Union City native, Bethel teammates sink bass fishing competition
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 9:57 am
By: Brent Callicott
The Bethel University Bass Fishing team recently won a major college event — the Lake Guntersville Collegiate bass tournament held in Guntersville, Ala.
I am happy to report a local college bass angler and his teammate claimed first place in a collegiate bass event as well as angler of the year last weekend.
Jake Lawrence of Union City and his college bass fishing teammate Jacob Hardy fished the third in a series of Southern Collegiate Bass Tournament events last week. These two young men ended up first place overall in the Lake Guntersville Collegiate bass tournament held in Guntersville, Ala. last week.
Once points were totaled, Hardy and Lawrence, as well as their Bethel team, claimed anglers of the year as well.
I talked with Jake this past week and was able to get a little info to pass along on their big win.
“My partner (Jacob) and I were very fortunate this past weekend to take the win at the third stop of the Southern Collegiate Series on Lake Guntersville. With that win, we were able to capture the Angler of the Year and Bethel also became the first school to ever go undefeated in match fishing, finishing 6-0,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without our teammates Cody Ross and Dewey Swims, who us in on a little secret fishing hole they had found while pre-fishing for the event.
“Our teammates allowed us to fish at their spot after they had caught their limit (5 bass) and also help protect the spot for Day 2.”
Their prize of Day 1 was a giant kicker fish (bass) that weighed in at 7.87 pounds.
On Day 2 it happened quickly for Jake and his partner as it only took them 12 casts to catch 18 pounds. “We caught every fish we weighed in the tournament on a 3/4-ounce Strike King Redeye Shad in Orange Belly Craw.” said Lawrence and Hardy. “The key to getting these spawning fish to bite was to bang the rattle trap against the stump as slow as possible on repeated cast.”
Believe it or not, there was a little over 90 pounds of bass weight pulled out of this small area on the Guntersville Lake that Jake and his other three fishing teammates shared in two days between the two Bethel boats. They then learned they captured both first and second place.
For the record, team Lawrence/Hardy had a two-day total bass weight of 45.31 pounds (Day 1, 23.20 pounds; Day 2, 22.11 pounds ) and team Cody/Dewey had a two-day total weight of 44.76 pounds (Day 1, 22.66 pounds /Day 2, 22.10 pounds).
Sixty-nine two-man collegiate teams from across the southeastern United States competed in this event.
Bethel Bass Team coach Garry Mason mentioned what was at stake going into the Guntersville event on the university website by saying, “Going into the Lake Guntersville Tournament, we were in third place behind Auburn University for the points standings for Angler of the Year 2011 and I knew that we had a good chance — if our guys could get on fish — to move up in the standings. Auburn has a great group of fishermen and they are tough competitors, plus we were fishing on their home waters, so to speak, with this tournament being held at Lake Guntersville. We were also locked in a three-way tie for the match fishing portion of the tournament series with both Auburn and the University of North Alabama, another great school with a strong fishing program. All three schools went into the tournament with 4 and 0 records.”
Congrats guys and job well done. To you Jake, in my eyes , you’e the next Kevin Van Dam of fishing.
On Monday, Jamie Cochran of Union City took advantage of his kids’ (Nathan and Alex Cochran) spring break from school and they spent a day fishing at a local farm pond in Obion County. They reported catching several nice fish and, most important of all, time well spent with his family.
Also, Charlie Cavender reported to me that Crockett Bottom Lake is still muddy due to the heavy rains we received a few weeks ago. He reported that water temps were in the upper 50s to around 60 on Tuesday. He also reported that vegetation is already showing up around the lake. The crappie fishing, as well as other fishing, at Crockett is slow due to the water conditions but that will soon change as the conditions will improve. Thanks for your report Mr. Cavender.
Last week, Ben Parker’s second ever BassMaster Elite Series event wasn’t as good to him as his first. Ben had two tough days of fishing, as well as a tough pre-practice, which can happen to anyone on the tour.
But things should get brighter for the rookie angler as he and the other 98 touring pros head into familiar waters that Ben loves to fish — Pickwick Lake, which is a part of the Tennessee River System chain. This lake will fit Ben’s style much better so you fellas better look out.
Reelfoot Lake’s water levels have stabilized, it seems, as we have finally broken the rain events our area has seen over the past few weeks and couple of months.
Reelfoot is still around seven inches above the normal level and waters have since cleared quite a bit. The water temps have also warmed and are now in the mid-50s but this cooldown that we are in will drop water temps back down a few degrees. Water conditions are getting better and better every day.
Speaking of the beautiful Reelfoot Lake, a naturalist experience for a half-day canoe float through seldom explored areas of the lake and observe old growth cypress forest, a heron rookery and an Eagle Nest as you paddle through the cypress swamp awaits you. Large fish swimming, ducks taking flight, and an occasional snake making an appearance add excitement to the trip. A variety of bird life such as songbirds, ducks, herons, owls, or an eagle usually show up to check out the canoeist.
Trips will depart from the Reelfoot Lake State Park’s Visitor Center at 1 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. on Sundays in March and April. Cost is $20 per boat if park canoe is used. Private canoes are no charge. We suggest you bring snacks, drinks, a change of clothes, camera and binoculars in a waterproof, floatable container. Trip is about 3 hours.
For more information on this Reelfoot Lake canoe trip tour, you can call the Reelfoot Lake State Park’s Visitor Center at 731-253-9652 for reservations and additional information.
The 3rd Annual UTM Collegiate Bass Anglers Team Buddy Bass Tournament will be April 2nd out of the Paris Landing State Park Marina. Entry fee will be $100 per boat plus a extra $10 Big Bass award pot offered. More to come on this event but if you need more information, you can contact the president of the UTM Club, Grayson Smith, 931-237-4627.
Then on April 23, the 18th Annual Reelfoot Lake Bass Club Open Buddy Bass Tournament will be taking place on Reelfoot Lake out of the Kirby Pocket State Park area on Highway 22, just north of Samburg. More to come on this tournament as well.
You are urged to get involved in the bicentennial celebration year of 2011-12 for Reelfoot Lake is now going on. Reelfoot will be celebrating it’s 200th year of existence. There are many events planned during the upcoming year. More to follow on this huge celebration. For more information, you can contact the Bicentennial chairman David Haggard at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is soliciting comments for its 2012 sport fishing regulations. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns about fishing regulations with TWRA staff.
Public comments will be considered by fisheries managers and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Sport Fish Comments, TWRA, Fisheries Management Division, P.O. 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to TWRA.Comment@tn.gov. Please include “Sport Fish Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions. This comment period concerning sport fish regulations will be open until April 22.
I would also like to congratulate the Lake County boys’ basketball team as they won the 2011 Class A State Championship this past Saturday.
Til next week…
Catch ya on
the water folks.
Published in The Messenger 3.25.11