Earlier this year, Garmin announced its sponsorship of 10 collegiate anglers/teams for the 2017 college fishing season. The group was selected from dozens of applications from anglers across the nation looking for a chance to be a part of the first-ever Garmin college fishing team. Now, seven of these anglers will be competing for the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship presented by Cabela’s.
Each of the anglers were equipped with detailed lake maps and best-in-class Garmin marine electronics to use on their boats during the season. We caught up with a few of the anglers before the Championship to recap their season and find out what winning would mean to them.
Chandler Robertson – University of Missouri
Winning the national championship has always been one of our top priorities because it would confirm that we are able to compete and win at the highest level of collegiate bass fishing. The momentum would be great going into our upcoming tournaments, and the recognition for our school is much needed!
Our electronics have been priceless for us, as we are able to navigate and track routes very effectively. Garmin LakeVü HD Ultra mapping is far above the rest of the competition and we have benefited a ton from that. The sonar and ClearVü technology gives us the ability to locate schools of fish and structure easily, giving us an edge over our competition.
The Garmin sponsorship has provided a way for me to afford having advanced sonar capabilities. Not only has it given me an advantage on the water, but the Garmin team has been awesome in showing me what the professional fishing experience is about. Our season has been successful to this point and with the help of Garmin, we hope to continue with positive momentum!
Samuel Haines – Kansas State University
Winning the Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship would mean a great deal to me and it would potentially help me get my fishing career jump started in a huge way. My Garmin units have been a huge help to me this year so far. For instance, while at Lake of the Ozarks my Panotpix transducer allowed me to see where brush piles were, in and around docks, as well as see individual fish that were in those brush piles. Here at Pickwick, I have been using the ClearVü, SideVü and LakeVü mapping features to help me break down this fishery.
Being sponsored by Garmin this season has allowed me to use top-of-the-line technology that has helped me find and pattern fish faster on lakes. Since I am able to pattern fish faster, I can cover more of the lake in order to find more productive areas.
Daniel Holt – Tennessee Tech University
Winning the National Championship would be an amazing task and would be a great accomplishment. It would push me to continue to pursue my passion of tournament fishing. My Garmin electronics have given me advantages over other electronics due to their detailed sonar, ClearVü, and SideVü. Garmin LakeVü HD Ultra mapping helps keep me safe on the water, as well as assist me in breaking down the lake in just a few days.
Even though I have only been partnered with Garmin for a few months, it has already changed the way I fish and look at a lake. The electronics are by far the easiest to use and have been a huge upgrade over my previous electronics. One of the biggest things I like about my Garmin electronics is the depth range shading. It can help you break down the lake faster and keep you on fish by following the pattern you found.
Garmin electronics played a big part in my 3rd place finish at Lake Dardenelle earlier this year. We used the mapping to find spawning areas and by using the shading we were able to duplicate what we had found.
Nathan Bell – Bryan College
We are all super excited to be in the position we are in going into the championship at Pickwick. After winning the BASS Eastern Regional this past weekend at Lake Cherokee, we feel that we are in a great position to be able to win School of the Year. We have been so blessed to have strong showings in the events leading up to this. Winning SOY would be huge for our young program because the school has invested so much in our team. It would solidify our team’s standing with the school as being something to take seriously.
The preparation that went into this season has been different for every team. For us, it was studying the lakes that we would be going to and getting the right gear to do well on those particular lakes. The main thing for Cole Sands and I was installing Garmin electronics on my boat. It has been a game changer for us this season. The ClearVü and SideVü is so good that it has helped us find fish in several events we did really well in. I cannot wait to see where Garmin will take us at Pickwick.
Best of luck to the following Garmin sponsored college anglers who will be competing this week at Pickwick Lake and Wilson Lake near Florence, AL:
- Chandler Robertson – University of Missouri
- Sheldon Rogge – Kansas State
- Team of Nathan Bell & Cole Sands – Bryan College
- Daniel Holt – Tennessee Tech University
- Samuel Haines – Kansas State
- Ethan Raleigh – Morehead State University
There are bright futures ahead of these young gentlemen as they chase their dreams. To stay up to date on the Collegiate Bass Fishing championship be sure to follow Garmin Fish & Hunt on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.