Gone fishing… in college: Lafayette Christian angler Garrett Cromer signs to the next level

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 11, 2024

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Gone fishing…. In college

Garrett Cromer is getting a chance of a lifetime. The Lafayette Christian angler will be joining the University of Montevallo fishing team starting this fall. 

“I had an offer from Bethel University, but Montevallo reached out to me, and they’re number one in the nation, and they offered me to come there. I just felt like the school was better for me just because it’s closer, they’re the number one team in the nation and they have one of the best business schools from the southeast, which is what I’m going for marketing. And it was eight hours away from home either. It just fits me a lot better,” Cromer said. 

To get a chance to join one of the premier fishing programs in the country was an opportunity that Cromer could not pass up.

“I knew that this was always kind of a dream school for me and I didn’t think it was attainable, just because it’s the number one program in the country,” Cromer said. “It’s like playing football for Georgia or Alabama. So to be asked to be a part of that team was kind of shocking.

“I got a text while I was in class one day asking ‘Would you be interested in fishing here?’ And I really didn’t know how to respond. But eventually, I told them absolutely. I was just kind of shocked at first.”

Fishing courses through Cromer’s veins. It has always been something that piqued his interest and he only got more and more into it as the years went by.

“I always loved fishing growing up and my dad always would take me to the golf course pond where he used to golf, and I just started wanting to do more and more and pond fishing just wasn’t enough,” Cromer said. “So we bought a small boat and started lake fishing and I asked him, ‘Hey, can we try a tournament? ‘And he said yes, so we then started getting more and more into it and never stopped.”

Whether it is tournaments or fun, Cromer and his dad find some time for fishing practically every weekend now.

The first tournaments he competed in were relatively small compared to what would await him in the future. Once he started competing at tournaments at the high school level, his eyes opened to how big the sport of competitive fishing is.

“The first time we went to a high school tournament was crazy. There were like 250 to 300 boats on the water which was a lot bigger than the small pot tournaments that we mostly had been going to, Cromer said. 

Like any angler, Cromer has seen his fair share of good days and bad days. As he has gotten more experienced so has his ability to handle adversity.

“It can be frustrating, Yeah. Especially when you look over, and see somebody catch a three-pounder or a good catch where you just cast your line,” Cromer said. “It can be frustrating, but you can’t let that affect you.”

Cromer has already made some connections with his new teammates as he prepares for the start of the next chapter of his life in the fall.

“I know a couple of guys that went to Harris County. I mean, I never fished with them and I was in the same boat, but we’ve always known each other for the last few years and we fished against each other in tournaments,” Cromer said. “They kind of told me about Montevallo and that it is a great school.”