COLLEGE STATION — Two Texas A&M University fishing teams will be among numerous collegiate angling clubs trying to reel in big money and prizes when they participate in the three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Tournament and Festival that begins Thursday (Oct. 13) and is hosted by Texas A&M.
Although Texas A&M and College Station are the host sites, the actual fishing will be done on nearby Lake Somerville. The tournament is coordinated by the National Guard FLW fishing series and offers a first-place prize of $12,500 plus $12,500 for the winner’s university. In addition, a $25,000 Ranger bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury engine will be awarded to the winning team.
Regional winners advance to the national championships that offer a $50,000 first-place prize, $25,000 to the winner’s school and a Ranger bass boat and engine.
Headquarters for the event will be at the corner of Wellborn Road and George Bush Drive on the Texas A&M campus. The tournament begins at 7:30 a.m. Thursday and final weigh-in is set for 5 p.m. Saturday or upon the completion of the Texas A&M-Baylor game, which kicks off at 11a.m. at Kyle Field.
Texas A&M will have two two-man Aggie angler teams composed of teammates Andrew Shafer and Weston Brown, and Kyle Bates and Cody Collins.
Professional fisherman and guide Justin Rackley, a Texas A&M graduate and 2007 Collegiate Bass Fishing National Champion, will also be attending but is not participating. Rackley promotes the educational mission of the university through education outreach.
Some of the other schools expected to participate include LSU, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oral Roberts, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Lamar, University of Texas-Tyler, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Southeastern Oklahoma.
The tournament and festival are open to all collegiate fishing teams. Participants must be full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college and members of a fishing club that is recognized by their university. Festival activities will include free T-shirts, tailgate games, boat simulator rides and other events each day of the tournament.
The event is scheduled to be broadcast on Dec. 18 at noon on the Versus network. FLW Outdoors Magazine has indicated it will cover the event for a future issue.
“Not only are we excited to be hosting The National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Tournament and Festival, but we are very proud to have two Aggie fishing teams representing the university in this competition,” says Shane Hinckley, assistant vice president for business development at Texas A&M. “We wish them luck and know that The 12th Man will come out to support them this weekend.”
Adds Caitlin Chandler, project coordinator for business development, “This is a great family friendly event in Aggieland. People can come out to festival and watch the competitors weigh in, as well as play games and win prizes. Fishing fans will also have the chance to meet former student and pro-angler Justin Rackley. There is plenty of time to check everything out, as the event starts Thursday and continues throughout the weekend.”
FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions of dollars in prizes over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011.
For more information about the tournament, go to: http://collegefishing.com/festival.cfm?tid=6738
For more information about Justin Rackley, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-AM-University-Angler-Justin-Rackley/120236151338982
For more tournament details and information about Lake Somerville, go to http://collegefishing.com/events.cfm?cid=14&tid=6738