Fishing & Boating News

University of Lousiana-Monroe Takes A Gamble That Pays Off To Earn College Central Title

by: Helen White, Bassmaster

Tyler Stewart (left) and Nick Joiner of the University of Louisiana-Monroe weighed in a 3-day total of 42 pounds to take home the trophy Saturday during the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional.
Photo by Ronnie Moore/Bassmaster
(Feb 28, 2016 - Houma, LA.)

Tyler Stewart and Nick Joiner from the University of Louisiana-Monroe led wire-to-wire to take the title at the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops on the Atchafalaya Basin with a three-day total of 42 pounds even.


On Championship Saturday, the duo put 14 pounds, 14 ounces in the boat to officially pull away from the field. They entered the final frame with just over a 4-pound cushion, and with the help of the second biggest limit of the tournament, Stewart and Joiner bested the competition by an 8-pound, 11-ounce margin.


Having faith that quality fish were in their area proved to be crucial as they caught six fish on Saturday and grinded out one cull the entire day to push through for the title. They kept a weightless wacky rigged Gary Yamamoto 5-inch Senko in their hands all day, and slowly, but surely, added necessary bass to their bag. The confidence they had in their technique and in their area stemmed from numerous days of practice before the tournament ever got started.


“We went south on our first practice day, and we probably caught 40 to 50 fish,” Stewart said. “None of those fish were bigger than two pounds, but we figured we could at least scratch out eight to 10 pounds a day and give ourselves a shot. On our second practice day, we decided to explore the north end of the basin around Lake Verret.”


On that second practice day, they proceeded to catch several 4-pound bass, and they were completely sold on sticking to that area and expanding on their few spots each day.

The entire college field dealt with an influx of rain and a cold front that passed through this week, but that didn’t hurt Stewart and Joiner because they could slow down knowing what lived in their areas.


After the teammates started the tournament off with a bang, catching 17 pounds, 9 ounces on Day 1, they managed their areas and sustained their lead after catching 9 pounds, 9 ounces on Day 2.

On the final day, they could pressure their spots and catch as many fish as needed. But, the duo didn’t start on their normal spot. Instead, Stewart and Joiner took a gamble and fished an area they hadn’t fished in the tournament.


“We didn’t want to start on that spot today because we knew this other canal had some good quality fish,” Joiner said. “We knew could always lay-up at our other spot if we needed to catch a limit, and that’s actually what we did today.”


Stewart and Joiner started Saturday strong as they boated a 4-pounder within 15 minutes after arriving. Then they proceeded to catch a 3-pounder and two bass around 2 pounds.

With four fish in the livewell at 10:30 a.m., they ran to their normal area and caught a quick keeper to fill their limit.

They later added 2 pounds to their weight with a significant cull after moving back to their canal.

Gunner Durrett and Austin Watkins of Louisiana Tech tried their best to catch ULM, but after boating 11 pounds on the final day, they came up short. With a three-day total of 33 pounds, 5 ounces, Durrett and Watkins relied on flipping patches of reeds in the 70-mile area of the Atchafalaya Basin.


They didn’t have any problems boating fish this week, but after Day 1 quality fish seemed to funnel to the numerous areas they targeted. They weighed only 9 pounds on Thursday, but backed it up with 13 pounds, 5 ounces including the Carhartt Big Bass of the tournament that weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces.


Primarily, the Louisiana Tech team flipped a Strike King Space Monkeys in black-and-blue and a Ballistic Blue Missile D Bomb rigged it on a 3/8-ounce weight.


“The deeper the reeds we fished, the better quality showed up it seemed,” Durrett said. “I think that’s why the heavier weight excelled for us compared to the lighter sizes.”


Matthew Leblanc and Matthew Benoits of the host school, Nicholls State, finished in third with a three-day total of 31 pounds, 11 ounces. They relied on moving baits like a spinnerbait to put an early limit in the boat in the first 15 minutes every day of the tournament.


“We knew consistency was going to be big,” Benoits said. “Knowing where the deeper water was helped out enormously because when it got cold, those fish wanted to funnel as deep as they could.”


The Top 13 teams earned a berth into the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on a body of water to be named later.


Along with the win, Stewart and Joiner of ULM took home the Livingston Lures Leader award as well as the Nitro Big Bag of the tournament for their 17-9 effort on Day 1.


2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt


2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, GoPro, Huk

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rapala, Shell Rotella, Shimano, ABU Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Costa

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines ,  Bassmaster website, television show,The Bassmasters, 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, B.A.S.S. Nation, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

 

Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central              
2/25/2016 - 2/27/2016  Atchafalaya Basin - Bayou Black Marina - Houma,LA            
              
STANDINGS  BOATER DAY   3              
              
Name  # Fish  # Live  Lbs - Oz  # Fish  # Live  Lbs - Oz  
1  Tyler Stewart - Nick Joiner  La Monroe  5  5  14-14  15  15  42- 0
2  Gunner Durrett - Austin Watkins  LA Tech  5  5  11- 0  15  15  33- 5
3  Matthew Benoits - Matthew Leblanc  Nicholls State  5  5  9- 1  15  15  31-11
4  Travis Harriman - Chaz Miller  University of Arkansas  5  5  11-15  14  14  30-12
5  Brennan Fertig - Evan Cook  Texas A&M University  5  5  10- 8  15  15  30- 3
6  Tyler Rivet - Jess Robertson  Nicholls State University  5  5  10-14  15  15  28-15
7  Bradley Fleming - Clark Mannas  Texas A&M University  5  5  10- 1  15  15  28- 3
8  Marcus Kliebert - Francis Robichaux  Nicholls State  2  2  3-14  11  11  26-15
9  Adam Forester - Scott McClellan  LA Tech  5  5  9-13  15  15  26-13
10  Brandon Simoneaux - Colby Ogden  Lamar University  5  5  9- 5  15  15  25-12
11  John Authement - Cameron Naquin  Nicholls State  2  2  3- 1  12  12  24- 4
12  Ronnie Gray - Ladd Owens  Arkansas Tech University  5  5  7-10  15  15  23- 6
13  Trent Newman - Nathan Wood  Dallas Baptist University  5  5  7- 2  15  15  22- 0
14  Zach Ziober - Dakota Ebare  Tarleton State University  2  2  2-10  11  11  21-13
15  Adam Burkett - Christian Brown  LSU Shreveport  4  4  4- 7  13  13  21- 6
16  Stetson Overton - Justin Seeton  Tarleton State University  4  4  4-12 13 13 20-13
17  JP Kimbrough - Jared Rascoe  LSU Shreveport  3  3  5- 7  12  12  20-12
18  Cameron Gautreau - Andrew Tucker  Nicholls State  1  1  1- 3  11  11  17-14
19  Ty Hibbs - Matthew Waguespack  Nicholls State  1  1  0-15  9  9  16- 2
20  Tanner Crim - Zach Montalvo  Tarleton State University  1  1  1- 4  11  11  15-12
21  Cody Metzger - Micheal King  Northeastern State University        8  8  14- 5
22  Spencer Lambert - Luke Oneal  La Monroe        7  7  14- 1
23  Wyatt Frankens - Hunter Price  Stephen F Austin University        9  9  14- 0
24  Jared Bourgeois - Parker White  LSU        9  9  13-12
25  Hutton Leppert - Scott Fair  Northwestern State University        10  10  13-11
26  Josh Bensema - Tyler Anderson  Texas A&M University        9  9  13- 9
27  Justin Cooper - John Ledet  Northwestern State University        10  10  13- 9
28  Tyler Woods - Robert Tweed  Stephen F Austin State University        8  8  13- 7
29  Hunter Prestenback - Breagan Liner  Nicholls State        7  7  13- 6
30  Jacob Fournier - Jared Bascle  Nicholls State        8  8  13- 2
31  Hunter Freeman - Tyler Craig  La Monroe        9  8  13- 1
32  Michael Mata - Dax Baker  Arkansas Tech University        9  9  12-15
33  Jeremy Cooper - Zachary McDill  UAM-CTC        5  5  11-12
34  Dalton Warrington - Collin McFeeters  Southwestern Oklahoma State University 6  6  11- 6
35  Colten Hutson - Easton Ramsey  University of Central Oklahoma        8  8  11- 6
36  Dakota Sparks - Levi Sharp  LSU        9  9  11- 5
37  Zack Remedies - Matt Glad  LSU        7  7  11- 2
38  Jacob Caballero - Thomas Legendre  Nicholls State        7  7  10- 1
39  Clayton Godfrey - John-Michael Brattlof  Stephen F Austin State University 6  6  9-13
40  Carson Smith - Malcolm Love  Northeastern State University        7  7  9-12
41  Aaron Belgard - Logan Laprarie  Northwestern State University        7  7  9- 5
42  Cameron DeBorde - Cameron Simmons  Oklahoma State University        7  7  9- 3
43  Jackson Blackett - Austin Joiner  La Monroe        4  4  8- 7
44  Austyn Fowler - Zach Hurst  Tarleton State University        4  4  8- 4
45  Alex Murray - Alex Felder  Southeastern Louisiana University        4  4  8- 3
46  Alex Schieman - Garrett Reynolds  Georgia College        5  5  8- 3
47  Phillip Borel - Dustin Nash  Northwestern State University        6  6  8- 1
48  Colt Benedict - Chase Winston  Dallas Baptist University        5  5  8- 0
49  Jed Hebert - Austin Hebert  University of Louisiana LaFayette        6  6  7-13
50  Dakota Cline - Lawson Priess  Stephen F Austin University        3  3  7-12
51  Jordan Ogle - Chase Arthur  Arkansas Tech University        4  4  7-10
52  Darrell Henson Jr. - Brent Rome Jr  LSU        5  5  7- 9
53  Andre Adams - Dustin Robicheaux  UL LaFayette        4  4  7- 5
54  Reed Foster - Zackery Hines  Dallas Baptist University        6  6  7- 0
55  Allyson Marcel - Tori LeBeau  Nicholls State University        5  5  6-15
56  Jose Palma - Andrew Madison  University of Central Oklahoma        6  6  6-15
57  Jay Lawson - Matthew Anthony  Stephen F Austin State University        4  4  6- 8
58  Gregory Green - Thomas Merchant  Northwestern State University        5  5  6- 4
59  Devine Deramus - Jeff Ramsey  LSU Shreveport        4  4  5- 6
60  Garrett Goettee - Grant Pietsch  Texas A&M University at Galveston        2  2  5- 4
61  Tyler Wilk - Brennan Soileau  LA Tech        2  2  3- 4
62  Brandon Midkiff - Tommy Wendling  Lamar University        2  2  2-12
63  Mitchell Decker - Chris Bradley  Southwestern Oklahoma State University  2  2  2- 1
64  Alex Lamabe - Logan Abshire  University of Louisiana LaFayette        1  1  1-12
65  Damon Martin - Maverick Jaggers  UAM-CTC        1  1  1- 8
66  Blake Crabb - Matthew Williams  Texas A&M Corpus Christi        1  1  1- 3
67  Bret Boyd - Ryan Tassin  UAM-CTC        1  1  0-14
67  Gavin Goolsby - Andrew Cumberland  Nicholls State        1  1  0-14
67  Cain Hamous - Lane Possoit  Northwestern State University        1  1  0-14
70  Alec Castonguay - Garret Whitley  Stephen F Austin State University        0  0  0- 0
70  Cody Finkbeiner - Taylor Barton  Stephen F Austin University        0  0  0- 0
70  Zachary Harrell - Conley Harris  UAM-CTC        0  0  0- 0
70  Brandon Johnson - Thomas Soileau  La Monroe        0  0  0- 0
70  Mitchell Mayard - Owen Richard  LSU        0  0  0- 0
70  Tyler Moses - Justin Terrell  LA Tech        0  0  0- 0
70  Daniel Ortego - Justin Mann  University of Louisiana LaFayette        0  0  0- 0
70  Oaklin Spier - Sawyer Evans  Southeastern Louisiana University        0  0  0- 0
70  TJ Tucker - Hampton Hasek  Arkansas Tech University        0  0  0- 0
70  Chris Zins - Nick Gill  University of Central Oklahoma        0  0  0- 0
              
BIG BASS 

Day  Name  City,State  Lbs-Oz      
1  Zach Ziober - Dakota Ebare  Grapevine, TX  5- 6        
2  Gunner Durrett - Austin Watkins  Simsboro, LA  6- 7        
3  Tanner Crim - Zach Montalvo  Stephenville, TX  1- 4        
              
TOTALS 

Day  # Fish  # Live  Lbs-Oz  # Limits    
1  244  243  408-13  32      
2  214  214  374-10  25      
3  75  75  139-12  11