Abigail Askew isn’t your typical fishing fanatic. She didn’t grow up with it in her early years in South Florida, and actually didn’t take it up until she was in college. Yet she ended up on the University of Florida’s collegiate fishing team. It was her teammate Colby Eldridge, a lifelong angler from Panama City, Florida, who introduced her to me.

“I’ve got pictures of me in diapers with a cane pole,” Eldridge says. “I was raised by a single dad and my grandparents, and they had a creek in the backyard, and I pretty much spent all my time there.”

So, when he got to the University of Florida and found a bass fishing club, he joined up.

“It’s more a club than a collegiate sport,” Eldridge says. “Some schools support the team with expense money, boats and transportation. We have a professor who sponsors our club. We get excused absences for tournament days and a couple of days to prefish a tournament lake, but that’s about it.”

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