One of the lesser-known teams at Sam Houston State University is making a splash. The fishing team—yes, fishing—recently competed at the Carhartt College Bassmaster Southern Tour.
Junior Team President Dillon Harrell and Senior teammate Colby Bryant placed 12th out of 266 teams. Senior Collin Bode and Junior Joshua Perrin had a nice showing as well, finishing 36th as they all qualified for the Bassmaster College Series National Championship.
Harrell has been fishing practically his entire life. When he got to SHSU, he worked hard to get the fishing team to where they needed to be in order to compete in collegiate tournaments.
“Whenever I got to Sam, they didn’t really have a fishing team that was established,” Harrell said. “They weren’t really recognized by the school. A lot of paperwork wasn’t taken care of. But after a really long, hard road…we were an established team.”
Harrell worked with then-president Bryant to get the team recognized, and they soon became able to represent SHSU in fishing tournaments.
“I really want to credit Dillon [Harrell] a lot for bringing our club to where it is right now,” Bode said. “Our club has come a really long way since I was a freshman. He has really stepped in and taken care of what needs to be done. He is a great fisherman and has really been a good image for Sam Houston and the club.”
When Harrell first arrived, there were only about six people on the team. That number has skyrocketed to 22 in just a few years.
“We’re doing better,” Harrell said. “We’re getting bigger. Hopefully by the time I graduate in a couple years… we can grow the team to be over 50 people. I would love nothing more than to see that.”
Harrell and Bryant have a chance to make a run at Team of the Year—a coveted title accompanied by perpetual bragging rights and a handful of monetary awards.
“Colby [Bryant] and I kind of toyed with the idea of fishing the entire tour and going for what’s called Team of the Year,” Harrell said. “Us two as a team, we get points throughout the year. Whoever ends up with the most points at the end of the year just gets loaded up with prizes and scholarship money from Bass. We’re sitting in better contention at this point than we had hoped for.”
The team’s next tournament is in two weeks at Cherokee Lake in Tennessee.
“We’re going to go for it,” Harrell said. “We want that Team of the Year title.”