FLORENCE, AL. (May 22, 2018) – Ranger Boats Pro and reigning Forrest Wood Cup Champion Justin Atkins is set to be the guest speaker for Wednesday’s angler and sponsor banquet night. On May 23rd, more than 350 of the best collegiate anglers will gather in Florence, Alabama for registration and dinner leading up to the 2018 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Cabela’s. As the guest speaker for the event, Atkins will address the anglers offering encouragement and insight into tournament competition and the fishing industry.
A former collegiate angler himself, Atkins is not far removed from success on this level. In 2014, competing for Mississippi State University, Justin Atkins and his teammate finished 6th place overall at the 2014 ACA BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. Atkins says that his time spent as a collegiate angler at Mississippi State is irreplaceable, “My time at Mississippi State as a collegiate angler was an irreplaceable time in my life. I met a ton of guys that I still have a great friendship with, and the contacts that I made with people in the industry carried over into my professional career to help me obtain sponsors.”
“If the TVA runs any current at all, this very tournament will take more weight to win than any other year it’s ever been here. Pickwick is on fire right now.” – Justin Atkins
A native of Florence, Alabama, he is familiar with both Pickwick Lake and this Championship event, “This was my favorite college tournament of the year. Mr. Wade Middleton, all the sponsors, and staff put on a first class tournament for college anglers.”
Being a local, Justin is also able to offer some insight into how he believes the lake is setting up. He acknowledges that it has been warm and the fish are in their summer patterns. Fish can be targeted out deep with swimbaits, crankbaits, worms, jigs, and spoons. There is also one wildcard that he believes could turn this tournament into a slugfest, “If the TVA runs any current at all, this very tournament will take more weight to win than any other year it’s ever been here. Pickwick is on fire right now.”