Posts

2018 College Fishing: Bethel University’s Cody Huff and Garrett Enders

Featured Image Credit: BASS/Ronnie Moore

The 2018 college fishing season is one ANGLR Experts Cody Huff and Garrett Enders will look back on fondly for years to come, though it nearly wasn’t. Huff and Enders comprise a two-man fishing team that represents Bethel University’s Bass Team. At the end of May, the duo set out on the Red River to compete for the FLW YETI College Fishing National Championship.

catch more bass fishing app banner 1

2018 College Fishing Season: The Red River

“We found a really good area,” said Huff. “We caught what we thought was good for there on the first day and then we laid off of them. We just caught 5 keepers for about 8-pounds and left but when we got to weigh-in, everybody had 10 or 12 pounds.”

After the day one underestimation of what they needed, it was milk it for all it’s worth on day 2 when Huff and Enders returned to their primary spot.

“We put our heads down and grinded it out there the next two days and caught what we caught,” said Enders.

On days 2 and 3, Bethel brought 13-pounds and 14-ounces and 12-pounds, 12-ounces to the scales respectively which was enough to claim second place, but not enough to overcome the day 1 deficit.

“We just came up short,” said Huff. “Freeman and Soileau had a really good last day. They didn’t leave the door open at all but we did what we needed to do for if they did. We had a good tournament but we just didn’t come out on top.”

2018 College Fishing (1)

Lesson learned from day 1, “You better get all you can get everyday,” said Huff.

Runner-up is a bitter-sweet pill to stomach, but the great thing about bass fishing is there’s always another tournament coming down the pipe to look forward to. For Huff and Enders, it wouldn’t be long till they would have a shot at redemption.

“It was super cool watching University of Louisiana Monroe win at the Red River,” said Enders. “I was like, dang it would be really cool to win one of those things and it just fueled us to go and try to win the next one.”

The ‘next one’ was only about 6 weeks away and came in the form of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma.

bass fishing blog cta equation

2018 College Fishing Season: The ‘Next One’

“I really, really wanted to just get it done,” said Huff. “I’m not too far from Tenkiller so I made a trip down there in pre-practice about a month early and the lake was just on fire. I found 7 or 8 docks with big schools of bass on them that I could catch flipping a spoon.”

The pre-practice paid off big for Bethel on days 1 and 2, having Enders and Huff holding down the top spot after days 1 and 2, carrying the lead headed into the final day.

But, would they be able to ride that momentum and slam the door?

“Nothing really went wrong until the last day. But the last day was super tough on us,” said Huff. “We hadn’t lost a fish all week and that’s hard to do fishing docks. You have to be pretty lucky to do that. But day 3 it all hit the fan and we really had to reach deep down and see how much guts we really had. Cause that’s tough after just losing a National Championship to leave the door open like we did.”

The duo had amassed 32-pounds, 4-ounces on days 1 and 2, averaging over 16-pounds a day. On the final day they brought just 3 fish to the scales for 9-pounds, 2-ounces. The door was certainly ajar. Bradley Dunagan and Nick Ratliff of Campbellsville University placed their foot firmly inside the door with a final day rally of 18-pounds, 2-ounces.

2018 College Fishing (2)

But the late push wasn’t quite enough and it was Dunagan and Ratliff this time that tasted defeat while Huff and Enders relished in the victory.

2018 College Fishing Season: Looking Forward to 2019

Enders and Huff both have another year in the college fishing world and are already qualified for the FLW National Championship on the Potomac later this spring, both hoping for a shot at redemption and a chance to hoist that trophy overhead, the one that got away.

2018 College Fishing (3)

But what else lies ahead for the two young anglers from Bethel?

“I fished the Costa Series last year and am fishing them again this year,” said Huff modestly. It was only after some digging that Huff added. “Well in my first ever Costa on Table Rock I was leading after day 1 by 6-pounds. I had 6 different schools found but the wind died on day 2 and the water was clearing up and they just left.”

Still, starting off with that kind of a bang certainly shows that Huff’s fishing career won’t be capped off by a college degree. The part of that first Costa Huff is proudest of, “The best part was, I mean I don’t come from a bunch of money or anything and I don’t run a big fancy boat. I have an ’88, 18-foot Ranger with a 150 on it I fish out of and it felt good to do so well in it.”

Enders said he might pursue competitive fishing after college but that’s not necessarily all he could see himself doing.

“I’d love to try it at least for a year or two but if I didn’t make it, I’d love it just as much to have a job in the fishing industry. I’d love to work for any kind of fishing company, I think that would be awesome.”

Follow along with Enders and Huff’s journey as they see where fishing takes them by following below!

Cody Huff

 

Garrett Enders

College Bass Fishing: Everything You Need to Know… All in One Place

Though the first college bass fishing tournament happened back in 1992 between Purdue University and Indiana University, it’s taken a little while for the sport to catch on. But boy, has it ever! Collegiate anglers have seen a huge boost in activity over the past 10 years, and thankfully that trend seems to only be continuing.

  • Do you have a college-age kid looking through the endless list of schools, trying to decide what the next step in life is?
  • Are you that young person, searching through stacks of guidance office pamphlets and researching colleges your parents are naming off?
  • Do you still have a few more years of high school to go, but just know you need to be on a college bass tournament team and want to know how to prepare?
  • Did you even know that your days on the water don’t have to be over, just because it’s time to get serious about hitting the books?

ANGLR has put together the most comprehensive guide ever on everything you need to know about college fishing, including where you can go and how you can prepare.

College Bass Fishing 101

Leave it to ANGLR, yet again, to compile everything you need for a particular endeavor right in one spot. They’ve created College Fishing 101, a comprehensive guide to college bass fishing. This textbook for current and future college anglers was created by ANGLR Experts who have been through “the program,” so to speak, and know exactly where you need to be, what you need to know, and how you need to do it!

If you’re at all interested in fishing during your college career, ANGLR provides all the information you’ll possibly need in one location. This guide takes you seamlessly through it all. Even if you’re not sure what, exactly, college fishing is all about, they’ll make sure you’ve got all the knowledge you need, regardless of where you are in your college fishing career.

Chapter 1: Introduction to College Bass Fishing

College Bass Fishing (1)

Whether you’re still sitting in high school study hall, dreaming of the days of collegiate independence, or are already enrolled in a school and just found out that tournament fishing was a thing, Chapter one is a great intro to get you started.

This chapter is a great introduction to what college tournaments are all about, detailing the three major tournament series of college fishing. You’ll get an overview of what the tournaments entail, how each is structured, and what you can expect once you’re competing.

That’s just a little taste to get you going in case you were sitting on the fence about joining a collegiate team.

Chapter 2: The List of Bass Fishing Colleges

College Bass Fishing (2)

If you’re just going through the application process and are wondering where you can go to get a quality education and continue to enjoy your days out on the water – maybe even all over the country – this is the chapter for you. ANGLR has put together the most comprehensive list of college bass fishing schools on the internet.

Listed in alphabetical order, you can find links to each school’s website or social media page so that you can easily get in touch to request more information.

Chapter 3: How To Get On a College Bass Fishing Team

ANGLR keeps it simple by outlining the six basic steps you need to complete to enter into the program. Need we say more? Now there’s no excuse for being left in the dark!

Chapter 4: College Bass Fishing Tournament Guidelines

College Bass Fishing (3)

Just like with anything you do, you need to be prepared for what’s to come. Knowing how the game is played and what the rules ensure you’re that much closer to bringing home the trophy. Not knowing these rules doesn’t fly here, so the ANGLR geniuses have made it easy for you, providing you with links to each of the three main tournament series’ rules. Each is similar, but there are variations that you do need to pay attention to.

You’ll even get schooled on the unspoken rules and etiquette so you’ll know how to be a true team player. You’ll get tips on how to be as successful as possible on the water. Preparation makes perfect!

If you’ve already made it on a college team, congrats! They’ve provided links to the upcoming tournament schedules so you know what you have to look forward to this coming season, as well as schedules from the past few years, providing an example of how often you’ll be road-tripping it and what sort of associated costs you can expect. Always make sure you’re not overdoing it. You’ll still need to keep up with your studies!

Chapter 5: Tips For High School Anglers

Last but not least, if you’re still stuck in your hometown, dreaming of the day when you graduate and finally get to move on to bigger and better things, ANGLR sets you up for future success as a collegiate team angler by telling you what you need to do now to prepare.

So what do you have to lose? Get yourself out there and fish!

Fishing College: The Journey of Qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic

I’ll tell you what. Fishing can be a whirlwind of a sport. I’m talking about going from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs in just a few short days. College fishing my freshman year at Bryan College was exactly that.

Up until the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Open on Cherokee Lake, and the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on The Bemidji Chain of Lakes, my partner and I had, well… a horrible season. Little did we know, or even think for that matter, that we would soon be crowned National Champions. I also never imagined getting to fish the Bassmaster College Classic Bracket.

However, we made it and boy oh boy did it change my life forever.

College Fishing Highs and Lows

Leading up to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Open on Cherokee Lake I was miserable. I’d had enough of college fishing and I was ready for a change. My one year of college fishing had been the worst year of tournament fishing in my life. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong, and I mean everything.

Lost fish, bad practices, boat trouble, and even an accidental rules infraction that resulted in us having to withdraw from a tournament. If it could go wrong, it did go wrong. I was ready to move on. I was going to take a few years off of school, get a job, and just fish some BFL tournaments locally. From there, hopefully move on the Bassmaster Opens or FLW Costa Series in a couple of years. I had made up my mind before the Cherokee tournament. I told myself to make the most of the remaining tournaments and then move on with my life.

The Bassmaster College Fishing Regional on Cherokee Lake

Going into the Cherokee tournament, both my partner and I had very high expectations. We expected to do well because Cherokee is one of my partners home lakes. We knew what to expect and there were no surprises. We were hoping that our bad luck might actually be behind us.

The fish very doing exactly what we knew they’d be doing, and we were excited for the tournament. The first day of the event started exactly how the rest of the year had gone. We caught a quick limit and then lost a few key fish that hurt us. We ended the day inside the Top 15 with 12 pounds and some change.

That had us inside the cut for a National Championship. Day 2 was the day our season changed. It was one of those days where everything just went right. I caught big bass of the event, a 4-8 Smallmouth. We also caught two giant largemouth that helped us big time. We ended day two with 15 and some change. The biggest bag of day two. That catapulted us into the top 5, qualified us for the National Championship, and put us into contention to win. However, day 3 didn’t go as planned and we caught a small limit that went 10-4 and we ended up in 9th place.

Fishing college(1)

Not the finished we wanted however, we accomplished our main goal and qualified for the National Championship.

The Bassmaster College Fishing National Championship

Fast forward a few months and it’s now July. I’ve gotten a full-time job in a warehouse working a midnight shift. Let me tell you what, I absolutely hated it. I was seriously regretting leaving school and the fishing team. I had burned that bridge, or so I had thought. I told myself day after day that the I wish I could go back for one more year. I knew the only way that was going to happen was if we won a National Championship and maybe even the Bracket. For the next six weeks I walked around the warehouse telling myself that we were going to win. I had no other choice.

I was ready to make the most of my last opportunity.

We arrive in Bemidji, Minnesota not knowing what to expect. The chain of lakes that we were put on had little to no information about bass. It was known for its walleye and northern pike fishing. We went in with no preconceived notions. The first day of practice rolls around and we had decided to check all the smaller lakes before heading out to the bigger lakes.

We started in a small lake named Lake Irving. In the first 30 minutes of practice we caught three, four-pound caliber fish. We didn’t think a whole lot of it. We figured we were on a really good fishery and that everybody was about to smash them. However, we proceeded to go the remainder of practice without a single bass bite.

By the time the tournament rolled around, and I guess you could say we had super high expectations. We knew we had a really good shot at doing well assuming everybody wasn’t sandbagging like usual. The first day of the tournament was an absolute grind. We had four bites all day long however they were four big ones. Our four weighed 16-6 giving us the lead after day 1.

The second went exactly like we wanted it to. We got our 5 fish limit by 10:30. We knew we had a bigger bag than the day before, so we decided to save our area and check in early. We beached the boat at the ramp and ordered a pizza. We ended up weighing 18-8. The biggest bag of the tournament and we grew our lead to over five pounds.

The final day rolls around and we were super nervous. We figured we were running out of fish and that the pressure was going to make things a lot tougher. We were right. We had 5 keeper bites the final day. That’s all we needed though. We weighed 15-3. Giving us the win by a 5-pound margin.

Fishing college(2)

At that point it was pure excitement and exhilaration. We had accomplished our goal and qualified for the bracket. Little did I know my life was about to change forever. Photo Credits: Ronnie Moore

Fishing the Bassmaster Classic College Bracket

Once we found out the location to the bracket, we headed that way. The bracket was on a small lake called Serpent Lake. Only a little over 1,000 acres. We knew very little about the lake and there was very little information about it… it was eerily similar to how we felt about Bemidji. We only had a 5-hour practice session which was tough. The short time we had was eventful, however. I discovered that the lake had smallmouth, and everybody was overlooking them.

Fishing college(3)

I knew I had a shot.

The first day rolls around I absolutely smashed them. I caught well over 70 fish and weighed 14-1. Giving me the win in my match that day by a wide margin. The second day was much of the same. However, my weight wasn’t quite as much as my first day. I caught 13-6 and beat my opponent by a little over a pound.

The last day was a day I will never forget. Not only was I in the finals, I had to go head to head against my partner and one of my very best friends. That was tough. Even though we wanted each other to do well. We both wanted to win. They final day went my way. You hear about guys all time talking about how things just went their way… well everything went my way on the final day. I caught my two biggest fish of the entire week. I also caught the biggest bag of the event which weighed 16-6.

Fishing college(4)

I had done it. I had qualified for The Bassmaster Classic.

Just a College Kid Fishing the Bassmaster Classic

The emotion I felt after finding out I had won is something I will never forget. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn’t know any other way to react other than crying. All my life all I’ve ever wanted to do is fish the Bassmaster Classic and knowing I had just qualified at 19 years old was probably the greatest feeling in the world.

Fishing in the Classic is something I’m never, ever going to forget. It was a total whirlwind of emotions. Accomplishing a lifelong dream, and getting to fish against all my heroes. Blasting off the first morning was probably the coolest and most emotional experience of my whole life. I’ll be completely honest I cried like a baby riding to my first spot that morning.

Fishing college(5)

I was completely overwhelmed with emotion.

It was something I’m never going to forget. I wish I had performed better in the tournament but I’ll get another chance sooner or later. The classic is a top tier tournament. The fans are what make it so special. It’s never going to make sense to me why I had fans there. I’m just a college kid from a tiny college that got the chance of a lifetime.

Fishing college(6)

I’ll never forget that week.

Now like I was saying in the beginning fishing is an absolute whirlwind of a sport. This year has been just that. The highest of highs and lowest of lows. This year has been one I’m never going to forget. Although I didn’t have the season I wanted, the memories I made will last a lifetime. I’m looking forward to the upcoming season. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

 

Fishing Intelligence Podcast Ep. 10 | College Bass Fishing With Derek Horner

On the tenth episode of the Fishing Intelligence Podcast, I am talking with ANGLR’s Marketing Coordinator, Derek Horner. Derek fished the last four years for the Penn State Bass Fishing Team and is now one of the people I work most closely with as he runs ANGLR’s social accounts and content creation.

We started the podcast off by talking about fishing at the collegiate level. Coming into college, Derek was already fishing competitively and knew that he wanted to be apart of a team for his college career. As a freshman, Derek joined the PSU team immediately and became the Captain of their Bass Fishing team. He also bought himself his first boat to use for competition.

college bass fishing


The Textbook On College Fishing 


Throughout the years, he has done well in many different bass tournaments with most of his success being on Chautauqua Lake. In the podcast, he gives me some of the techniques he uses for being successful on lakes like Chautauqua with the most helpful tip being the idea of labeling docks as one of four categories. By doing this, he can locate big bites on certain types of docks and then use this knowledge to skip over docks that he knows don’t fit the pattern.

college bass fishing (1)

After talking about College Fishing, we move onto talking about ANGLR and how he got started. Derek and I met at the Bassmaster Classic where ANGLR hosted both of us at their booth. After the Classic and graduating college, he came on full time and now is a key component to our expert program. Any articles that you see posted to our page have been vetted by him and he also has the task of creating interesting topics to be written about.

We end the podcast with a quick tip to anglers looking to fish during their college years. Make sure to check Derek out on his instagram page and let him know if you have an interesting topics to write about!

Where To Listen!