Bass Angler Magazine

Gossett and Smith Win Bassmaster College Classic

Zeke Gossett and Lucas Smith of Jacksonville State University won the Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic presented by Bass Pro Shops with 17 pounds, 4 ounces. Photo by Gary Tramontina/B.A.S.S.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Despite a slow start, Zeke Gossett and Lucas Smith capitalized on a morning flurry that yielded a five-bass limit of 17 pounds, 4 ounces, which led the Jacksonville State University bass fishing team to victory in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops on Lay Lake.

Gossett, a senior majoring in parks and recreation, and Smith, a freshman business management major, fished the lake’s south end and targeted main-current seams. Their first half hour was frustratingly fruitless, but then the bite ignited and the winners boxed their weight by 9:30 a.m.

“At one place where we actually caught three of our keepers, we ended up catching four more in a row and we had to stop fishing to cull,” Gossett said. “That kind of hurt us because the school was fired up, but we couldn’t figure out which one to cull.

“We hit a flurry — I caught two in a row, then he caught two in a row. It was crazy. Our biggest one today was a 3-13. Our smallest was barely 3 pounds.”

Gossett and Smith alternated between 1/2-ounce Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBaits with Reaction Innovations Little Dipper trailers and those same Skinny Dippers rigged on 1/2-ounce swimbait heads.

“Some places were better for the ChatterBait and some places were better for the swimbait,” Gossett said. “Anywhere the ChatterBait would get hung up a lot, we’d throw the swimbait.”

Smith said being at the right place at the right time was key. Strategic site selection was also an important element of their game plan.

“There were two feeding windows; one at 7 and one about 9:30,” he said. “After 9:30, we didn’t cull anymore.

“The current definitely played a role, for sure. We targeted spotted bass because the current was so strong and we knew we could catch them in the current breaks.”

Gossett said today’s victory was particularly gratifying, given its redemptive backstory. During his sophomore year, his team fell short in what he considered an ideal scenario.

“We had a tournament back in 2016 on Lay Lake in June, which is my favorite time of year, and we absolutely bombed,” Gossett said. “I put in a lot of hard work practicing for this tournament and it paid off.”

The tournament was hosted by Discover Shelby County.

2020 Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt

2020 Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2020 Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2020 Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Ranger Boats, Yamaha

2020 Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: GarminHUK Performance Fishing, Mossy Oak Fishing, Rapala, TNT Fireworks

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 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2 and The Pursuit Channel), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 50 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, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, new Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.


Media Contact: Emily Harley, B.A.S.S. Communications Manager, 205-313-0945, eharley@bassmaster.com

2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic presented by Bass Pro Shops 3/8-3/8
Lay Lake, Birmingham  AL.
(BOATER) Standings Day 1


    Angler                                       Club/School                       Pts

1.  Zeke Gossett – Lucas Smith                   Jacksonville State                    0
Day 1: 5   17-04   Total:   5  17-04
2.  Cole Sands – Jake Lee                        Bryan College- TN                     0
Day 1: 5   15-05   Total:   5  15-05
3.  Tyler Vanbrandt – Grant Gallagher            Adrian College                        0
Day 1: 5   12-07   Total:   5  12-07
4.  Jacob Harris – Nicholas Moore                Southeast Missouri State University      0
Day 1: 5   12-03   Total:   5  12-03
5.  Dax Ewart – KJ Queen                         Bethel University- TN                 0
Day 1: 4   10-11   Total:   4  10-11
6.  Carter McNeil – Cole Floyd                   Bethel University- TN                 0
Day 1: 4   10-04   Total:   4  10-04
7.  Braden Perry – Aidan England                 Carson-Newman University              0
Day 1: 5   10-03   Total:   5  10-03
8.  Michael Childers – Landon Nelson             Calhoun Community College             0
Day 1: 4   09-05   Total:   4  09-05
9.  Ethan Jones – Andrew Althoff                 Mckendree University                  0
Day 1: 3   09-01   Total:   3  09-01
10. Logan Parks – Cody Griffith                  Auburn University                     0
Day 1: 1   05-00   Total:   1  05-00
11. Jacob Pfundt – Emil Wagner                   Ole Miss                              0
Day 1: 2   02-05   Total:   2  02-05
12. Brian Linder – Nathan Thompson               MINNESOTA STATE Mankato               0
Day 1: 1   01-15   Total:   1  01-15
13. Bailey Fain – Preston Kendrick               Bryan College                         0
Day 1: 1   01-13   Total:   1  01-13
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1         5        45       117-12
5        45       117-12

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