When collegiate anglers rolled into Allen, TX and nearby Lake Lavon last week, the fishery was a virtual unknown to just about all of them, but the Arkansas Tech team of Reagan Moore, Evan Barnes, Aaron Sarna, and Evan Smith worked together efficiently to pick the most productive area and unlock the lake’s secrets. They quickly learned that a wave of large fish had rushed to the banks and pockets to begin their spring spawning rituals.
Teamwork was the key to success for the ATU anglers — by the second day of competition they were all committed to the same area, where some of the best fish to cross the scales were concentrated.
Ultimately the team approach was the key for the competition’s only female angler, Reagan Moore, who took a slow and methodical approach to coaxing the big bass to bite. As a result, she landed the largest bass of the competition on Saturday, a 7.84 lbs. lunker, along with several other Texas-sized trophies.
“When I first set the hook on the biggest one, it just sat there and I told Evan I was hung up,” said the ATU junior. “Then all of the sudden the line took off and we knew immediately that it was huge.”
“I was fishing much slower than the rest of the guys, and I also made a few key changes to the lizard I was fishing,” she added. “I think dipping the tail of each bait in chartreuse, and keeping them soaked with Smelly Jelly really helped me. The patience and attention to detail made all the difference, since I was catching them out of the back of the boat, as well as behind other competitors in the area.”
It was apparent to everyone in the event that whatever she was doing, she was doing it better than most. In addition to the largest bass of the competition, she also had the third largest (6.38 lbs.), the fourteenth largest (4.48 lbs.), and then a “little” 2.05 lb. bass to finish up her grand slam of four bass totaling 20.75 lbs.
It took a substantial fish to break into the top five overall. Second place finisher Nelson Goldsmith of Abilene Christian University weighed in a 6.76 lb. bruiser in Saturday’s final session. Fourth place was also over six pounds, 6.02 lbs. to be exact, and went to Texas Christian University angler, Dustin Jones, who set the first benchmark for the anglers in the very first session on Friday. The fifth spot, and the last to receive Overall Honors, was taken by Kenneth Anderson of the University of Arkansas. Kenneth weighed his 5.62 lb. bass in the final session on Saturday, which also netted him third place session honors, as well as several bonus contingency prizes for his support of the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series sponsors.
The 94 registered anglers weighed in a total of 119 bass over the course of the Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash. Since this was an individual competition, the ACA will be assigning School of the Year points based on the total number of fish brought to the scales. Arkansas Tech, which was previously tied with Eastern Kentucky University for the lead, has now placed some distance between themselves and their nearest competitors heading into the next sanctioned event. Complete standings for the Cabela’s Collegiate Big Bass Bash, as well as updated School of the Year points can be found at www.collegiatebasschampionship.com.