Ranked nationally as the top West Coast college team, Simpson University’s bass fishing team will host its first annual fundraising tournament on its home waters of Lake Shasta on December 12.
The team, which was ranked No. 1 among California college fishing teams and No. 98 in the nation after its inaugural season in 2019-2020, has been able to continue competing during the pandemic, with four team members qualifying for the 2021 College Fishing National Championship at tournaments in Clear Lake and the California Delta.
“Launching this annual event will pull double-duty as a fundraising event for the team, as well as giving back to our local community — providing a fun, family-friendly, and competitive experience,” said university bass fishing coach Alex Thiemann. “As we look to build on the early successes of our bass fishing program, we are hoping to add items such as a team boat, on-campus boat storage, and more.”
Organized and run by Phil’s Propellers Team Tournaments, the tournament has an entry fee of $50 per person, with cash prizes and a raffle for items donated by merchants and industry sponsors in support of the university’s bass fishing team. Each boat will constitute a team, and each team has a five-fish limit, 13-inch minimum. The Simpson University bass fishing team, which is not competing in the tournament, will receive 25 percent of the entry fee, with 75 percent paying back to winners. Team members will be at the event to help with check-in, weigh-in, and more.
Check-in will be from 2 to 6 pm Friday, December 11 at Phil’s Propeller in Shasta Lake. Weigh-in will begin at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 12 at Bridge Bay Resort Marina on the docks. An awards ceremony will immediately follow.
The School of the Year rankings from Bass Pro Shops lists Simpson University at No. 52 nationally, the highest listed West Coast college team (some Western teams are not able to compete this season due to COVID-19 restrictions).
In August, Simpson bass fishing team members Sheldon Reese and Taj White placed first in a college fishing tournament in the California Delta; team members Luke Blanchard and Nathan Phillips placed first in a September tournament at Clear Lake. The wins qualified them to compete in the upcoming national championship.
During last year’s season, team members Ryan Beaty and Phillips placed No. 14 in the Yeti FLW College Fishing National Championship, out of 160 teams.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine