Tennessee bass fishing team angling for success

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- When orange takes to Neyland Stadium, it explodes, the earth shakes.

But when orange takes to the water outside of the famed stadium, it's a more serene setting.

"We go to teachers all the time, because obviously we have to ask off for class to miss a couple of classes here and there to go to tournaments, and they're like, 'we have a fishing team,'" team president Tyler Wadzinski said.

Yes, Tennessee does have a fishing team, known as the Tennessee Bass Fishing Team. And it's a good one, even equipped with a big orange bass boat.

"It gets a lot of quick head turns," member Jackson Minnich said. "We just got gas a little while ago and we had people peeking around gas pumps to look at it."

The UT fishing club has been among the best in the country this year.

"We had an incredible spring. We won three major tournaments so far this year," Minnich said.

"I love representing the school," Wadzinski added. "This is the only time in my life I feel like I'll be ranked fifth in the nation at anything."

Any full time student can join and it's currently is 25 anglers strong.

The team is part of UT's T-RECs division. It receives $1600 dollars a year from T-REC to help fund the season. Members also pay dues of $200 a semester. Team members also seek out sponsorship opportunities from area companies.

"We're doing everything with limited funds and limited means," member Daniel Martinez said.

"We know we can could do better (with more funding), but we can't get to every tournament.

Regardless, big bucks haven't prevented these fishing phenoms from reeling in big bass.


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