SAN ANTONIO, Texas (June 24, 2008) – Officials from Careco Multimedia, The Bass Federation Inc. and VERSUS today announced plans for the new Association of Collegiate Anglers Bass Fishing Series (CBFS) designed to establish the sport as a long-term, sustainable activity. The series, featuring 13 half-hour shows, is produced by Careco Multimedia and will air weekend mornings on VERSUS beginning July 2009.
Recently, The Bass Federation (TBF) formed the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) using its own structure as the foundation, where clubs become associated through membership and obtain benefits. The purpose of ACA is to support every aspect of college bass fishing from developing new clubs to sanctioning events to qualifying championship contenders. The Bass Federation, with nearly 30,000 members among 47 states, is the nation’s oldest and largest organized fishing group.
“While we’re excited to see all the interest in college bass fishing, this program differs by having a student membership organization, the ACA, serving as its presenting sponsor and governing body,” said Wade Middleton, Careco general manager and a person recognized throughout the outdoor industry as being a formidable force behind today’s college bass movement. “Student anglers must have a role in where college fishing goes.”
Middleton added, “Here teams can advance through qualifying regional events to a championship where they compete head-to-head on a level playing field for top bragging rights. There’s nothing like college rivalries, and partnering with VERSUS now gives the teams a stage to showcase their skills on national television.”
Teams can earn their way into the new series’ championship through top finishes in official qualifying events. Some of these will be hosted by CBFS and others by college fishing clubs, but all are sanctioned by ACA. The events are open to active members of school-recognized fishing clubs and who are taking at least 12 credit hours while maintaining a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Event participants are not required to be ACA members, but for a school club to host a sanctioned qualifying event, it must belong to ACA.
It is anticipated that more than 600 college anglers, representing approximately 120 college fishing programs, will compete in the 2009 CBFS qualifiers to vie for the 40 two-person-team spots available in the CBFS Championship. Among the total prizes are $35,000 in scholarships, to be distributed among the top five teams. As a general rule, college fishing events have either no entry fees or ones that are minimal. A team consists of two anglers fishing from the same boat, and they are responsible for full operation of the boat.
“These college anglers are competing because they love to fish and they want to get to the championship to represent their school,” explained TBF president Robert Cartlidge. “Sure, they like to win prizes, but their ultimate goal is to have a shot at the national title, plus some of the scholarships. Winners also get a berth in TBF’s National Championship.”
Officials at BoatU.S., a prominent sponsor of college bass fishing for the past few years, say they see the new series being an evolutionary step for the sport. “We’ve always been excited about this activity and we believe the transition to the new format will again take it up another level,” said BoatU.S.’ Chris Edmonston. “We are very proud to support the growth of college fishing.”
Additional CBFS national sponsors include BoatU.S. Angler, Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Garmin, Costa Del Mar, Pioneer Beef Jerky, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Fenwick, Anglers’ Legacy, Stearns, EGO Nets, Sebile, American Rodsmiths, Aviva Fishin’ Buddy, Gene Larew Lures, Nemire Lures, Sperry Top-Sider, Power Pole, City of Lewisville, Sneaky Pete’s Marina and Versus.
The 2009 schedule of qualifying events follows:
Dec. 19-20 (2008) – Stephen F. Austin University Invitational, Sam Rayburn (TX)
March 7 – NC State/Virginia Tech Invitational, Smith Mountain Lake (NC)
Mar 13-14 – Lone Star Spring Breakout, Belton Lake (TX)
Mar 20-21 – Arkansas Tech Invitational, Lake Dardanelle (AR)
April 17-18 – S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Series Championship, Lake Wilson (AL)
TBA – Midwest Invitational, TBA
TBA – Western Invitational, TBA
June 1- 5 – BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship, Lake Lewisville (TX)
Careco Multimedia is a full-service video production company experienced in field acquisition and editing of top quality outdoor programming. The company produces and markets several outdoor fishing programs, including Fishing and Hunting Texas, Americana Outdoors, Whitetail Diaries, the IFA Redfish Tour and more.
VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD). Now in more than 73 million homes, the network is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, Davis Cup Tennis, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. The network also offers collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12 and Mountain West. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events that audiences can’t find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.