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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Nicholls bass fishing reaches nationals, but needs help getting there

Nicholls bass fishing reaches nationals, but needs help getting there

Did you know that Nicholls State University has a bass fishing team?

Most don’t, so no worries. You’re not that far out of the loop. The team just started two years ago as a pipe dream of founder and Raceland native Tyler Rivet, who said he wasn’t ready to give up his rod and reel once his college days began.

Today, it’s got about 20 members, and the majority of its events are in-house and are designed to raise money and awareness toward the club.

“You know, I almost went to other schools – just because they had bass fishing teams,” Rivet said. “Being a collegiate angler was something that always excited me. So it turns out that I ended up wanting to be closer to home, so I went to Nicholls. When I got there, I said to myself, ‘Why don’t we make a team here?’ So we did.”

But what’s perhaps more impressive than the team’s creation and inception is the success that it’s enjoyed, two years running.

Rivet and partner Jess Robertson reached the Bassmasters Collegiate National Championships last year – the Super Bowl of the sport, which is growing in popularity more and more each year.

This year, Rivet proved that 2014 wasn’t a fluke. With his girlfriend Allyson Marcel in the boat as his fishing partner, Rivet again helped push Nicholls to Nationals, qualifying for the event with a top finish at an Open Tournament in Dover, Tennessee a few weekends ago.

The first time was amazing, but the second time is even better, according to Marcel who said she’s tickled pink to be heading to the premier collegiate bass fishing tournament in the country.

This year’s Bassmasters Collegiate National Championship will take place in early July in the fresh lake waters in Wisconsin.

“To get here, we finished 13th at a tournament held in Dover, Tennessee,” Marcel said while explaining that she didn’t even realize at the time that a strong finish would earn a bid to the big event. “When I realized that we’d actually qualified, I was just mind blown. I just kept looking at Tyler and telling him, ‘We did it! We are in this!’ I said that over and over and over, because I was just so excited.”

But they need the help of the community to get there and put their rods and reels in the water.

Rivet and Marcel estimate that the travel fare and other expenses to compete at the big event will cost in the ballpark of $3,500-to-$4,000, which means that some fundraising needs to be done before the trip can take place.
Marcel said that she’s met with businesses throughout Houma and has had some luck closing the gap and securing funding for the trip.

Rivet announced this week on his personal Facebook page that Walters, Meyer, Trosclair and Associated with Ameriprise Financial of Thibodaux will be holding a fundraiser white beans/jambalaya lunch at its Thibodaux office on June 25 with proceeds going to the team.

To buy a dinner, it’ll cost $10. The address for the business is 132 Rue Colette, Suite A.

Every bit helps, Marcel said, touting that she wanted to thank all of the community members and businesses who have already helped the team along the way. She said that she takes inquiries directly at her personal email address, which is

“We are really in need of sponsorships to get there and make the trip to Wisconsin,” she said. “Every little bit helps.”

The team’s done so much with so little time, one can only imagine how far it might go in the future. Rivet said with a smile that the entire experience is everything that he’s imagined it’d be.

“A lot of teams don’t have the participation we have,” Rivet said. “We’re doing very, very well. The interest is high and it’s growing. We’re proud of what’s being built here.”

“We expected this,” Marcel added with a smile. “When we made the team, we expected it to grow quickly because we live in south Louisiana and bass fishing is such a big thing here. It’s so awesome being on a team with people who all love to do the same thing as you.”