College Anglers Win Cash, Protect Bass with Costa

East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) anglers Cason Ragsdale and Kaden Proffitt added a $2,500 bonus to their bank accounts after hoisting the 2022 Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship trophies thanks to Costa Compete + Conserve. After leading days one and two by a single ounce, Proffitt and Ragsdale grinded out a big bag on a tough final day to lock up their wire-to-wire win by over three pounds.

Proffitt and Ragsdale are both seniors studying Business Administration with plans to continue their education at ETBU, but the duo says they didn’t need a college education to know what pair of sunglasses to wear on the water.

“Costas have always been the best sunglasses for fishing,” Proffitt said. “Compete + Conserve just makes them even better! We won the Compete + Conserve prize for a regular season MLF College Fishing tournament on Lake Dardanelle last year. We each received a new pair of Costas, a backpack, hats, t-shirts, and more swag. So, we already knew about the program, but didn’t know until the final day it paid out $2,500 for the Championship.”

Compete + Conserve added over 200 tournaments to its list of supported events, including both college and high school fishing trails. The program is completely free to sign-up for, but it can pay out big as Ragsdale and Proffitt can attest.

“We are both wearing the Broadbill and Reefton frames we won last year for this tournament,” Ragsdale added. “And now those sunglasses won us a bunch of money, which is a huge deal for a couple of college dudes!”

On top of their own winnings, the ETBU Tigers chose the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to receive their $500 conservation donation. Each winner of Compete + Conserve gets to choose a conservation partner to receive an allotted cash contribution for every single tournament. The bigger picture of protecting our fisheries is not lost on the college fishing champs.

“We’re all about more bass,” Ragsdale said with a laugh. “In all seriousness, protecting the fish we love to chase and the waters they swim in, is super important. It’s something all bass fishermen need to be thinking of. We can’t thank Costa enough for everything they do for this sport.”

For a full list of supported tournaments and payouts, or to get yourself registered for Compete + Conserve follow this link: or send an email to Luke at [email protected].