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.”
“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: Garmin, HUK Performance Fishing, Mossy Oak Fishing, Rapala, TNT Fireworks
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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