Fishing & Boating News

Bethel University And Texas State Square Off In Bassmaster Classic Bracket Finals

by: Helen White, Bassmaster

John Garrett of Bethel University and Evan Coleman of Texas State University move on to the final day of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic.
Photo by Ronnie Moore/Bassmaster
(Aug 5, 2016 - Paris, TN)

It was a bad day for Kansas State. But the Wildcats’ loss was the gain of Bethel University’s John Garrett and Texas State’s Evan Coleman, who both reached the final of the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops.
Garrett, who attends Bethel, which is just a few dozen miles from Kentucky Lake where this tournament is taking place, once again was the dominant angler in the head-to-head tournament that started with eight collegiate fishermen on Thursday. The No. 4 seed in the College Classic Bracket, Garrett defeated second-seeded Taylor Bivins of Kansas State with a tremendous 19-pound, 7-ounce limit of bass that was more than 10 pounds heavier than any of the other three student anglers fishing on Friday.

Garrett topped Bivins, who had only one bass on Friday that weighed 4-3.

“They’re pulling current on (Kentucky Lake), and where I’m fishing is a real sloping point, and there’s a hot spot on top of it,” he said. “In my mind yesterday, I thought they would bite on the tip of that point, and it’s not really deep there on top of it. That’s where they were today.  The place I caught a lot of 2 pounders yesterday, I skimmed over it and the fish grew in numbers and in size. I made one cast, and caught a 4-pounder.”

Bivins said the key to surviving the semifinal round was to put five bass in the livewell. He was right, and with only one fish (albeit a nice one) to his credit on Friday, the magical run that included a National College Championship win with Kyle Alsop last week, came to an end.

“Today was slow and obviously, John Garrett had a huge bag of fish,” Bivins said. “When I get back home, and my mind is off fishing for a little bit, it will finally sink in that we won a National Championship. You can’t take that away.”

Coleman, the No. 6 seed from Texas State, is the last man standing between Garrett and a  berth in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. Though he hadn’t fished on Kentucky Lake until practice for the College Classic Bracket began, he has shown a tremendous amount of creativity and is cruising all over the water in search of bass.

He had four fish that weighed 8-3 on Friday, which topped Alsop’s two fish that totaled 3-5. Alsop was the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

Coleman said he was undeterred facing the top seed, and won’t be intimidated fishing against Garrett on his home water.

“I’m rolling, and covering miles and miles of shoreline,” Coleman said. “I’m comfortable doing that. I had a really good sack on Day 2 of practice and I think if I can mimic that, I’ve got a shot. I have to see if I can figure out what I was doing then, and what I’m not doing now, and make the adjustments accordingly. But I’m never intimidated. It’s kind of unfortunate (that Garrett knows this lake better than I do), but I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.

“I want it, and I want it bad,” Coleman said.

Alsop knows Coleman is an extremely capable angler who can win the Classic Bracket Saturday, whether it’s familiar water or not.

“Anything can happen in fishing,” Alsop said.

Garrett and Coleman are scheduled to launch at 5:30 a.m. Saturday at Paris Landing State Park. Weigh-in is scheduled to begin in downtown Paris, Tenn. at 2:30 p.m. CST.

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors:  Berkley, GoPro, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: ABU Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Costa, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rapala, Shell Rotella, Shimano

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