Penn State Alum To Compete In World’s Largest Bass Fishing Competition
Since graduating Penn State in 2012, Grae Buck has taken his passion for bass fishing to a whole new level. Now a professional, Buck will take part in the BassMaster Classic beginning on March 6.
Buck describes the BassMaster Classic as the Super Bowl of bass fishing. He needed to qualify for the 53-man event, which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama at Lake Guntersville.
Buck didn’t always expect to get to the heights of the sport he now finds himself. He fished at the Chesapeake Bay for most of his early childhood, and from a young age he had an affinity for fishing bass.
“In middle school, my friend’s dad had a bass boat. He took us out onto the Chesapeake Bay,” Buck said. “That is how I got into the bass side of it.”
Upon arriving in Happy Valley, Buck’s enthusiasm for the sport was propelled via the Penn State Bass Fishing Club.
“[The Bass Fishing Club at Penn State] was a great experience, we fished basically from New York all the way down into Virginia,” Buck said. “It broadened my horizons from fishing in the local lakes around my house.”
The Montgomery County native noted that he didn’t expect to reach the point he’s at now.
“When I was in college, I never expected to become a professional, but it worked out,” Buck said.
Right after graduating from Penn State with an environmental resource management degree, Buck worked for a lake management company. Fishing as much as he could during the weekends, he began to find success in serious competition.
“I won two big tournaments in the first few years out of school,” Buck said. “That gave me the money to pursue fishing professionally.”
Buck won the Eastern Open at Oneida Lake to qualify for this year’s BassMaster Classic, the “Super Bowl” of bass fishing. While the competitors are not making nearly as much money as the NFL athletes, there is a $300,000 prize on the line.
Despite Buck being new to the biggest stage, he is confident that he can fish with the best of them.
“I have fished that lake three times over the years,” Buck said. “I’d say I know it alright. I know enough about it to go out and catch some fish. I’m excited for it.”
Since November, Buck has prepared for the terrain of Lake Guntersville. He and the other 52 competitors will finally take to the water on March 6 for two days of fishing. After the second day, 25 competitors will remain and advance to the third and final day as they seek bass fishing supremacy.
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