The University of Central Oklahoma is the latest Oklahoma school to form a bass fishing club and compete in collegiate bass tournaments.
In just its first month as a club, the Bronchos’ bass fishing club already has 43 members and won its first tournament earlier this month. The Broncho anglers participate in the Cabela’s BoatUS Championship Series and won the first “Okie Challenge Series” on Fort Gibson Lake last month against 15 other state schools.
UCO anglers Colten Huston and Steven Isaacs brought in the winning stringer of 19.42 pounds ahead of runner-up Oklahoma State University.
The Bronchos will travel to Lake Eufaula next weekend for another Okie Challenge Series followed by tournaments on Grand Lake on Oct. 27 and Lake Tenkiller on Nov. 2.
A few of the 43 UCO anglers have experience fishing in bass tournaments, but most do not, said Alex Allen, club adviser and coordinator for recreation programs at UCO.
“A lot of the students who come out are not tournament-ready anglers,” he said. “They don’t have a lot of experience with it. Mentors will take them out on boats and get them tournament ready.”
Allen said UCO’s Bass Fishing Club has an advantage over most schools because it has access to the university’s boathouse on Arcadia Lake, part of the school’s outdoor recreation program.
“It gives us an edge on the competition,” he said.
The Bass Fishing Club set up an informational booth in the school’s University Center last month and quickly had students signing up to join.
“It’s really taken off,” Allen said. “I expect it to continue to grow.”
Allen said UCO anglers also will compete on the FLW and B.A.S.S. collegiate tournament trails.