Fishing & Boating News

College Anglers Advance To Second Round Of Classic Bracket Event on Kentucky Lake

by: Helen White, Bassmaster

Top 4 college anglers move on to the second day Taylor Bivins of Kansas State University, John Garrett of Bethel University, Kyle Alsop of Kansas State University and Evan Coleman of Texas State University.
Photo by Ronnie Moore/Bassmaster
(Aug 4, 2016 - Paris Landing, TN)

 Bethel University’s John Garrett already had a limit of fish in his livewell early on Thursday morning before he decided to head to another of his favorite spots on Kentucky Lake.
 
He figured that if he was going to survive the first day of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops, he’d need a lunker in his boat, instead of the steady stream of 2 1/2-pounders he found just after sunrise.
 
But when he got to that next spot, he found the unexpected.
 
“There were a bunch of (U.S.) Marines out there with helicopters and parachutes,” Garrett said. “There were rubber boats out there and people were diving in and catching them. I went over there, and they told me I had to leave. I went back a little later on, and they were gone. Then they came right back and told me to leave again. I kept trying to sneak in (but they weren’t having it.)”
 
Garrett may have been outmaneuvered during the military exercises, but it turns out that he didn’t need anything more than the five 2 1/2-pound bass he boated to start off the tournament. He was fishing head-to head against Texas State University's Sam Stone, and only the winner of that pairing would compete on Friday when the eight-man field was winnowed to four.
 
Garrett’s limit of 12 pounds, 5 ounces put him in that number. He was the only angler in the College Classic Bracket to catch five keepers on Thursday, and he next will fish Kansas State University’s Taylor Bivins, who defeated Auburn University’s Austin Handley in another bracket.
 
Kyle Alsop, the K-State teammate with whom Bivins paired to win the college national championship last week, beat Auburn’s Caleb Wozniak, and also advanced. The fourth semifinal spot went to Texas State’s Evan Coleman, who knocked off Bethel University’s Brian Pahl. Alsop and Coleman will face off in another head-to-head matchup on Kentucky and Barkley lakes on Friday.
 
Individual members of the Top 4 teams from the college national championship were seeded 1 through 8 for the College Classic Bracket. The winner of the unique event earns a spot in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro in Houston in March.
 
Garrett, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, beat No. 5 seed Stone, who only caught one fish on Thursday that weighed 2-1. Stone’s schoolmate Coleman, however, survived to fish on Friday with a three-fish total of 8-2. His first round opponent, Bethel’s Pahl, didn’t weigh a fish on Thursday at Paris Landing State Park.
 
Coleman had never fished Kentucky or neighboring Barkley Lake before practice for this tournament, but he had enough weight to make the second round.
 
“I’m just going out there and finding out what to do,” he said. “I know this is a ledge lake, but I’m not the best offshore guy. So I fished shallow some, and I got on fish today. I didn’t have five, but I did have three quality bites. Because of this format, you can’t save anything on any day. If I have to go out searching, I’ll have to do a lot of map work and cover a lot of water. I caught 30 fish today, but 15 of them or so were short by 1/8 of an inch. If those are just grow an inch, I can catch 12 or 13 pounds fast.” Bass must be at least 15 inches long to count in this tournament.
 
Alsop and Bivins both talked about having momentum coming into this event, after having won the Carhartt College Series National Championship in Kentucky last week. They now are one step closer to making the Classic — a dream for both of them.
 
Alsop caught three fish weighing 7-10 to beat Wozniak, who had one fish for 1-12.
 
“I had three fish at 7:40 this morning,” Alsop said. “I was on a roll. I started bouncing around, and covering new water, but I didn’t catch another fish until 12:50 or so ... I’ve got another day of fishing. When you look at it, I’ve got two guys in between me and the Classic.”
 
One of those guys could be Bivins, who had three fish for 5-2 on Thursday to beat Handley who zeroed. The K-State teammates will meet in the finals if Alsop can beat Coleman on Friday, and Bivins can outlast Garrett.
 
“Today was a straight-up grind,” Bivins said. “I had a lot of hook sets for the camera, but a lot of undersized fish ... I’ve got another day of fishing, though. Getting the ball rolling for Kyle and me was important. I think getting five fish in the boat is still the key. If you get that, you’ve got a good chance. If it happens, it happens.”
 
The second round of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops will begin with launch Friday at 5:30 a.m. at Paris Landing State Park. Weigh-in will begin at 1:45 p.m. The final two anglers will duke it out on Saturday for a spot in the 2017 Classic.
 
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: Yamaha, Berkley, GoPro, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats

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


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