The University of Montevallo Fishing Team has recently been ranked as the No. 25 in the nation, just above the University of Alabama.
Throughout the year, the team fishes in multiple competitions, such as the Collegiate Bass Championship, the Bassmaster College Series and the FLW College Series—equivalent to the Super Bowl in the fishing world.
They have placed first and fifth in their first two competitions.
“When you place in the top five that means you’re kicking some butt,” said vice president Daniel Perry.
A regular competition day starts with getting up at two in the morning to go to the lake.
“We try to ‘pattern’ the fish and get a good feel for the water,” explained Perry.
“You have to check the weather and the water temperature and just get out there and try to catch some fish,” said president Joseph Fuller.
When the competition starts, the teams are split up into two members per boat. They fish for about eight hours. Then the fish are weighed and the teams get to hear the results. The teams placing in the top five receive cash prizes that go toward the team.
“So you’re talking about a 12-hour day and some competitions last for three days,” said Perry. “It’s hard for most people to consider it a sport. Not only is it physically demanding, but it’s also mentally demanding. You put in hours of research and training. You have to know the fish. Not anyone can do it. It takes skill.”
Fuller admitted that he first thought it [fishing] was stupid. “I thought to myself ‘How could someone fish for a sport?’” he said. “But then I talked to Clent Davis, and I’ve been fishing ever since.”
Davis was a part of the Montevallo Fishing team in 2007. After graduating in 2010, he became the 2012 FLW Rookie of the Year.
“It’s cool to know that someone that was on the team has gone pro,” said Perry.