For the second consecutive time in its brief two-year history, two members of the Nicholls State Bass Fishing Team will compete in the Bassmaster College Series National Championship.
Allyson Marcel and Tyler Rivet will make the trip next month to 6,830-acre Lake DuBay in Stevens Point, Wis. — a noted smallmouth fishery — to compete against 89 other teams from across the country to determine the national champion.
Marcel, a nursing major, and Rivet, who is majoring in safety and petroleum, expect the trip — including gas and lodging — to run in the $2- $3,000 range, and they are seeking sponsorship help to defray the travel costs.
“Tyler and I went out to look for sponsors this week,” said Marcel, 21, of Houma. “We went to a couple of businesses and told them about what’s going on, and we have sponsorship letters made. Most importantly right now, we’re just trying to get our names out there. Most people don’t even know Nicholls has a bass team.
“We definitely do need sponsors. Absolutely, because every tournament is so expensive. Sponsorships are a must in order for us to go to Wisconsin.”
The duo punched their ticket to the national championship with a 13th-place finish at the Bassmaster Wild Card Tournament in Paris, Tenn. last week on Lake Barkley. Despite changing weather conditions that made figuring out a pattern tough, they qualified on the nose — the Top 13 teams advanced to the championship next month.
“What happened was the weather kept changing. We practiced the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and it was cloudy and nasty and rained on us a couple of times,” Marcel said. “Then we got to the first tournament day and it was sunny, then the next day it got hotter and the last day of the tournament it was shady again, kind of cloudy.
“So the weather kept changing and it was throwing everybody off. It was a rough tournament.”
But their three-day total of 26 pounds even — caught mainly on Strike King’s sexy shad crankbait and a red shad KVD Perfect Plastics Shim-E Stick — was good enough for a trip to Wisconsin, where Marcel will be one of only two women in the 90-team field.
“They treat me like a boy, like one of their own,” she said with a laugh, noting that she and Rivet are not just the Nicholls bass team’s vice president and founding member, respectively — they’re also a couple off the water, too.
Her laid back attitude and Rivet’s more serious demeanor have worked well together in the boat so far, she said.
“He gets really nervous, freaking out, and I’m more laid back, trying not to stress out,” she said. “Basically, I’m asking him all day, ‘OK, what’s our plan? What’s next?’ If we’re not catching, I’m like, ‘Where are we going?’
“He’s more like, ‘Be quiet and sit down. I got this.’ Basically I just bother him all day.”
Lake DuBay is set to go off limits to competitors next week, but she and Rivet, 20, of Raceland, had no plans to make a scouting trip before the championship.
“That’s way too much money,” Marcel said. “We’re poor college kids. We aren’t going.”
Other teams from Louisiana, including LSU, LSU-Shreveport and the University of Louisiana - Monroe, also qualified for the national championship next month, she said.
If you’re interested in making a donation or discussing a sponsorship opportunity for the Nicholls Team, contact Marcel via email by clicking here.