Southeast Bass Anglers Advance to National Championship
Two teams from the Southeast Missouri State University Bass Anglers team went to the Lake of the Ozarks to compete in the the Bassmaster Collegiate Series Midwest Regional from March 29 to 31.
Out of 138 teams, Jake Harris and Tyler Smith placed third with a total weight of 55-pounds-3-ounces and Sean Solomon and Nick Moore place twelfth with a total weight of 46-pounds-12-ounces which qualified them to compete in the National Championship.
“After two days, the teams are cut down to the top 20 boats, 19 of which qualify for the national championship. Both of our teams were fortunate enough to make the cut the final day,” Harris said.
“Image going into the final day and knowing that only one of you will not qualify.” Smith said.
Each teams are given a limit of the top five fish. Fifteen inches for a small-mouth bass and large-mouth bass and 12 inches for a spotted bass. The fish have to make the size limit to determine who wins.
If a team bringing in a fish that does not make the required size limit, they are penalized a fish. After the completion of each day the fish are thrown back in the water. If a dead fish is turned in the team is penalized by four ounces. The regulations differ per tournament.
According to each member, it took hard work and dedication to get there.
The two teams spent five days practicing daylight to dark, looking over the area and doing research, finding out information.
“We were working just as hard as if we were in class. We had to pay attention to the water temperatures, to the tournament results, upcoming weather, past weather, water clarity and more,” Moore said.
“We fish against some of the best college anglers, so if you don't do your homework and don't get prepared you will get you but kicked.” Moore said.
Members of the organization said preparing for the tournaments is one of the most important things. The team uses collegiate tournaments to help prepare them for professional tournaments.
The National Championship is set to take Place sometime on August, once the location is released the member are going to spend at least week over the summer studying the area.
“It takes a lot of time, you got to be prepared because it is a sport.” Harris said.