Still in its inaugural year, Delta State University’s Outdoor Recreation Bass Fishing Club is already “reeling” in awards with two members placing 14thout of 105 college bass fishing teams during the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) College Fishing Southern Conference Tournament.
Hosted Nov. 13 on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Brookeland, Texas, the College Fishing Southern Conference Tournament is an annual competition presented by FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization.
DSU’s Jake White, a sophomore Marketing major, and Matthew Brooks, a senior Exercise Science major, represented DSU’s Outdoor Recreation Bass Fishing Club during this year’s event.
Delta State’s club faced-off against schools like Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana State University, Texas State University, and Texas A & M University-Commerce—each boasting three to five individual teams.
“Anyone in college can fish these FLW college tournaments, but it’s definitely some stiff competition. It’s a grind to compete with these guys, but we’re very blessed to have this opportunity. We’re hoping to represent Delta State University and the Bass Fishing Club in March at the college fishing national championship,” said White.
Club President and Founder Matthew Nichols, a junior environmental science major, stated, “When I started Delta State as a freshman, I had a dream of creating a bass fishing club. I love to fish and there is nothing like bringing in that big one.”
According to Nichols, the club offers student members two unique aspects—the opportunity to learn and develop ethical and responsible fishing skills and habits, and the opportunity to fish at the competitive level at tournaments across the South.
“I am extremely proud of the progress our club has made in just one year and very happy for Matt [Brooks} and Jake [White] and all their success. They are the epitome of what we hoped when starting this club and have done an excellent job representing Delta State,” said Nichols.
Kayleigh Lindsey, junior pre-engineering major and club treasurer, added, “Our club was formed to bring people together who enjoy the same thing; outdoors, the environment, and fishing. For this to be our first year, Jake and Matt have gone far beyond what we expected and have succeeded in giving our club a great start. To go that far and to place so well in our first year as a club, is pretty amazing.”
“I remember the visit I got from Matt Nichols,” states Dr. Todd Davis, the club’s faculty advisor and an assistant professor in the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation division and the director of the Outdoor Recreation Program at Delta State University.
“Matt said he wanted to start and build a bass fishing club and I said, well, ok let’s do it. These guys have been committed to outreach, fostering strong relationships with local and national vendors and sponsors, and have literally poured their hearts and souls into getting this club built from the ground up,” said Davis.
“I’m so happy and proud of their drive and vision. It’s not every day you have students who want to succeed and want to build a club to empower and educate others with ethical fishing habits and environmental stewardship at their core,” Davis added.
The Delta State University Bass Fishing Club is seeking sponsors and donors. If you are interested in helping this club reach its goal to fish at the National College Fishing Championships in March, contact Dr. Todd Davis at (662) 846-4570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.