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Posted By The Bass Hog

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — Patrick Walters and Tyler All of the University of South Carolina claimed the title of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops at Winyah Bay with a three-day total of 47 pounds, 14 ounces of bass.

The Summerville, S.C., anglers stayed consistent on Thursday and Friday of this three-day event and saved their explosion for Championship Saturday as they weighed 20 pounds, 11 ounces — the heaviest five-bass limit of the tournament.

Unlike most teams this week, Walters and All targeted an offshore school of bass and capitalized with a solid limit each of the first two days. Most of the bass they weighed in were caught during the first hour of their fishing time. The only thing they were missing each day, was a bigger bass that would provide a comfortable margin over the rest of the field. Today, when it counted most, they checked that accomplishment off the list.

“We targeted bends in the river where the tide and current would concentrate groups of fish,” Walters said. “We focused our efforts on the main river.”

As usual, the pair limited out early and even culled a few times. But the bite stalled after the first hour and half. They changed spots, but Walters felt an overwhelming urge to go back to their bread-and-butter fishing hole that had placed them in the lead.

“We fished a few other areas within this river, and we just didn’t feel comfortable there today,” Walters said. “We went back to our best area and stuck it out. The bigger fish bit for us today.”

The Gamecock teammates utilized both soft and hard jerkbaits to mimic shad and entice bites in a river ditch on the Santee River. They caught most of their bass on soft jerkbaits, but the biggest fish of the day hit a hard jerkbait.

Their 7-pound, 6-ounce largemouth today landed them the Bassmaster Big Bass Award, and they also managed the Nitro Boats Big Bag of the Tournament with the 20-11 stringer. For taking the lead after Day 2, the duo also took the Livingston Lures Day 2 Leader Award worth $500 in merchandise.

Coastal Carolina’s Jonathan Kelley and Max McQuaide stayed in second place after weighing 12-15 on Championship Saturday. They managed 38-14 for the three-day event, but fell to Walters and All by 9 pounds.

Kelley and McQuaide ran their boat more than 70 miles one way to get to an area in the Pee Dee River where they found plenty of bass all day, but no big ones. Their struggles on Thursday with cloudy conditions hurt their week, but they managed to stay consistent and land limits in the 12- to 14-pound range all week.

The duo of Noah Pescitelli and Sean Hall of the Savannah College of Art and Design jumped from sixth into third on the final day, as they brought the second biggest bag of the day to the scales. They stayed consistent the first two rounds, weighing limits in the 10-pound range. Their 13-14 limit today produced a final tally of 35-4.

Collin Smith and Ben Stone of Lander University were fourth with 34-5, and Rick Couch Jr. and John Kaufman of Central Florida finished fifth with 31-7.

The Top 13 teams earned a berth in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, to be held this summer.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

Jan. 28, 2017 LUFKIN, Texas — Travis McGuire and Layne Bynum of Texas Tech University caught their second consecutive 28-pound limit to win the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.
The Red Raider teammates tallied a three-day Carhartt College Series record of 69 pounds, 8 ounces to win by a whopping margin of 12-1 over the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Persistence paid off for the Texas anglers as they toughed it out on one primary offshore spot, waiting for waves of big bass to funnel into the area for the duration of the tournament. McGuire and Bynum didn’t give up or hang their heads after a humbling 12-14 on Thursday’s competition day had them mired in 48th place.
“We were catching them when they were moving up to feed before they head to spawn,” McGuire said. “Those big fish always go deeper for the winter so we wanted to position ourselves where they were headed.”

The victors fished what they called a “highway,” which is what anglers refer to when an area has attributes that fish desire for prespawn and postspawn conditions. There is always a wave of fish moving deeper to the area or pulling up shallower during that transition. They picked apart that highway with four baits throughout the three-day event.
A big contributor was a Strike King 6XD deep-diving crankbait. They also used a football head jig, a swimbait and a Carolina rig.
After struggling Thursday, they stayed with their gameplan because they knew the quality was there and they could see them on their electronics. It paid off bigtime as they caught the Bass Pro Shops Nitro Big Bag, which weighed 28-10 Friday and was worth a $250 gift card to Bass Pro Shops. The catch was anchored by the 10-2 Carhartt Big Bass, which also garnered the team a $500 Carhartt gift card.
They utilized the second biggest bag of the event to pull away and take the victory over the first-day leaders Tyler Craig and Spencer Lambert of Louisiana-Monroe.
They took a different approach to their second-place finish, as they focused on a ditch that was filled with hydrilla and plenty of bass. Every morning Craig and Lambert would load the boat with eight to 10 bass on a red lipless crankbait.
“I think those fish were pulling up at night and feeding in that ditch,” Craig said. “I found that spot two weeks ago and caught 12 or 13 fish and decided to leave it alone because it would probably be good this week.”
Thursday was the first day of the cold front and it paid big dividends for the duo, as they landed an 8-pounder and a 6-pounder to anchor their 24-8 limit.
“I don’t know what would’ve happened if it stayed warm during the tournament,” Lambert said. “But I think the really cold evenings stopped the bigger females from pulling up from deeper water into the area.”
The giant size may not have cooperated for them Friday and Saturday, but there were plenty of solid bass to sift through as they built a consistent mid- to upper teens weight.
Tyler Rivet and Cameron Naquin of Nicholls State University took third place, Colt Benedict and Reed Foster of Dallas Baptist University placed fourth and Lawrence Kuznik and Dakota Moore of Louisiana-Lafayette placed fifth.
Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

MCKENZIE, Tenn. — From start to finish Alex Heintze and Justin Watts of Baton Rouge, La., held the lead at the Costa Bassmaster High School National Championship presented by TNT Fireworks.
Saturday, the Livingston Parish Bassmasters team added a third consecutive 20-plus-pound catch and made the win official. After three days on Kentucky Lake the teenagers caught 66 pounds to win the Costa Bassmaster High School Series’ most elite tournament. Their winning total included daily five-bass limits weighing 20-10, 23-14 and 22-2.
The deep-diving lure never factored in the team’s strategy, nor did the lake’s signature ledges. Instead, Heintze and Watts relied on their fishing strengths in south Louisiana’s shallow bayous.
“We didn’t come here to fish the ledges, so we committed to fishing shallow,” said Heintze, 16, a junior at Denham Springs High School. “The lake set up to fish shallow anyway with the water so high.”
The team’s first stop during practice ended the search for bass. Flooded shoreline habitat, the presence of baitfish and inundated ditches attracted enough bass to sustain their strategy for three days.
“The high water was the difference,” said Watts, 15, a sophomore at Live Oak High School. “Without it the fish wouldn’t be there, and I doubt they will be tomorrow.”


The team alternated between a tube jig and topwater frog. That choice was a black Spro Dean Rojas Signature Series Bronzeye Frog. A Strike King tube jig Texas rigged with a 1/4-ounce weight and 4/0 Trokar hook completed the lure arsenal.
A zig-zig action with the frog was a must and mimicked the motions of the baitfish. The anglers alternated between the two lures to maximize time in the strike zone. When success with the frog slowed, they switched to a flipping presentation with the tube jig.
On Kentucky Lake the team struck early, and their bites came quickly. All of the 20-pound limits were caught by 9 a.m. The team fished the same 150-yard stretch of shoreline.  
Louisiana teams claimed the Top 2 spots in the tournament. Braden Blanchard and Cade Fortenberry, fishing for St. Amant High School in St. Amant, La., took second place with 51-15.
The B.A.S.S. Youth Nation Junior Championship coincided with the high school tournament. The 26 qualifying teams from as many states competed for two days on Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreational Lake.
Aaryn Minyard and Hunter Meadows of the Oklahoma City Junior Bassmasters won the tournament with 28 pounds, 7 ounces. The entire catch came on Saturday after the anglers failed to boat a bass on the opening round.
“Friday, we figured out late in the day that we should be fishing deeper,” Meadows said. “Today, we caught our fish on a submerged roadbed sloping from 15 to 20 feet.”
The team caught fish on a 3/4-ounce green pumpkin Strike King jig and a Carolina rigged lizard. The rig was an 8-inch Zoom Magnum Lizard with a 3/4-ounce weight.
Bethel University, an event host, offered four-year scholarships valued at $20,000 each to Heintze and Watts. The scholarship offer was also extended to Jacob Bruener, who competed in the junior championship. Bruener, a student at Douglas High School in Nacogdoches, Texas, caught a largemouth weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces, from Carroll County Thousand Acre Recreational Lake. The catch is under review as the new lake record.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — University of Minnesota’s Trevor Lo is Classic bound after defeating Texas A&M’s Josh Bensema in the final round of the 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Seres Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops.

The reigning champion of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops National Championship, Josh Bensema, brought in only one bass weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces and was unable to hold off the midday charge that boated Lo three bass worth 6 pounds, 3 ounces.
As Lo stood on stage and was awarded his berth to the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, he was overcome with emotion and fought to hold back the tears.
“Feels good,” Lo said. “I don’t know; I’m just overwhelmed right now. I have so many emotions going through me. I’m just so thankful for all my family coming to support me. I never thought I’d make it this far, and I’m just so thankful.”
Immediately after the Top 4 teams were decided via the national championship Saturday, contestants were allowed to either go out on the Wisconsin River Flowage to scout for an hour or they could opt out and work on tackle. Lo chose to work on tackle after having researched the lake online using Google Earth.
“I fish a lot of river systems back home, and I did what I know how to do,” he said. “I looked for outside bends in the main channel. I found current breaks and fished deep laydowns. I started with that game plan on the first day and it worked so I stuck to it.”
Lo’s primary bait this week was a weightless Gary Yamamoto Senko, both wacky rigged and Texas rigged.
“I didn’t even bother to pick up another rod ‘cause that’s what they were biting,” he said.
When asked by B.A.S.S. College Series Tournament Manager Hank Weldon who Lo wanted to thank, he said:
“First and foremost, I want to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for the grace He’s provided for me to even be here fishing this tournament, my mom and my dad, and my family and friends that are watching and that are here.”
In addition to the Bassmaster Classic berth, Lo receives a fully rigged Toyota Tundra accompanied by a sponsor-provided, fully rigged boat-and-motor combo to use for the year. Lo was also awarded $7,500 cash by Carhartt to use for expense money in the 2016 Bass Pro Shops Opens. As if that wasn’t enough, Lo’s entry fees for all nine of those Opens have been waved.
Finishing one spot shy of all of that is a bitter pill to swallow and one that Aggie Bensema is going to be choking down for a while. As elated as Lo is right now, Bensema sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. However, Bensema sees only the positive.
“I want to thank my family for coming out, my girlfriend, and of course, Matt (teammate Matthew McArdle) for helping me get this far,” he said. “I’ll be a junior starting this fall, so I have two more years to try to get back here. It’s been a great week. Today’s a little disappointing, but it just fuels the fire for next year.”
Bensema caught his fish this week on a variety of baits around main-river current breaks. He said he would typically throw 6th Sense Crush 50X and 25X Squarebills on each stop first and then follow up with a Santone Flipping Jig rigged with a Kicker Fish Kicker Craw Jr. trailer. 

Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — Tyler Rivet and Allyson Marcel of Nicholls State University hauled in 8 pounds, 7 ounces on Friday to vault from eighth place and into the second-round lead of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. 
The Louisiana college’s team ground out a three-bass limit heavy enough to claim a 6-ounce lead heading into the final day of team competition Saturday on Lake DuBay.
While catches for most of the 81 teams in the championship were smaller on the second day, Rivet and Marcel stayed with the tactics and locations that had them among the leaders in the first round.
“We did exactly the same thing today and fished the exact same spots,” Rivet said. “It’s an undercut bank in a small canal, and it reminds us of how we fish back in Louisiana. We had to hit the bank with our baits, or we wouldn’t have a chance to catch a bass.”
Consistency has been the key for Nicholls State, but with increased fishing pressure on Lake DuBay this week, fish catches are expected to decline even more in Saturday’s final round.
“I think we will be fine,” Marcel said. “I don’t want to jinx us, but we missed two fish today, and I think they could bite again tomorrow at some point.”
The first-round leaders from Texas A&M University, Josh Bensema and Matthew McArdle, checked in with 6 pounds, 9 ounces of DuBay bass to stay within striking distance of the lead and a possible National Championship title.
Bensema and McArdle started quickly Thursday, catching a limit before 7 a.m., but Friday was much different. The Texas duo didn’t land a keeper bass until around 9:30 a.m. After a slow start, however, they began to figure out where the fish were positioning and when they might expect to get a bite from a keeper bass.
Bensema and McArdle used a one-two punch of lures the first day but switched to a topwater bait to boat their three bass Friday.
The University of North Carolina-Charlotte team of Jake Whitaker and Andrew Helms — defending national champions from 2014 — moved into third, less than 2 pounds behind the leaders.
Whitaker and Helms have been concentrating on a specific area of DuBay the first two days and don’t plan to change locations. Their hope is to be the first collegiate anglers to claim back-to-back titles in the Carhartt Bassmaster College championship.
Trevor Lo and Chris Burgan from the University of Minnesota weighed in two smallmouth for 3 pounds, 13 ounces to slip into the Top 5 and are currently in fourth heading into the final day.
Frank Appaluccio and Logan Shaddix of the University of Alabama squeezed into the Top 5 finals after winning a tiebreaker provision over East Carolina’s Zach Blalock and Mike Corbishley. Both teams had 11-11 after two rounds of fishing.
Tyler Rivet and Allyson Marcel of Nicholls State weighed in the Bass Pro Shops/Nitro Big Bag of the tournament (8-7) so far with one day remaining; the winner of this award also receives a $250 Bass Pro Shops gift card.
Rivet and Marcel also earned the Livingston Lures Leader Award, which is given to the team leading after two days. Both members will receive a $250 Livingston Lures gift card.
John Garrent and Brian Pahl of Bethel University currently hold the Carhartt Big Bass award with a 3-11 bass from Day 1. A $500 Carhartt gift card goes to the tournament’s biggest bass.


Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By The Bass Hog

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — Eighty-five collegiate bass fishing teams will converge on Lake DuBay July 9-11 for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops, marking the first time for Wisconsin to host the finals.
The field of qualifiers is the largest in the history of the program, according to Hank Weldon, B.A.S.S. College tournament manager. The anglers represent 60 colleges and universities. The teams qualified for the championship through five regional tournaments and a wild card event.
Weldon said Stevens Point boasts a passionate fishing community and will prove to be great hosts for the college students, many of whom will be fishing in Wisconsin for the first time.
“The fishing in DuBay is reported to be tough, yet we’ve seen some of the anglers practicing showing off some really big bass on their social media feeds,” Weldon said. “It’s definitely going to be a challenging event, but the world’s best collegiate anglers need to be challenged for a championship.”
Leading the championship qualifiers is the team of Jake Whitaker and Andrew Helms of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, who were the 2014 champions and also qualified through the Carhartt Eastern Regional. They’re the first full team to try to defend their title; other championship teams in the past have been broken up through graduation or other changes.
“This is the point that every college angler wants to get to,” Whitaker
said. “For us to be automatically qualified was good, but we wanted to prove that we deserved to be there again. To qualify again and have the chance to defend our title is exciting, but at the same time it’s a hard task to accomplish.”
The full field of teams will compete on the 6,830-acre Lake DuBay on Days 1 and 2 (July 9-10). The Top 5 teams will compete for the national championship crown on July 11. Following the team finals, the Top 4 teams will move on to the bracket format in which they will compete individually for a spot in the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.
Takeoffs will be at 6 a.m. from the Tiki Beach Bar and Grill (1126 County Road DB, Mosinee, WI 54455), and weigh-ins will take place at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Sun Dial (2040 Portage St., Stevens Point, WI 54481). will cover the event with live reports from the lake, live-streamed weigh-ins, photos and stories. Follow all of the national championship coverage on social media as well at and by using the hashtag #collegebass.
Local hosts for the events are the Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Stevens Point Area Central Wisconsin Sports Commission, Tike Beach Bar and Grill, Travel Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
To see all of the national championship contenders, click here

Below is a complete list of Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops qualifiers.
Courtesy of BASS Communications.