Live Blog: Friday, May 26th – Championship Day From The Water







This tournament is far from over. It has gone very quiet for our top teams entering the day, which isn’t the a good thing when team just like Cody Salzmann and Justin Thomas from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff who are sitting in tenth are still catching them. This tournament is still up in the air as to who will be taking the trophy home.



Robin here you go!! Justin and Dakota from Tarleton State University hunting for those big Pickwick Lake bass.

Friday, May 26th 10:09


Wyatt Young-Tucker Sargent Tarleton State University Current 4th place team

Tarleton’s 2nd place team still only has 4 fish.   They continue to mix up their pattern by using Texas rigged 10 inch worms, crankbaits and Carolina rigs in 8-12 feet of water.   They are fishing clumps of grass that they marked in practice and are hoping around to a variety of spots.  They are catching a lot of fish today that are just shy of being keepers.


University of North Alabama now has five fish for around 10 pounds.   They seem pretty confident in their pattern as they are only using a couple of rods.  They had hoped to really key on a bigger swimbait to pull of the win today.  I expect we’ll learn more about the keys to their pattern as the day goes on.  Tossing big baits like that lead to the possibly of big fish which can shake up the standings at any time.



Tuscullum College is having a decent day so far but is stuck on four fish for about nine pounds.   We’re hearing they are also catching fish in a variety of manners.   They are fishing well.  As a small school they’ve had a lot of good finishes in past on the Cabela’s series.

Fish Number Four for Tuscullum is a solid keeper in the 3 plus pound range




Make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom and post your comments or ask questions if you have them.



HMMMMMMMM looks like the TVA is starting to push some water through the Wilson Lake Dam. This current has the chance to make fishing explode and really start to mix things up…. Its starting to get pretty exciting!!


Auburn with one of the biggest smallmouth we have seen in the event. Can they repeat? Can they make collegiate bass fishing history? This is going to make weigh-in a nail biter this afternoon, be sure to check out the Live Stream of the day two weigh in at 2:30pm CST

Friday, May 26th at 9:15 AM

We just got an update from Tarleton States 4th place team.   They’ve got 3 fish so far in the livewell for around 6 pounds.

Alex Lindsey and Grey Tyler from Mississippi State with another good one. This team is looking to move way up the leader board here on day two.

JustinThomas from the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff with a nice one. They also caught another 5 pounder after this one.   We’re trying to find out more information about how their total limit looks right now.  They we’re sitting in 10th with 18.03 pounds after day one.  Those kind of fish can quickly move you up the leader board and get you in the hunt.



In a span of about 10 minutes Auburn University has caught a limit and is now culling, with 3 largemouth and 2 decent smallmouth for about a 14lb total.


Friday, May 26 8:36AM

Auburn just caught their fifth fish.  The camera teams are guessing they now have around 13 pounds.  Three of the five fish are just barely keepers which means that any four pound or better class fish will be large upgrades for them.   They are mixing up baits that their using in attempts to trigger their bites.

The 2nd Place Tarleton team has four fish for around 11 pounds.   So they’ve got a lot of room to upgrade.   This team caught a fish yesterday that was over 8 pounds.   If they can add one of that size sometime today they’ll jump way up in standings again but those are not easy fish to come by.

WyattYoung and TuckerSargent showing off their 20.84 limit from day one which was anchored by an 7.30 fish

University of North Alabama who was in 3rd place now has around 8 pounds on 4 fish.  With no kickers in the box so far they’ve got plenty of room to upgrade and a lot of time left in the day.
Our leaders from yesterday Tusculum college have said all along their fish have bit better in the afternoon and right now they’ve got three fish for around 7 pounds.    They remain very confident in how the day is shaping up.
We don’t have any updates on the 4th place Tarleton team at this point so we don’t know if their stuck on zero or have 20 plus pounds in livewell.
Yesterday, we heard one common theme.  They bit early and late.  It seemed a lot of teams caught limits in first hour of the day and then a mid day lull happened before a big late flurry happened perhaps due to all the current.



A broken rod is never a fun thing, especially on day two of the Championship.

Auburn University with a good smallmouth heading towards the livewell. This team of Mitchell Jennings and Cole Burdeshaw won the championship last year and are looking to try and become the first back to back champions.

Teams are already starting to make moves to their other spots on day two of the Championship


Number three for the University of North Alabama. They are going fish for fish with Tarleton State University right now.


Tarleton State University with number four in the boat They are on a big school and have the fish fired up and feeding.



Mitchell Jennings and Cole Burdeshaw from Auburn University made a quick move from their starting spot and it has already paid off.


Leaders Nick Hatfield and Corey Neece from Tusculum College with their first fish in the boat.   They said the afternoon bite will be key for them.


Alex Lindsey and Grey Tyler from Mississippi State starting the morning off right.

Friday, May 26th 7:30am

The fishing or should we say catching appears to be slower this morning overall. Yesterday, the teams we started on all pretty much caught fish right away. Today it’s a different story so far as we’re seeing a lot more casting, looking at sonar to locate the schools and even some head scratching going on. At this point only two of our top five teams have reported fish in at this point in the morning. However keep in mind we’re also limited by cell coverage and perhaps some of those teams are just out of range.

If you follow bass fishing it’s all about the adjustments and today will be no different.

Dakota Ebare & Justin Seeton from Tarleton State University with number three. This team is giving it everything they have to take the trophy back to Texas.

The hometown team of Sloan Pennington & Hunter Mccarty from University of North Alabama have number two in the boat. This team mentioned yesterday they felt they had a target on their back being they go to school right here in Florence, Alabama.



Tarleton State Universities team of Dakota Ebare & Justin Seeton off to a fast start on day two.  Both Tarleton teams mentioned they felt they were doing something different than the other teams   It appears to be working so far.



Bethel University with the wrong kind here early on day two.   Bethel has one of the top fishing programs in the nation and it’s no surprise their in contention on the final day…however Drum don’t count.


The University of North Alabama team of Sloan and Hunter have their first fish in the boat.   These two anglers said they came to school here to learn to ledge fish. We’ll see how those classes have gone so far as the day goes on.


The second place team from Tarleton State Universities team of Dakota Ebare – Justin Seeton with their first keeper.


Looks like the anglers are in for a pretty warm day on the water. The winds will stay pretty tight all tournament day, only picking up towards the end.


One of the big questions on all the anglers minds is how strong will the current be today. Pickwick Lake bass normally feed better when they are releasing water from the Wilson Lake dam. Early this morning they were not pumping much water through the dam but are starting to pump more and more.

Friday, May 26th 6:46AM

We should know shortly about the early bite for our contenders.  Both the anglers and our camera teams are racing towards starting spots now.  Some of the top anglers might not even make their first casts till nearly 7:15 or later today.   The current weather forecast calls for abundant sunshine and a high in the mid 80’s with winds from the South-Southwest 10-20 mph.  That’s another change in the conditions that we’ve seen all week long.   When talking to the anglers yesterday none seemed overly concerned at all about the change in conditions.   We shall see how it all plays out shortly


The first flight of boats are starting to arrive at their spots. If today is anything like yesterday we should have an action packed first few hours. Sloan and Mize from the University of North Alabama currently sitting third are on their first spot.


One of the best stories from yesterday was the Army Team from West Point who are currently sitting in 11th place. The duo of Parker Meytrott-Drew Hicks caught a five fish limit of 18 pounds. Great Job by the Army team to represent.


First place in the Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia Bryan College looks to close it out today and take home the top honors.


Lets take a look at what must happen for someone to come from behind to win.

A quick look at day one’s standings show six teams that caught 18 or better pounds on day one.  That’s quite an impressive day on the water by anyone’s standards.   As we look deeper at those six teams we’ve got to ask the question… can any of them come from that far behind to win.  Sure it’s possible however with three teams catching more than 23 pounds all three of those teams must fall below the 18 pound mark (it’s possible) and one of the six teams must catch around 23 pounds (or more) to make up that ground.

The goal of all the anglers today is to hoist this trophy at the end of the weigh in.

The good thing a big final day charge can happen and we’ve seen it before.  In fact Austin Mize who fishes for The University of North Alabama and is currently sitting in 15th place with his partner Nathan Martin said he felt someone could catch 26 to 28 pounds on five fish this week.  However he really felt like it would happen on day one.    If any of the teams down to say 16 pounds did catch lets say 26 pounds that would give them 42 pounds.  Simple math then says the teams with 23 from yesterday would need around 19 pounds to match that tally.   Based on that any team from lets just say that any team with 16 pounds should be on the radar today.
Anything’s possible on a fishery like Pickwick but eventually math has to come in to play on how much ground you can make up.

Friday, May 26th 6:17AM

The first flights are off for the final day. Our top teams boat numbers are spread out randomly throughout the field.  It will be interesting to see if the early or late arrivals at their first spots  changes the standings.

Friday, May 26th 6:05 AM

University of North Alabama’s Sloan Pennington & Hunter Mccarty –of  TheUniversity of North Alabama,.  They caught 23.31 pounds and are waiting on takeoff.


A few random observations from the yesterday
The top three places are all separated by less than a pound.  We’re talking about the weight of a few drops of water in some cases.   If today unfolds like yesterday culling for ounces will be huge.
Another observation of our top three is that each team caught their weigh fishing  fishing fairly different ways.  Which way will be the best today?   We’ll have to see.
Tusculum college is currently the 21st ranked school in the nation.  Little known fact Tusculum is one of the oldest schools in the nation.

Day One Leaders

Two of the top five teams are from Tarleton State located Stephenville,Texas and both caught big kickers to anchor their limits.   Both teams said their not fishing anything like the other teams.  Question is did they unlock a shallow water bite?  Tarleton came into the event ranked 30th in the nation.
Auburn University came into the event ranked 11th in the nation.  Auburn  has had a stellar run at this event before and won it in 2016.  They are in position to defend last year’s win here on Pickwick and become the first ever back to back school to win the BoatUS Championship.  To do so however  they’ll likely either have to break the 25 pound barrier today or get some help from the four teams ahead of them.

The University of North Alabama which came into the event ranked 3rd in the nation is arguably one of the top five best bass fishing schools in the nation.  They are two time Cabela’s School of Year winners and are once again in the hunt to win on their home waters.  Interestingly the duo in 3rd said they are the least likely members of the school teams that fished yesterday to be in the hunt to win while fishing ledges.  When asked why neither angler said their strong ledge fishing.  In fact both said they enrolled at UNA to learn to ledge fish better.

Tarleton State at last nights top five meeting.

It’s going to be a great day on the water on Pickwick.  Stay tuned for more insight from the day as we get closer to takeoff.


8 replies
  1. Robin Williams (Justin's mom)
    Robin Williams (Justin's mom) says:

    Just an FYI! The last picture of Dakota Ebare and Justin Seeton with Tarleton State in 2nd place holding up their five fish is actually their team mates picture that are in 4th place not Justin and Dakota! Wrong pic of wrong team mates.

    • John Braig
      John Braig says:

      We are sorry about that! We got it fixed and will get some more pictures of your sons team today!

  2. Jason Cherry
    Jason Cherry says:

    I’m a Bama fan but I say War Eagle to the fishing team… Let’s go Cole and Mitch!!!

  3. Teri
    Teri says:

    Let’s go Bryan college ! Praying for a good day for these guys , they have been consistent and worked so hard all year ! Bring school of the year to Dayton , guys!

  4. Robin Williams (Justin Seeton'smom)
    Robin Williams (Justin Seeton'smom) says:

    Hi John, The picture of the Tarleton team you updated about 2nd place having 4 fish and trying all different baits (” Tarelton’s 2nd place team still only has 4 fish. They continue to mix up their pattern by using Texas rigged 10 inch worms, crankbaits and Carolina rigs in 8-12 feet of water.”) The picture is also our Tarleton Team that is in 4th place. That is not Justin and Dakota in that picture either. Not trying to be a pain just really excited mom here!

    • John Braig
      John Braig says:

      We were using that one for more of the flag. I put a caption that it is the forth place team.

      • Robin Justin Seeton's mom
        Robin Justin Seeton's mom says:

        Thank you John!!! Sorry for being a pain! Just a proud mom and excited for all of our Tarleton Bass Teams!!!

Comments are closed.