The Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series’ 10th Anniversary: Then & Now

The Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series’ 10th Anniversary: Then & Now 

By Cody Levy

This week we're taking a look back on the ten years of the Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series through the eyes of Bassmaster Elite Series and Yamaha Pro, Kelly Jordon. Jordon has been involved with the series since the very first championship in 2006 and has some great insight of what the sport of college fishing is all about!

From left to right: Wade Middleton, Jeff Kriet, Kelly Jordon.
2006 Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship


What is your connection to college fishing?

Well I went to college and wish I could have fished in college. I was first affiliated with the series through good friend, Wade Middleton. I am very retroactively jealous of the series that he has created for college students. Huge kudos and thanks to Wade for letting me be a part of it.

What is your favorite thing about college fishing?

Since it’s been going on, there are a million things I could say. The coolest thing is seeing the love these guys and girls have for this sport. It’s a whole group of people that share the passion. It’s cool to live vicariously through them with the networking they get. The other thing that’s been neat is seeing those kids grow up to now fish against me in the professional level. It’s neat for me to have contact with these guys over the years.

Do you believe college fishing has been good to the fishing industry?

Absolutely. We’re always trying to introduce the industry to people, but now it gets a lot more exposure to the sport, and a great avenue to introduce people because of the competition.

What trends have you seen since the beginning?

Well college kids are quite tech savvy nowadays. I’d like to think I am as well, but one of the explosions in the sport are all the personal fishing videos. The collegiate guys seemed to definitely blow that portion up.

What is the future of college fishing/where do you see it in ten years?

I’d love to see it on a Saturday on TV. I would really like to see the popularity of the sport grow to the size of other sports like football or baseball.

Would college fishing have strengthened your career?

Yes, college fishing has helped mold the sport of bass fishing and will mold the sport to help it get better in the future. One of the coolest things college fishing has done is add high school fishing to the mix and that’s a direct result of college fishing. When you know how good the sport is for families and people, it just helps the future of the sport. There are a million things you can add together to show how it hasn’t just been good for me but for everyone a part of it.

What makes college fishing different than any other organized sport?

Precision. Fishing is an art form and takes instinct. To be successful you have to have confidence, focus, and drive. If anything, bass fishing is one of most exciting sports to be a part of. You can experience the highest of high and lowest of lows. When you think about it, the size of the playing field is the biggest among all sports.

Do you think that college fishing will help prepare college students for the “real world?” How so?

Competing in sports teaches us great life lessons- learning how to give it your all, never quit, teamwork and so on. It truly helps you become more rounded as a person. Competition teaches us how to win and lose gracefully and it teaches great life lessons.

Do you see the growth of the sport slowing down in the near future?

No, I think it’s expanding every year to be honest. The sport has seen explosive growth, and I hope it keeps on going. It's definitely become more of a mainstream sport and I think that is great for the industry.


The 10th Anniversary of the Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship will take place on May 18-22 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Alabama and will include a week of sponsor events such as the Yamaha Angler Appreciation night, Costa night, and the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Banquet, where all sponsors will be in attendance!

Stay tuned for next week’s Collegiate Bass Fishing’s 10th Anniversary: Then and Now with Oklahoma University Graduate, Chip Porche! 

About the Association of College Anglers

The Association of Collegiate Anglers, a division of Careco TV, is a sanctioning body developed to facilitate growth, development, and structure within competitive collegiate bass fishing.  The ACA provides support to dozens of school operated regional events nationwide and owns the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, the largest participatory collegiate tournament circuit in the country.  With dedicated collegiate fishing programming on several television networks, four nationally televised collegiate bass fishing events, and thousands of members, the ACA is the leader in competitive collegiate bass fishing.  For more information on the ACA, or the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, visit For more information on CarecoTV, visit 

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