Coming off a BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship victory, the North Carolina State Basspack is proving they have the talent to compete. They didn’t just get lucky on Pickwick, and they are backing it up on Kentucky Lake. Collectively they set the pace for the 2012 Collegiate Bass Fishing Open, Presented by Pepsi by bringing in 22.20 pounds with six fish and two boats. The team consists of Paul Owens, Tyler Faggart, Ben Dziwulski, and Kevin Beverley. Dziwulski made up one half of the Championship winning team just one month ago, and now with a supporting crew the streak continues. The team is working out on the main lake, fishing deep, and getting the job done.
According to Ben, “We caught lots of fish today and had a great day on the lake. We hit some schools that had the right fish, and besides those we weighed in, we caught a lot of other fish. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but we’re off to a great start.”
The Basspack can’t let up on Sunday because the hometown favorite is right on their heels. Bethel University is less than a pound behind at 21.43 pounds. Anchored by strong sacks brought in by Cody Ross and Dewey Swims, and Tanner Ellis and Spencer Brooks they are certainly in position to make a move and take home a victory.
Collectively, Bethel had a lot of anglers out on the water, which could prove to be a game changer. They are fishing four four-angler teams, meaning there was a total of sixteen Bethel anglers out on Saturday on their home lake. If there is one thing their anglers do, it is communicate as a team, which could translate into some collective knowledge that could be hard to overcome. With teams sitting in second, seventh, twenty-fourth, and twenty-seventh, there is a lot of information that could be decoded prior to the end of the day on Sunday.
The University of North Carolina Charlotte also has multiple teams on the water and if they get the first three pound bass in the boat in the morning, they will be the new leaders. With a total of 19.66 pounds, they are only one good Kentucky Lake bass out of the lead. Although the “better” fish seemed difficult to come by Saturday for most of the field, they are certainly out there. Double digit fish aren’t out of the question, and the field is stacked close enough together that a true monster could completely upheave the standings on Sunday.
Even two-angler teams still have a shot at taking home the title of Open Champions. Gregory Childers and Chris Ellis of Kennesaw State brought in 18.29 pounds with their two-angler, six fish limit, proving they’ve figured out how to catch those elusive “better” fish. A quick four pounder would catapult them ahead of the rest of the teams, and if they could find one of the schools of that size bass that roam Kentucky Lake, they could be making a serious move, especially considering once found, this duo could box a total of six fish.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is rounding out the Top Five, also only one good bite outside of the lead, with 18.29 pounds. With eight teammates working together, it’s certainly possible they too could put something together for a Day Two strategy that could really mix things up.
Kentucky Lake is known for schools of fish this time of year, and some of those schools are full of big healthy bass. The right “ledge”, at the right time, could prove to be a game changer. Saturday’s conditions where hot, windless, and very little water movement. Sunday will also be hot, but a good breeze or stronger current could easily make the big ones bite. One six pound bite for anyone in the Top 14, or a tough day for anyone towards the top, and the final standings could look much different.
Full Results are available on CollegiateBassChampionship.com. Those interested in following Sunday’s action as it unfolds can do so via Facebook, as well as the blog that is updated throughout the day on the website.