Allen Luck Has Reel Commitment

By John Lee Dudley '95

Pursuing a passion is rarely easy. Allen Luck ’12, just two years out of college, is getting firsthand experience as he balances a full-time job with his quest to become a professional bass fisherman. When he is not working at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, he is either angling or trying to find more sponsors.Allen Luck

“I think about fishing all of the time. I grew up hunting and never really fished until I was 19 years old. I met some great guys at Hampden-Sydney and fell in love with the sport.”

He and Charlie Parrish ’12 cofounded the Hampden-Sydney Anglers Club and went on to make a name for themselves and for the school on the collegiate fishing tour. Now that Luck is on his own and has to work full time, it is harder to make time for fishing, but he is not about to give up on his passion for the sport.

Whether he’s going to Smith Mountain Lake or the Potomac River, or if there is an FLW Outdoors BFL Series tournament in the region, Luck is there. Because he is new to the series and trying to make a name for himself, he has been competing as a “co-angler”; at the beginning of a tournament, co-anglers are randomly paired with a boater (a fisherman with his own boat) to get out on the water, but the co-anglers compete against one another. This is a great way to meet other anglers and a less expensive way to compete.

The struggles are real: Luck bought a used boat last year and has uncovered numerous headaches; every out-of-town tournament requires paying for a weekend of meals and hotels—and during a couple of tournaments last year he didn’t catch a thing. So it goes.

Luck is undeterred, however. He has gained one new sponsor, launched a new website at, and is preparing for a summer of competitive fishing. The club gave the College tremendous exposure in the world of collegiate bass fishing, and so he also wants to reinvigorate the Hampden-Sydney Anglers Club by mentoring interested fishermen. It was a constructive and influential part of Luck’s Hampden-Sydney experience, and he would like to keep moving forward.

“It’s an addiction that I haven’t been able to cure at all. It’s a driving force in my life, and I probably think about fishing more than I do anything else. Ever since I started fishing at Hampden-Sydney, I’ve been hooked.”