Thomas (TJ) Johns reels in a line March 31, 2021, at Kinkaid Lake in Jackson County, Ill. Johns said the Saluki Bassers are looking for new members and accept people of all experience levels in their club. (Sophie Whitten | @swhittenphotography)
Thomas (TJ) Johns reels in a line March 31, 2021, at Kinkaid Lake in Jackson County, Ill. Johns said the Saluki Bassers are looking for new members and accept people of all experience levels in their club.

Sophie Whitten | @swhittenphotography

Saluki Bassers win first place at the 2021 Abu Garcia College Fishing Tournament at Table Rock

April 12, 2021

Saluki Bassers, Andrew Novotney and Thomas (TJ) Johns, won first place at the 2021 Abu Garcia College Fishing Tournament at Table Rock Lake in Missouri presented by MLF BIG5 Friday, March 26, 2021.

Out of 117 boats, the two came in first with a total combined weight of 19lbs and 11oz, earning them a prize of $2,000. 

“This last tournament, I’d say, is probably going to be one of my top memories just because I’ve gotten second place, I’ve gotten third place and stuff like that, but winning such a big tournament is just, like, a really big deal for the club and for the university,” Novotney said. 

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The fishing season runs from spring into fall and throughout their season the Bassers typically go to a dozen tournaments, competing with hundreds of other anglers for the chance to win money and recognition for their teams. 

“We compete at the local level and we also compete in the circuits. Anyone can fish […] It’s a good group of guys and you have a lot of fun,” Johns said. 

Johns said bass fishing has begun to quickly grow over the past few years as more high schools and colleges start clubs for students to get on the water. As interest in the club continues to grow, the team is looking for new members and welcomes people at all experience levels. 

“If you’re an incoming freshman or an already existing student, don’t be afraid to reach out, you know. We’re here and we’re looking for guys. We’re always looking for new members. You can never have enough guys on a bass fishing team,” Johns said.

Staff Photographer Sophie Whitten can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @swittenphotography.

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