So You Want to Attend College to Fish?
Blog by: Dakota Jones 10/18/2017
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Over the past decade, College fishing teams have popped up all over the country and are now a major part of our sport. Some even offer scholarships and treat their anglers like collegiate athletes. Itís crazy to see how far fishing has come and the impact it has on sportsman of all ages. Now, college fishing teams are giving more young anglers a reason to attend college and earn a degree, or for those that are already doing so, an opportunity to get involved in the outdoors. Itís opportunities like this that are helping grow our sport and provide a promising future for the outdoor industry.
College fishing had a huge impact on me. Through my involvement with my school team and fishing college tournaments I learned a lot. Not just about fishing, but things that would later help me get a job and point me in the right direction for the things I want to accomplish in my career. Joining a college fishing team is something I highly recommend for those attending college that love the outdoors. But there are some things you need to know if joining a college bass fishing team is your goal. I talk to a handful of high school teams every year and share about my college fishing experience. There are three things I always bring up that few young anglers and parents consider.
1.) Go to College to Earn a Degree
So many young anglers get excited about joining a college bass team because they hear the success stories of Matt and Jordan Lee or Andrew Upshaw and how they made the Classic. They go to college with the soul focus of making the Bassmaster Classic when they should be more concerned about earning a degree. There are some very talented young anglers that have the potential to do very well at the collegiate level, but if fishing is your only priority then it may be a better option to fish other tournaments that can help you qualify for bigger events, like the Bassmaster Opens of FLW Costa series. College tuition is very expensive and not worth wasting just to fish tournaments. Your number one priority when attending a school should be to earn a degree. Fishing will come, but learn to balance your education and other activities. With earning a degree as your main priority, college fishing can provide an experience like none-other that may impact your future in a big way.
2.) Get Involved - Take On Leadership Roles
Again, keeping your academic success as your top priority, if you can find extra time to volunteer within a club or team do it! You will take much more away from your college fishing experience by volunteering. It may also provide you some valuable opportunities in the future. Some examples include volunteering to help at team meetings, accept team leadership roles, offering to help team sponsors (if any) or volunteering to help recruit new members. There are countless ways you can get involved within your team/club. All are good and will certainly help you in the future.
3.) Use College Fishing To Help You Build A Future
Youíre paying a lot of money for a quality education, be sure to get the most from it. Focus on your classes, study hard, be involved and volunteer. Fish hard, but be thinking of your end goal and what you can do to achieve it. For example: If you are majoring in business, take every opportunity to talk with team sponsors and their brand representatives; especially if they hold a position in the company that you may one day like to achieve. College fishing gives you a platform to learn about the sport from all angles. Ask questions and learn as much as you can, it only lasts 4 years.
College fishing is a great opportunity for young aspiring anglers and can open many doors to help you achieve your life goals. If you are thinking about joining a college fishing team, consider these three things. First, keep your priorities straight and your education will be worth every penny. Always volunteer if given the chance and are capable, your efforts will pay off down the road. And last, use college fishing to get more out of your education. As a student, you are attending school to grow your knowledge and create opportunities for your future. College fishing gives you the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the fishing industry. Ask questions when you have them, and learn all you can. I hope this information was helpful. Thank you for reading and feel free to comment below and let me know what you think! Until next time, happy catching!