Live Blog: Thursday, May 25th – Day 1 From The Water

We’re switching the live blog over to our weigh in coverage blog for those of you looking for updates for the rest of the afternoon.   Be sure and check that one out where you’ll see updates as the day winds down to include a couple of GIANTs that have been recently caught as well as notes from the anglers at the weigh in.  Thanks for following us so far.


We have really noticed the bite slowing down as the day goes on. Austin Godwin and Dustin Reel from Tyler Junior College with a good one heading into the afternoon.   Will the bite pick up with more current rolling down the river?


The wind is picking up to 13 mph out of the west making it a little choppy out on the main lake. This could make positioning the boat perfectly on the ledges very difficult if the wind continues to blow.   It also could affect those anglers making long runs back to weigh in.  If their late they’ll be penalized.


Thursday, May 25th 11:00am

Wanted to take a second and give a huge thank you to our camera crew for getting all the content for this BLOG, Facebook, Instagram, and for the Nationally Televised TV Show that will air in the coming months.








The University of Missouri is looking to upgrade. They’ve got around 13 to 14 pounds in live well so far. They’ve covered a lot of water this morning fishing the way they like to fish while flipping shallow exposed cover in and around docks and other places.  They said they’ve got two small ones still in livewell they would like to cull before weigh in.    They also talked about what could have been as they said they’ve lost a couple in four pound range that they sure would have liked to have. With lots of time left perhaps they can get another chance at some bigger fish.


Our on the water photographer found Levi Sharp from LSU. Levi won the flip, pitch and cast contest on Yamaha night and he is going after that Power-Pole gift certificate for Biggest Bass of the Tournament with this 7lber. And guess how he caught it…..flippin.   Guess when you start doing that at 6 years old you’ve got game by college!

Shane Campbell and Phillip Germagliotti from Mckendree with their first keeper of the day.   They we’re targeting a mix of shallow cover, rocks, brush and other things near the Port of Florence.


Team Cabela’s Member Dakota Ebare from Tarleton State University with a huge cull.  It’s upgrades like those that really help you come weigh in time.

Tarleton State University with three keepers. They have been working a variety of areas using both finesse and reaction baits.  We’ve seen them fishing points, around the current, near brush.   Their certainly mixing it up today.

Thursday, May 25th 10:00am

Let’s take a look at some of the decisions a tournament angler has to make before they even make their first cast. Should they make a long run first thing or stay close to take off, do they go for a limit first or start looking for the big bite. Do you go finesse with a drop shot or shakey head, do you drag a carolina rig, maybe throw a big jig, pull out the deep diving crankbait, maybe go shallow with a square bill, bring the alabama rig out, or throw a big topwater bait to draw them up? Next you have the five million color choices to pick from, what size weight to use, fish the bait fast or slow, do you have a constant retrieve or stop and go retrieve, maybe twitch the rod for some action or just keep it still, how heavy of line to use, do you use braid, fluorocarbon, or mono? Do you want to use spinning reels or bait casters, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, extra-heavy rods, are they going to use a short rod, medium length rod or a long rod?

Thats just some of what every angler on the water today had to ask themselves before they even made that first cast. Not many other sports that you have so many choices to make before you even begin the day and if you make the wrong one it could cost you the tournament. Now with being four hours into day one of the Championship you can bet these college anglers are all thinking along those lines.


Southern Illinois University has stopped by an isolated dock.  They have a few little ones but nothing special. “Our on the Water Photographer is having a blast getting some great shots for the blog!” Adam Elmhorst, On the Water Photographer


I hope they like each other…When it comes to ledge fishing you’ve got to expect company and work together or everyone looses.  We see at every college event on Pickwick a lot of teams working together and sharing water.


Getting our first look at our third place school in the School of the Year Race the University of North Alabama today, currently they have a limit of 12-13 pounds.   Nathan Martin and Austin Mize have been a great team for the school for some time.  I would expect to see them with close to 20 pounds or more come weigh in as they will run and go targeting several schools.


One of the most important rules we have is all anglers must have a life jacket on when the combustion engine is on, great job staying safe guys.  BoatUS has long been a supporter of this tournament series and with boating safety being something they really like to spread the word about it’s great to see college anglers doing the right thing.


Bryan College’s Nathan Bell and Cole Sands continue to upgrade.  This duo is having quite the season.  Maybe one of the best we’ve seen in recent years.


Welcome to the 2017 Pickwick Lake Boat Show! Looks like a couple teams may have found this ledge in practice.    It’s expected that all the key spots will have company on them.  Our predictions all along are that those anglers finding something a bit more isolated might have a HUGE advantage this week.


Sometimes it’s a Pickwick Lake lunker and you need the net and sometimes it’s not.


Catching up with another team from Bryan College who as we all know are the overall leaders in the Cabela’s School of the Year Race   Currently this team only has one fish in the livewell but it’s early on day one and they’re are still working on getting their school to fire up.


Putting that Garmin graph to work early on Day One of the 2017 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. To be effective on the ledges on Pickwick Lake having a good graph is key. Anglers will idle around staring at their graph looking for that giant school of bass.   Some schools will be there and some won’t…You don’t know without electronics. 


Bethel Universities team of Brian Pahl and John Garrett are catching them on all most every cast.   This is a powerhouse team from Bethel with quite the pedigree on the water.  


Bradley Devaney and Saxton Long from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a huge early morning cull!  Fish like that will go along way towards keeping them in contention. 


Bradley Devaney and Saxton Long from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and the current Second Place team in School of the Year standings with their fifth keeper.

Thursday, May 25th 8:03am

As we get just past 8:00AM on day one of the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Cabela’s we’re seeing quite a few fish catches being reported from the teams we’ve got coverage of. Our video camera teams started on the top four teams as ranked in the Cabela’s School of the year race so our early coverage will feature early catches from Bryan College, Tennessee, North Alabama and Bethel while also bringing you a few shots from other random teams we come across. One thing for certain early just like any bass fishing tournament some teams are already culling while others are searching for the first bite of the day.


Current fourth place team in School of the Year Bethel Universities team of Brian Pahl and John Garrett just finished out their limit and are now culling. Bethel University has a total of three boats competing in the championship.


Bradley Devaney and Saxton Long from the University of Tennessee just put number four in the livewell.


Bethel University has four in the boat after making a 35+ minute run this morning to their first spot. Looks like the gamble to make the long run paid off.


Bryan College’s Nathan Bell and Cole Sands are off to another hot start. The whole Bryan college team has had a dream season with one single goal in mind winning the Cabela’s School of Year title. It’s appearing their goals are almost accomplished as Cole and Nathan are already culling this morning as they work towards wrapping up Bryan College first ever School of Year Title

Nathan Bell and Cole Sands from Bryan College

Nathan Bell and Cole Sands from Bryan College



University of Alabama setting the hook on a good one.

Not a bad way to start the morning for the University of Alabama

Tarleton State has one keeper so far to start the day as well as several shorts. They like their spot and what they’ve gotten done so far and are hoping to upgrade all day long.


The University of Alabama Birmingham has just got to their starting spot for the day. Their mixing it up to start with throwing everything from finesse baits to crankbaits.

Bradley Devaney and Saxton Long from the University of Tennessee with their second keeper of the morning.

In practice it was mostly shorts and sandal weather with occasional needs to don rainwear.  Today, it’s vastly different with all the anglers bundled up in sweatshirts and outerwear.   Those anglers going on long runs we’re even bundled up even more.
This weather change has the anglers dealing with a late May cold front that has left the sky cloudless which will help some anglers and hinder others.    This could slow the bite considerably for many of the teams and very possibly make for a tougher day on the water early on than expected.   Already those anglers that stopped short of the far away ledges are starting to scratch their heads and wonder if they made the right call or not.

One of the four ranked teams from Murray State starting shallow this morning. We’ve seen them catch one non keeper so far

Thursday, May 25th 7:10am

The University of Missouri in the background and Murray State in foreground both started not too far from the takeoff site this morning. Both teams stated they made the call not to run to the ledges and stay close by to start the day and hope for a few keepers early on.

Thursday, May 25th 6:50am

Kevin hard at work this morning behind the camera. This event will be Nationally Televised so you can see all the action.

Thursday, May 25th 6:30am

Good luck to all the anglers heading out for Day One of the 2017 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Cabela’s

Thursday, May 25th 6:10am

Take off is underway with the first boats having been on the run now for several minutes. Those anglers running to their first spot and those still waiting to take off all have minds on making the right decision this morning. What spot will they stop on? Do they run all way to the faraway ledges or stop close by? Do they gamble on stopping short of their biggest school to get a quick limit or go to a spot that might have a few bigger fish? These early morning day one decisions can often set the tone for the how the event plays out.

2 replies
  1. Mary Ebare
    Mary Ebare says:

    Huge thanks to the Cabela’s Crew for keeping Team fans up on the water action! Blog’s greatly appreciated!

    Tarelton Team Fan
    Mary Ebare

  2. Teri sands
    Teri sands says:

    Way to go on the blog ! Awesome job where is the leader board? Let’s go Bryan college!

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