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ABAC Students Qualify for National Fishing Tournament

TIFTON— Benjamin Chandler and Richard Jordan from the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Bass Fishing team qualified for the national tournament by finishing in sixth place at the recent Yeti FLW College Fishing Event on Lake Seminole.

With fish weighing a total of 18 pounds and two ounces, the two ABAC students wound up in the top 10 per cent of the competitors, earning their national tournament berth. Ten members of the ABAC Bass Fishing team competed in the tournament.

“This is the first big tournament I have qualified for while representing ABAC,” Chandler, a junior agricultural business major from Fort Gaines, said. “In practice we found three good spots but only one, about 20 miles from the boat ramp, paid off during the tournament.”

Presented by Bass Pro Shops, the event featured 188 student teams from colleges and universities across the Southeast. The University of Georgia, Auburn University, Florida State University, and Clemson University had students in the competition which also included teams from Georgia Southern, Kennesaw State, the University of North Alabama, and Savannah College of Art and Design.

“It was a great experience,” Chandler said. “Fishing the national championship is something that all college anglers strive for. I’ve been doing this since I was a freshman so to accomplish it now means a lot, especially since I was able to qualify a freshman with me.”

The FLW College Fishing National Championship will be held May 30-June 1 on the Red River in Shreveport, La. It will be hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission and the Red River Waterway Commission.

“There are still many more fishing events for this year, and college tournaments keep piling up,” Chandler said. “We are looking forward to keeping ABAC trending toward the top in college fishing, as well as looking or the exclusive school of the year award.”

Chandler and Jordan used rattle trap and chatterbait as lures and practiced for three weekends leading up to the tournament. Their dedication to the sport contributed to a successful day on the water.

“It was an amazing experience for Benjamin and me and I’m glad to have represented ABAC the way we did,” said Jordan, an agricultural education major from Thomaston.

ABAC’s Bass Fishing Team meets the first and third Thursdays of each month. It consists of 28 members and has been an organization on campus for over five years. Club advisor Justin Exum says it teaches students perseverance while pursuing their passion for fishing.

“The members put in a lot of time, money, and practice to prepare for tournaments,” Exum, a Horticulture Technician at ABAC, said. “They are very dedicated.”

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