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College Anglers Ready to Cast Off in Kentucky

18 Sep, 2020


The Association of Collegiate Anglers is set to host its first event of the 2020-21 season, the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley, at Kentucky Lake in Paris, TN on September 19th & 20th.  This no entry fee, two-day big bass format event is one of four regular-season major events on this year’s schedule for the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  College anglers from all across the country will be in northwest Tennessee competing for $40,000 in prizes & contingencies, as well as working to earn double points towards the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.

Lake & Weather Conditions

For many people, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of fall.  With the start of fall comes cooler temperatures, the chance for post-frontal conditions, and beautiful scenery.  The 2019 Big Bass Bash, contested during the first part of October last year, saw above-average temperatures and bright bluebird skies.  Leading up to this season’s event, anglers can expect more fall-like conditions.

Being more than five days away from the start of the tournament, it is important to note that weather forecasts are subject to change.  However, the current forecast sheds some light into what to expect.  Saturday & Sunday appear to be setting up perfectly for a weekend full of activity outdoors.  Projected highs in the mid to upper 70’s with minimal cloud cover and light winds should provide a picturesque setting for the first ACA event of the year.

Another occurrence that happens following Labor Day on the Tennessee River is the annual winter drawdown.  Summertime elevation on Kentucky Lake is typically around 359 feet.  The TVA has since pulled water downstream and lowered the lake to 356 feet currently.  A lowered lake level will help to concentrate the fish in more condensed areas and expose the plentiful fish-catching habitat on Kentucky Lake.

Prize Payout Valued at $40,000

The Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley creates one of the most exhilarating environments in the sport of competitive bass fishing.  A total of seven weigh-in sessions will occur over the course of two days with 80 positions being paid out.  Prize payouts and contingencies valued at $40,000 make this event one of the most lucrative tournaments at the collegiate level.

Day 1 Session 4 presented by Garmin features the highest payout of any of the seven sessions.  Highlighted by two Panoptix LiveScope systems, this session will create a lot of buzz amongst the anglers as they decide which session they want to bring their big fish to the scales to cash in on valuable prize opportunities.

Historically, the final session of a given day at the Big Bass Bash is the busiest of them all.  Numerous factors contribute to this, but the biggest of them all is time.  Many anglers may catch a fish in the morning, and hold onto it as they hope to upgrade at some point during the competition.  Whether they upgrade or not, this typically leaves the final session as their last chance to make it to the scales.  Look for Day 1 Session 4 presented by Garmin to be even more crowded this go around as anglers jockey for the shot to take home one of the most prized pieces of marine electronics on the market today.

A Glimpse at the Week Ahead

Tournament week is finally here, and everyone is excited to kick off the 2020-21 season on the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series.  Throughout the week, we will continue to provide pre-tournament coverage and highlight the many great events to come over the course of the next seven days.  Tomorrow will feature a highlight article on specific baits from Berkley and techniques that could factor in at Kentucky Lake.  Prior to the tournament beginning on Saturday, an update will be provided to the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia.  Lastly, live blog coverage will begin on Friday and run through the conclusion of the tournament on Sunday afternoon.

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