College anglers from across the country will take on one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the United States when the Carhartt College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops arrives at the St. Lawrence River in Waddington, N.Y., Aug. 12-14.
Teams will take off from Whittaker Park in Waddington at 6:30 a.m. and return for weigh-in starting at 2:30 p.m. daily Thursday – Friday. In addition to the daily weigh-in, on Friday and Saturday, a mini festival will be set up at Whittaker Park, with interactive exhibits, a food truck and vendors from noon-5pm. The Nicandri Nature Center, henna, dog treats, handmade soap, jewelry, clothing, and lures are some of what you will find at the mini-festival. Friday will also include live music from noon to 2pm by local band Another Roadside Attraction, made up of Madrid-Waddington current and alumni students. The Bassmaster Outdoor EXPO will be on from Thursday – Saturday, featuring Interactive B.A.S.S sponsor displays and free giveaways. “It’s inspiring for young people to see young anglers on the big stage, and a great opportunity to get out with the family for a fun day while enjoying our incredible fishery and the beauty of the St. Lawrence River” noted Brooke Rouse, Director of Tourism for the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.
More than 120 teams qualified for the tournament, including local favorite Clarkson University representing the North Country on the St. Lawrence River this year. “We are thrilled to be hosting the Collegiate Tournament again this year and providing an opportunity for young anglers and their families to experience this world-class fishery and the unique opportunities for recreation in the County” stated Kelly Chezum, Vice President for Marketing & External Relations from Clarkson University. Teams that finished in the top 10 percent in each of the four regular season events, as well as the wild card event at Lay Lake, earned a spot in the national championship and will compete for not only a victory, but a chance to qualify for the College Classic Bracket and ultimately a spot in the 2022 Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell.
Coverage of the event can be found at Bassmaster.com/college with festival schedule details on www.Fishcap.net
The College Series last visited the upstate New York fishery in 2019, when the Sam Houston State duo of Jackson Carrell and Bryton Kurtz sacked 72 pounds, 13 ounces over three days to claim the title during a regular season event, setting a College Series record for a three-day event until 2020, when Cole Sands and Conner DiMauro caught 84-12 at the Harris Chain of Lakes.
B.A.S.S. has hosted 20 major events at the St. Lawrence River, which took the top spot in 2019 on Bassmaster Magazine’s Top 100 Best Bass Lakes list. Johnston took home his first Bassmaster Elite Series victory on the famed fishery in 2020, catching 97-8 over four days becoming the first Canadian to win an Elite Series event. In 2021, Japanese pro Taku Ito’s eye-popping 26-pound limit propelled him to a convincing victory at the Farmers Insurance Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River with a four-day total of 90 pounds.
The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops is being hosted by the Village of Waddington, St. Lawrence County Chamber and Clarkson University. This tournament is also supported by a Market New York grant from I LOVE NY/New York State’s Division of Tourism awarded as part of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The tournament and all associated festivities are planned to ensure the safety of anglers, marshalls, staff and fans.