Bethel Wildcats Out Roars Bryan Lions

WOW! What an opportunity Major League Fishing made available for all my Bethel University teammates and me to compete in a head-to-head competition with Bryan College on Watts Bar Lake (Dayton, Tennessee). MLF put together the inaugural College Face-Off tournament. The format was different than most tournaments we fish; to say it’s an exciting duel to the last boat standing is an understatement. Kyle and I were so focused that we didn’t drink or eat anything until close to weigh-in. (That’s saying a lot for two college students; we like to eat!)

The SCORETRACKER LIVE system made it super easy for everyone to score fish weights. Immediately after the catch, our bass was weighed and the total number of legal size bass was recorded and added to our total weight. We tallied up 42 legal limit bass for a grand total of 86-15 pounds taking home first place for Bethel Wildcats. We had one of those dream days and so did the bass we caught … they were back in the water – not in our live well– to keep Watts Bar Lake stocked for other anglers to enjoy the experience of landing a "Big Mouth Bass" “".

If you just look at the number of bass we caught and the weight you would think it was a perfect day on Watts Bar Lake, but it was a day of decision making and some rain as well. Using Strike King bait and my Lews Rod put me in the zone, and then adding the SCORETRACKER to the mix certainly was a game changer for us. We were fishing for pre-spawn fish and had moderate success with a few fish but once the rain let up we checked the live SCORETRACKER and found one of the Bryan teams had accumulated 25 pounds. What we were doing wasn’t even close to getting us to the weight we needed. A decision was made to make a change, and thankfully that was the right choice. It was instant success. Like instant score tracking, we started catching keeper fish! Normally you don’t know where you stand and you continue with the same bait and pattern, you think you are doing what’s needed but the moment of truth comes at final weigh-in, too late to make adjustments.

Having the right baits, is a must, especially in tournament fishing, my Skeeter FX21 is designed with the perfect locations for all my tackle and rods. The design of the Skeeter FX21 provides easy access to everything, even with two competitive anglers in the same boat hooking and landing. One tip, I paired my Skeeter with a Yahama 250HP. I can lay the throttle open, get to any of my spots, without sucking up too much gas.

Both Kyle and I were well equipped to make the needed change, and the standout bait was a Strike King Rage Bug. If you don’t have this bait in your arsenal, you need to put the Strike King Rage Bug 4” soft tail on top of the list. It’s sort of ugly but very attractive to bass, it’s especially good for flipping, and we did a lot of flipping.

It was certainly fun to be a part of MLF history making the first ever College Face-Off tournament, to be on the main stage, to be interviewed live during the Bass Pro Tour Postgame Show and, most of all, hoisting the MLF College Face-Off Shield . Bethel College seized the day winning the College Over All Challenge and we took 1 st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th and 10th places making it a pretty nice grand slam day.

Thanks Major League Fishing!