Last week, brothers Matt and Jordan Lee of the Auburn Bass Sports Club competed in the Carhartt College Series in Little Rock, Ark. where Matt qualified to move on to the Classic, a national competition.
The pair began their ten-day journey by placing second in the team competition of the series, which qualified them for the individual tournament.
In the first round of the individual tournament, the Lee brothers each defeated anglers from Murray State, which qualified them for the semifinals.
Although they competed individually in the semifinals, the brothers reeled in a collective 16 pounds, 13 ounces—largely surpassing a collective one pound, 11 ounces reeled in by the two remaining opponents, anglers from the University of Alabama.
The Auburn-Alabama rivalry within the competition shifted to sibling rivalry as the brothers prepared to compete against each other in the finals, which commenced on July 29.
The all-Auburn, all-brother final matchup ended with Lee bringing in two bass weighing a total of 5 pounds, 6 ounces, which was enough to overtake his brother’s total of 2 pounds, 4 ounces and receive qualification for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
“Competing in the Bassmaster Classic would be like playing tennis for Auburn today and playing in Wimbledon tomorrow,” Lee said.
Lee said he feels fortunate to have achieved the highly-coveted opportunity to compete in such a substantial tournament, especially in its sophomore year of allowing college competitors.
According to Lee, the sport of college fishing has grown exponentially in the past five years and the University’s involvement has put Auburn on the map. Lee also said that the club’s organization has set it apart from other schools’ bass clubs.
“The club gives college anglers the same amount of exposure that professional anglers receive and that all anglers hope for,” Lee said.
Jann and Jenny Swaim have been advisor and assistant advisor of the Bass Sports Club since its birth in 2007. The club has now grown to 30 members.
Becoming a member provides an opportunity to get involved, learn about fishing, and compete on a national stage to gain the exposure needed for an angler’s success. A boat is not a prerequisite for club membership as members are able to join others.
“We at Campus Recreation are extremely proud of Matt and Jordan and their accomplishments over this past week in the 2012 Carhartt College Bass Fishing Tournament,” said Assistant Director of Marketing Adam Sardinha on behalf of the Campus Recreation department. “Their dedication and enthusiasm to the Auburn University Bass Fishing Club serves as the standard for all Club Sport athletes, as well as a model for Auburn University students. We are extremely proud of all they have achieved and wish Matt the best of luck at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.”