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On Saturday, November 2nd, the Marshall University fishing team will hold its first annual Bass Trail Cup on Summersville Lake. This event will feature twenty anglers vying for smallmouth supremacy and is the culmination of ten qualifying tournaments. It will also present one of the highest payouts in the nation for a no-entry-fee tournament run by a college fishing team.
We had the opportunity to speak with Chase Sansom, a member of the Marshall University fishing team, who shared more information about the Bass Trail Cup.
What is the Marshall University Bass Trail Cup? This is the inaugural event, so how did it come about?
Sansom: The Marshall Bass Trail was created last year in order to help fund our fishing club. We are not given any financial support from the university, so we have to obtain sponsorship and fundraising dollars on our own to fund the club. We came up with the idea to create our own tournament trail to help raise funds.
This is the very first year running the Marshall Bass Trail and this is also our very first Marshall University Bass Trail Cup. Our Trail is designed to qualify the top ten anglers from two divisions through ten tournaments into the Marshall Bass Trail Cup. The Cup is a no-entry-fee tournament and will payout a large amount!
What have been some of the challenges to running your own fishing tournament? Conversely, what have been some of the rewards?
Sansom: Considering it’s our first year, there have been some complaints about payouts, rules, and, just in general, how the tournaments are run. Thankfully, we have a good group of guys who are already experienced in tournament fishing that fish our trail and are very patient with us.
It is very challenging to run ten tournaments a year and keep everything in line. It might sound like ten is an easy number to manage, but it really isn’t. I spend a lot of time away from home to run these events. That being said, at the same time, it is very rewarding when we hear the guys that fish our trail telling us that we’ve done a good job and that they will back to fish another tournament. That’s really what keeps us going!
We recently named Summersville Lake as one of the best fishing spots in West Virginia. Why did you decide it was the best fit for the Bass Trail Cup?
Sansom: The smallmouth! There’s not much else to be said. When you add in falling water plus cooler temperatures, you’ll have yourself a good ole fashioned smallmouth derby! We also have a very nice facility/ramp to run the tournament from.
What else should we know about the event? Is it for smallmouth only? What about payouts?
Sansom: The event is for smallmouth, but I figure there will be some largemouth mixed in. As far as payouts, this is going to be one of the largest no-entry-fee tournaments ever put on by a college team, let alone just in West Virginia. It’s something we are very proud of!
This is a no-entry-fee tournament, but the Trail Cup is closed to the twenty anglers who have qualified through our other events. We do invite anyone to attend the weigh-in at 4:00 P.M. at the Summersville Lake Marina.
Stop by, watch the fish get weighed in, and chat with us!
You mentioned that the Trail Cup will offer one of the highest payouts for an event of its kind. With this being your culminating event, what exactly are the prizes and payouts this year?
- 1st: $3,750 (Two 18” Trophies)
- 2nd: $1,425 (Two 2nd Place Plaques)
- 3rd: $575 (Two 3rd Place Plaques)
- 4th: $100 (Courtesy of Mick Sansom)
- 5th: 2 $50 Tackle Box South Point Gift Cards
- 6th: Two (2) $25 Tackle Box South Point Gift Cards (Courtesy of The Tackle Box South Point)
- 7th: $50 (Courtesy of Premier Angler)
- Big Bass: $100
- Smallest Bass: $50
- plus much more