The UWG Bass Fishing Club reeled in more national attention after another commanding finish, this time at the 2014 Carhartt Bassmaster College Southern B.A.S.S. Regional. The tournament took place at Florida’s Lake Okeechobee on Jan. 3-4. Just as they did last year, the Wolves managed to qualify for the Carhartt College Series National Championship. Teammates Justin Walton and Brian Redd were the only UWG anglers to qualify after they finished eighteenth in the overall standings.
The team has also qualified for the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship after club president Kenny Johnson combined with Darius Williams to place second in a field of 120 boats in the USA Fall College Series Championship, Logan Martin Lake, Al. The Wolves are setting their sights on another national championship bid in collegiate bass fishing’s third major trail.
“We’ve got a boat already is the Bassmasters national championship and a boat in the Boat U.S. national championship,” said Johnson. “We have a chance to have a boat from the University of West Georgia in all three national championships.”
UWG anglers hope to qualify for the FLW College Fishing National Championship in their next tournament action. Johnson and fellow teammate Bradley Rilling will travel to Lake Seminole to compete in the FLW College Fishing Lake Seminole tournament on Feb. 1. The team has a chance to make history if they qualify for the FLW national championship as they would be the only college bass fishing program in history to qualify for all three national championships.
The Wolves had a dominant showing in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Southern B.A.S.S. Regional. The tournament touted the largest turnout of any college fishing tournament to date with 129 boats representing 42 schools. UWG entered six boats in the competition and despite experiencing motor troubles and braving 25 mile per hour winds, each of the Wolf anglers finished in the top 50 of the final overall standings. They also entered the only all-girls team in the tournament with Rebecca Buterbaugh and Katelynn Willis.
College bass fishing is one of the fastest growing sports and Johnson is leading the Wolves to build a powerhouse in the southern region. “I’m getting calls every day from kids all the way from 13 years old to seniors in high school asking about the fishing team,” said Johnson. “We’ve got so many kids interested in it now.”
The team is working with John Cox, owner of Cox Plumbing in Carrollton, to start teams at Carrollton and Central High Schools.