give Bethel additional chances to earn points and show out at Lake Hartwell.

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