Harmon Marien, a 2020 Northland Pines High School graduate, has started off his fishing career at McKendree University with several accomplishments throughout his freshman year. 

Marien, 19, has qualified for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship as well as the Major League Fishing (MLF) Collegiate National Championship. 

On his way to qualifying for those prestigious events, he reeled in the win at the Missouri State Open and took second place at the McKendree University Spring Invitational. 

Marien continues to elevate his university’s standing for the School of the Year title as he and his teammates compete in bass fishing tournaments on behalf of McKendree University. 

Marien and his teammate, Devon Rathbun, won first place at the Missouri State University Open on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo., earlier this spring, outweighing the runner-up by nearly a pound. The duo caught a mix of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass weighing in at 14.36 pounds and also caught the “big bass” of the tournament. This haul earned the team 100 points toward the coveted School of the Year title for McKendree University. 

On April 24, Marien competed with Jason Qualich as his partner and the team took second place in the McKendree University Spring Invitational on Carlyle Lake in Carlyle, Ill. The day before the tournament, it snowed which caused the fish to be rather “stingy,” according to Marien. The pair only weighed in two fish for a total of 5.76 pounds that day, yet they found success in having caught the second largest bass of the tournament. This catch helped the duo earn more points toward the School of the Year title. 

“These college opens and invitationals are crucial to chasing down the School of the Year title,” Marien said.

The recent MLF College Open presented by Yeti on Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee hosted 229 teams from all across the country. Marien and Rathbun had a slow start on day one with a bag of 6.12 pounds on three fish, which placed them at 85th for the tournament. Things quickly took an upturn on day two as the duo maxed their five bass limit with an impressive 19-pound bag on five fish — the third-largest bag of the day. 

After that haul, the team placed 23rd in the tournament, missing qualification for the MLF College Nationals by a mere one ranking. In an exciting turn of events, the team won a tie-breaker, which ended up qualifying them for the MLF College National Championship.

“Qualifying for the MLF College National Championship is an honor, and I couldn’t be more excited to represent McKendree on such a big stage,” said Marien. “I look forward to chasing down a national title this upcoming spring.”

The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship will be in August on a fishery that is not yet determined. People will be able to watch the national championship on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).

For more information on the MLF National Championship, go to majorleaguefishing.com.