Simpson University Bass Angler Places in Online Tournament During Coronavirus Shutdown

REDDING, Calif.—What does a collegiate bass fishing team do during a pandemic shutdown?

If you’re Simpson University bass fishing angler Ryan Beaty, you participate in the Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) “online” tournament.

The ACA introduced the tournament after being tagged in posts and receiving daily pictures from student anglers “adhering to social distancing warnings and continuing to fish at the same time.”

From April 2-8, collegiate anglers were invited to submit photos of measured fish with a keyword provided by the ACA. While typical tournaments have a five-fish limit, the ACA Online Tournament was a “big fish” contest, with only the angler’s longest fish counted, explained Alex Thiemann, coach of Simpson University’s team.

IMG_0528Beaty placed in the top 50 with an 18-inch bass caught in the Bay-Delta region. “I was out fishing for the day on our boat and probably caught 15 fish,” he said.

“It was really cool to be able to complete in a tournament given our current situation and go up against other schools across the country.”

Other members of Simpson University’s bass fishing team had a more difficult time participating due to lake closures; and, in the case of angler Luke Blanchard, a statewide fishing closure in Washington, Thiemann said.

In February, Beaty and teammate Nathan Phillips placed No. 14 in the Yeti FLW College Fishing National Championship, out of 160 teams.

At the end of its inaugural season, Simpson University’s bass fishing team is the highest ranked college team in California and is No. 98 in the nation.

The Simpson University bass fishing team is recruiting for the 2020-21 school year. To learn more, contact coach Thiemann at Follow the team on Instagram at SimpsonBass or Facebook at SimpsonBassTeam.


Simpson University, a Christian university founded in 1921, moved to Redding 30 years ago and will celebrate its centennial in 2021. In addition to offering 25 majors in its traditional undergraduate program, the university has graduated more than 4,000 North State adults from its ASPIRE degree-completion program, and nearly 3,000 from its School of Education. It has a No. 7-ranked School of Nursing, a seminary, and master’s programs in counseling psychology and organizational leadership. Simpson University is listed in U.S. News and World Report’s Top 100 Regional Universities West and recognized nationally by Colleges of Distinction. The university is launching new programs in digital media, computer information systems, and engineering, and recently added athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, women’s wrestling, and men’s volleyball, as well as a bass fishing team. The university is also working to better serve transfer students from community colleges through its commitment to Associate Degree for Transfer agreements. Learn more about Simpson University at Follow university news at