The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series has been expanded to three-day tournaments for 2015, instead of two, B.A.S.S. announced as it revealed the 2015 College Series schedule.
“College teams competing in our series are so strong now, they can easily step up to the challenge of a three-day tournament,” said Hank Weldon, director of the college fishing program for B.A.S.S. “It’s exciting to see the level of competition increase every year.”
The Southern Regional ushers in the new season, Jan. 3-5, on Florida’s St. Johns River. When the Bassmaster Elite Series visited this fishery in March 2014, Florida native Chris Lane took the tournament by storm with huge bags each day — including one that weighed 37-9 — and winning with 90 pounds, 13 ounces over four days.
In March, the Central and Eastern Regionals take place. The Central will be March 5-7 on the Red River out of Natchitoches, La., close to where the 2012 Bassmaster Classic was held. With the new three-day College Series format weights are hoped to rival that of the former Classic.
The Eastern isn’t far behind on March 26-28 on North Carolina’s Lake Norman. Here the reigning 2014 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship team from University of North Carolina at Charlotte will have a chance to fish for the title again on their home waters.
The Western Regional, April 30-May 2, will be held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Series event in California. The pros will be competing on the Sacramento River, and the college anglers will fish on nearby Folsom Reservoir. The final day Western Regional weigh-in will take place on the Bassmaster Elite Series stage Saturday, May 2.
The College Series returns to the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., for the final regular-season event of 2015, the Midwest Regional. The last time the College Series visited the Mississippi River in 2012, the University of West Virginia claimed the victory with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top anglers from each regional qualify for the 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, to be held at a date and location to be announced later. For competitors who do not qualify for the championship through their regional, the Wild Card tournament gives them another opportunity. The Wild Card will be June 4-6 on Lake Barkley in Paris, Tenn. It will be held in conjunction with BASSfest, which will be on nearby Kentucky Lake.
“The college series has seen so much growth these last few years, and it has helped make some great anglers even better,” Weldon said. “We’re looking forward to another good year.”