New Mexico State University anglers Tanner Cooper and Memo Nunez fought against tough fishing conditions on Day 2 of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional on Lake Amistad to bring in a 14-4 bag that clinched the win with a two-day total weight of 33-12.
“It was really about fishing slow and staying patient,” Cooper said. “In practice we figured out that [to catch bass] you had to find a deep ledge leading into a spawning flat.”
Cooper and Memo started the day very slowly. Instead of having a solid limit early like they did on Day 1, they only had one fish until mid-morning.
“Today, things changed a lot,” Cooper said. “Up until today, catching 4 and 5 pounders didn’t seem that hard, but today we only had one fish at 9:30. We changed it up and went shallow to throw some swimbaits.”
The New Mexico State University team’s primary pattern consisted of fishing transition areas where steep underwater bluffs topped out around 12-feet deep and gradually became spawning flats. The team used an assortment of bottom baits including jigs, Carolina rigs and Texas rigs — all in some variety of green pumpkin.
In only his second tournament, Nunez now shares the Central Regional title with Cooper, something he’s happy about.
“I’m real, real excited,” Nunez said. “We didn’t do so hot in our first tournament. Coming back and winning this thing is awesome.”
Jesse and Tyler Scarafiotti of New Mexico State University brought in the biggest bag of the tournament, 24-11, earning them the Bass Pro Nitro Big Bag for the event. Jesse’s 11-11 kicker claimed the Carhartt Big Bass Award and set the All-Time Big Bass record , which was set just over two months ago by Cody Spears of Florida State University. Spears’ lunker weighed 10-7.
Scarafiotti caught his big fish on a swimbait along a main-lake point that dropped from 25 to 100 feet.
“We were fishing in about 25 feet of water, and the swimbait was actually swimming about 15 to 20 feet deep,” Tyler said. “On the first cast on our second pass, she hit.”
Tarleton State University anglers Colt Farris and Hunter Randolph finished in second place with a two-day total of 31-0.
Image courtesy Bassmaster