TULSA, Okla. (Dec. 13, 2016) - Bobby Garland Crappie Baits is the first official sponsor of Crappie University, as the second-year continuing education program with three schools participating in 2016 grows to 15 colleges and universities in 10 states for 2017.
Crappie University founder Gary White (left) and Chris Lindenberg, owner of Bobby Garland Crappie Baits, ink a deal that makes Bobby Garland the presenting sponsor of Crappie University's expanded schedule in 2017.
Crappie University presented by Bobby Garland is not a seminar. It consists of a full eight-hour curriculum, composed of four classroom sessions of two hours each. A staff of fishing experts instruct on crappie topics, ranging from specific techniques to local seasonal patterns. Among the instructors are full-time crappie guides, top tournament pros and local experts.
Each session is taught by a different instructor and is enhanced by video and PowerPoint presentations. Participants enroll directly with each hosting college or university's continuing education department. The enrollment fee for the entire four-week course is $89.00.
Crappie University is modeled after the iconic Bass Fishing Techniques and Bassmaster University programs that were originated more than 30 years ago by the same founder, Gary White. B.A.S.S. acquired his bass program a few years back.
While crappie are most pursued in the springtime, Crappie University Instructor Kevin Rogers picks early winter as his favorite season but fishes for the species throughout the year.
"From literally thousands of fishing class survey responses over time, the most common request for instruction on other species pointed to crappie," White said. "We decided to try Crappie University in 2016, going with three schools and locations for the pilot effort: Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Dallas. All three sold out, averaging about 165 students each. Even before our last class, we had other schoolscalling wanting to be included in '17."
The much-expanded 2017 Crappie University is scheduled for colleges and universities in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, including the University of Tennessee, University of Cincinnati and University of Southern Indiana. All are held in the January to March timeframe to prepare anglers for the popular spring crappie season, but the courses include instruction on year-round fishing.
"Many anglers fish for crappie only in the spring when the fish are shallow and near the banks, but they're missing out on great action for the species all year long," said Chris Lindenberg, owner of Bobby Garland Crappie Baits. "We're pleased to sponsor Crappie University because the program is about helping fishermen of all skill levels follow and catch crappie in all seasons
White said the addition of Bobby Garland as the presenting sponsor benefits every aspect of the Crappie University experience for attendees.
"As a top national crappie brand, Garland is plugged into the latest and greatest in crappie trends across the entire country. Students will have a chance to learn from some of their best pro staffers, as well as receive samples of Garland products at each school venue," White said.
In a 2016 third-party national survey of anglers who said crappie is their most preferred species to fish for, they voted Bobby Garland their No. 1 favorite soft-plastic lure brand and also picked Garland for "best colors" and "most innovative." Survey participants additionally credited Garland as being the originator of the Baby Shad, one of today's most popular crappie-bait styles.
For more information on Crappie University, including enrollment contacts for each school location, visit www.crappieuniversity.com.
Crappie University expands to 15 locations in 2017