It’s no fisherman’s tale that the University of Southern Mississippi’s Bass Fishing Team succeeded in one nail-biter of a competition last month at Lake Guntersville, Ala., its last chance to advance to regional competition in collegiate fishing.
“We were behind by a few ounces, and then a small rain cloud came in and changed the bite,” said team president Daniel Netterville, a senior from Gloster, Miss.
The game changer happened when Netterville and his teammate, Dax Graham of Hattiesburg, almost simultaneously caught a 3 ½ and a 4-pound bass. At the end of the day, they were called back up to the stage for the weigh-in. Graham was unsure if they would secure the required top five finish to keep their postseason hopes alive.
“When you’re out there on the water, you’re blind to how well the other teams may or may not be doing,” said Graham.
Luckily, Netterville and Graham pulled in a total of 11 pounds, 14 inches of bass. The catch secured a fifth place finish and a $1,000 prize, advancing the team to the FLW College Fishing regional tournament. The tournament site will be announced at a later date.
With its recent success, the team hopes to expand its membership. “Sign up, you’re going to have fun,” Graham said. “You’re out on the water, meeting good people and learning. You’ll come out a better fisherman.”
The fee to join the team is $35 a semester. For more information on the Southern Miss Bass Fishing Team, contact Netterville at Daniel.Netterville@eagles.usm.edu or call 601.888.0258. An information table will also be available during Southern Miss Preview for anyone interested in becoming a member.