(Jul 14, 2015 - STEVENS POINT, WI.)
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.”
As optimistic as Bensema wanted to be, those last few words were all he could manage before the emotion and the weight of the moment got to him.
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.
2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt
2015 Bass Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Partners: A.R.E. Accessories, Dick Cepek Tires, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines, Bassmaster website , television show, social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by TNT Fireworks, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.