Thursday, September 8, 2011

UAB fishermen hope to lure the big catch this week

Well before the sun broke through the clouds this morning, while students were still nestled underneath their warm blankets and hours before alarm clocks were set to go off, Taylor Mardis and Patrick Townes climbed into a boat on Alabama’s Lake Harding hoping to catch the big one.

“We are not the normal college students,” says Mardis, a 22-year-old Health Informatics major.

That’s for sure.

The fisherman/students often get up before the crack of dawn to sit for hours baiting fish with a special lure they think is the good stuff. They are members of the Fishing Club at UAB and this week are competing in the FLW National Guard Southeast Regional Championship.

The winner gets $50,000 worth of prizes and scholarships that includes a bass fishing boat wrapped in their school colors. The competition goes through Sept. 10 with a weigh-in at Ag Heritage Park. The team with the heaviest catch over the three days wins.

“It would be awesome if we could win,” Mardis says who hopes to ultimately become a professional fisherman.

The club got its start in 2007 with hopes of getting fishing enthusiasts together once a month to chat about lure and such and also compete in tournaments. UAB has done well, placing toward the top in many competitions. Adam Vines, M.F.A., assistant professor of English by day and poet/fisherman by night, is the club’s faculty advisor.

“It’s the only sport where UAB regularly competes against the University of Alabama and Auburn,” Mardis says.

The competition will air on the national NBC-owned TV channel Versus at noon CST Nov. 13.

You can watch live online at during the following times.
• 4 p.m. CT, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011
• 4 p.m. CT, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011
• 3 p.m. CT, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011
(All start times are approximate)

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