With the Under Armour College Bass National Championship tournament just days away, many teams are already on the road to Little Rock. With boats and trailers-in-tow, college bass teams from as far west as Arizona State to North Carolina State University in the east have piled into cars, trucks and SUVs in search of the chance to call themselves the best bass fishing school in the land.
Think of it as the ultimate road trip with the added aroma of bass attractant.
But two very special guests are also busy making plans for the Natural State: Vice president and general manager of BASS, Tom Ricks, and BASS Federation Nation Director Don Corkran will attend the national championship tournament.
"The BASS Federation Nation (BFN) has been involved with collegiate bass fishing since the early 1990's when we helped Purdue and Indiana with their "Old Minnow Bucket tournament," Corkran said.
In addition to their interest and support, BASS also plans to provide their weigh-in stage for the college anglers competing in the tournament.
"BASS is the premier bass-fishing organization in the world," College Bass tournament director Steve Bowman said, "so it's fitting they want to be aligned with the premier college bass-fishing organization."
BASS' involvement with College Bass highlights the tournament's credibility and their passion for the sport and future of bass-fishing. For many years, BASS Federation Nation (BFN) members have helped boat captains conduct events at colleges and universities across the country. With positive results for both parties, Corkran sees nothing but opportunity as College Bass continues to grow.
"We are looking at formalizing this relationship by inviting these college bass fishing clubs into the BFN as full members," Corkan said. "I am excited about this possibility and believe that it would be mutually beneficial for all groups."
Looking ahead, conditions seem to be ripe for a great fall tournament temperatures in Little Rock are expected to be in the low 80s, during the hottest part of the day and slide into the mid-50s at night.
Wednesday's kickoff bash presented by Costa Del Mar looks like the best chance for precipitation over the course of the tournament's three days, at 40 percent.
Because of the hot summer and so far mild fall, water temperatures have failed to drop drastically, keeping fish active, which could bode well for college anglers looking to show the world big stringers at weigh-in.
And the world will be tuned in.
Online team introductions will be streamed live on Wednesday 17th, during the kick-off bash.
Daily weigh-ins at 4:30 p.m. ET will be streamed on ESPNOutdoors.com, along with a special College Bass edition of "Hooked Up," ESPNOutdoors.com's exclusive live internet pre-game show, before the final weigh-in on Saturday.