Bethel University’s Dalton Wilson and Randall Morris held the winning hand at the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Wild Card on Pickwick Lake.
Wilson and Morris won the Wild Card with a two-day total of 48 pounds, 4 ounces of bass. After bringing in 27-5 in the first round Friday to take the lead, they slammed the door on the competition with 20-15 today to not only win the event, but also qualify for the 2014 Carhartt College Series National Championship. The team also took home the Livingston Lures Leader Award, worth $500 in Livingston products and the Nitro Big Bag honors for their Day 1 bag of 25-7.
“We had one big bass at 10:30 and only two fish with about 15 minutes to go,” Wilson said. “We were running in and decided to make one more stop on a school we hadn’t been able to get on all week.”
That stop paid off big. With only a few minutes to fish before they were due back at the docks, Wilson and Morris stopped their boat and quickly started firing casts. The bass were fired up as well.
Morris lost the first bass that bit, but Wilson boated his. “Then we both cast out and doubled. I netted mine, and he ‘boat-flipped’ his, and then we were gone.”
The duo relied heavily on a Ben Parker Signature Series spoon. It’s basically an oversized flutter spoon about 8 inches long. Wilson and Morris would fire the bait out, let it sink to the bottom, then snatch it vigorously back up into the water column before letting it fall again.
“Those were the only five keepers we caught all day,” Wilson said. “That’s the thing with that spoon, it’s tough to catch one, but when you do it’s the kind you need.”
The team that started the day in second finished in the same place. Bethel University’s Cody Ross and Dewey Swims brought a two-day total of 42-14 to the scales to finish 5 pounds. 6 ounces behind their teammates. Swims captured Carhartt Big Bass honors with his 7-10 largemouth from Day 2.
Justin Atkins and Joseph Marty of Mississippi State University finished third with 42-10.
In all, 17 of the Top 20 teams qualified for the Carhartt College Series National Championship. Three of the Top 20 teams had previously qualified for the National Championship, extending the Wild Card invitations down to 20th place.
The National Championship on Chatuge Reservoir is the next stop along the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series. That event will be held in Young Harris, Ga., July 31s through Aug. 2. Check your local listings for the airing of this week’s Wild Card on ESPNU.