By KAREN HALL
College fishing is competitive. Being recruited to fish in college is competitive too. College anglers now have opportunities to get some or all of their education paid for through fishing scholarships (and lets not forget the academic scholarships as well).
Head fishing coach Garry Mason of Bethel University looks for the best anglers to recruit. Bethel is widely known as having one of the best college fishing programs in the country, and Coach Mason takes a moment to tell Bass IQ what it takes to get on his “fishing radar”.
“Personality, and the ability to be a true team player” are two of the most important traits according to Mason. The ability to fish as part of a team, and represent his program with not only skill, but also a team mentality are “paramount to the success of an angler at Bethel”.
Grades are also important. “College isn’t easy, so these anglers need to come into college with good study habits and their priorities in the right order,” says Mason. “At Bethel, we’re all about education.”
Marketing knowledge is also key. The bass fishing industry is huge, and “self-promotion/team promotion is a big part of the success of any angler, on any level” says Mason. “Take classes in business, marketing, and make sure you know how to use the written word to get your point across.”
Coach Mason requires all anglers who want to fish for Bethel to have a resume. A resume should include information on your tournament experience, education and grades in high school, and contact information. Fishing photos are an added bonus.
High school anglers who want to fish in college can create a Bass IQ Elite Angler Profile (think of it as a fishing resume that can be updated at any time) and be eligible to win awards and scholarships. These profiles are also visible to college fishing programs and coaches across the US. For more information on Bass IQ scholarships and awards, go here.
As a final thought, Coach Mason stresses the importance of a “good handshake”. “If you don’t know how to look me in the eye, and give me a firm handshake, you might want to learn.”