U.S. college teams compete in Major League Fishing tournament at Lake Sam Rayburn

The teams raced to catch the five largest fish by the end of the day.
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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DEEP EAST TEXAS, (KTRE) - The waters at Sam Rayburn Reservoir saw over 190 college fishing teams all competing for 1st place and a prize of $2,000.

Kevin Hunt with Major League Fishing said this tournament is a big deal.

“This is a great opportunity for our college anglers, they’re from all across the nation really they come from far north, far south as Florida, we have teams all the way up to Nebraska, Iowa, even Wisconsin teams, so this is a great opportunity to compete at the collegiate level,” said Hunt.

Hunt said Major League Fishing (MLF) hopes that hosting collegiate tournaments will help the sport grow.

“We love college fishing it’s been a great program and for us, it’s just continuing to keep those young guys involved. Major League Fishing is the world’s largest tournament organization we run over 245 tournaments a year and this is just a small portion of that,” said Hunt.

Each college is challenged to catch five of the largest fish in the reservoir, the college with the heaviest total catch wins. McKendree University Head Bass Fishing Coach Jon Rinderer said the Texas waters call for a different approach.

“Preparing for this tournament’s a lot different than preparing for a tournament at home, so as a coach we just really work hard at stressing where these fish should be located, how to catch them, and we hope to be successful, we go out there and do our best to find five big fish and win this thing,” said Rinderer.

When the teams weighed in at the end of the day, LSU Shreveport came out on top.

LSU Shreveport and the top 21 teams with the heaviest catch will all advance to the Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship in January 2024.