Paris, TN (10/05/2019) – The final day of a major bass fishing tournament is one of the most exhilarating moments of an entire event. Everything is on the line, and the sole goal of each and every angler is to go out and win the whole thing. Day two of the 2019 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley lived up to that hype.
Using only Berkley baits to catch their fish, these college anglers hauled fish after fish across the stage, including the Overall Big Bass of the event. During today’s competition, anglers were permitted to fish with solely Berkley baits. Berkley, a long time sponsor of the ACA and Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, is known for their quality fishing lures and soft plastics. Those Berkley products proved to be a key contributor to anglers who weighed in fish today.
Bennet Kudder from 16th ranked Bryan College won Session 1 presented by Abu Garcia with 4.20 pounds. Entering today with limited expectations, he was not sure that the morning bite would produce a quality fish. “It was a big surprise, I wasn’t really expecting to do well today. Having a good fish early was a surprise,” said Kudder.
Following in compliance with the regulations for tournament action on day two of the event, the Bryan College angler caught the session winning fish on a Berkley bait. Bennett was chunking the Berkley Cane Walker to shallow cover when the bass decided to strike. “We pulled back into a pocket with some rocks in it, and there were some shad there. I threw a Cane Walker, I was reeling the thing in…and it ate my Cane Walker as I was reeling it in,” added Kudder.
Session 1 weights here on the final day resembled those from Session 1 on Day 1. There were a few fish over the four pound mark, numerous fish in the two pound range, and the session was capped off in 10th place with 1.96 pounds. The morning bite out on Kentucky Lake this week proved key. Those anglers that were able to dial in a solid topwater bite left home with a boat load of prizes both yesterday and today.
The second session of Day 2 was the most eventful of the day. Hunter Schneider from 1st place Adrian College weighed in 5.16 pounds to win the session and claim Overall Big Bass honors. He couldn’t contain his emotions as he talked about the win following weigh-in. “Can’t be anymore excited you know. I was fortunate enough to get bit on a Berkley Power Swimmer. I just can’t be any more happy,” noted Schneider. We will provide a more in-depth look at Schneider’s catch next week when we put together the final overall recap of the 2019 Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Bash presented by Berkley.
Here is a look at the complete standings from Day 2 Session 2 presented by Solar Bat. Similar to Session 1, there were a great deal of two pounders that claimed prizes. And once again, a one pound class fish claimed the 10th and final spot. The top three of this particular session were all awarded a pair of Solar Bat Sunglasses. Also, each angler to place in this session earned an Abu Garcia Ike Series Casting Rod.
At all ACA ran college events, there is always a large crowd of supporters that gather at weigh-in to cheer on these student anglers. In Session 3 presented by Bass Pro Shops and Abu Garcia, that crowd let out the loudest cheer of the event when Taylor Owens from Blue Mountain College came to the stage. She got the crowd ignited with a 4.79 pound Kentucky Lake largemouth. The freshman lady angler was very proud to catch that particular fish. “I’m a freshman, this is my first college tournament. I worked really hard to get here, and I’m really proud of myself,” said Owens.
Both Owens, and her fellow Blue Mountain College teammate Ty Cox, struggled to catch a keeper fish all week. That Session 3 winning fish was the first keeper she boated all week. Armed with a Berkley topwater bait, Owens had a gut feeling that a big fish just might eat that larger profile lure. “I knew that if I could get one to blow up on a topwater bait it would be pretty big. So I just chose a J-Walker or a Cane Walker, and rotated between them all day,” added Owens. Her intuition paid off in the form of a four plus pound largemouth bass. Owens is grateful for that fish, and the opportunity to compete here this week. “We were so excited. That’s the first keeper fish that I’ve caught all week. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to be here,” she added.
The final session ended with a last-minute flurry of anglers rushing to the stage to weigh in their biggest fish. Once the scales closed, this proved to be the best session of the day. It took a minimum of a 3.48 pound fish to place inside the top 10. Bethel University, the 5th place team in School of the Year, freshman Thomas Millraney weighed in with 4.77 pounds to take the top spot.
“This is my first college tournament ever. It’s really rewarding,” said Millraney. With family, friends, and teammates in attendance, Millraney closed out the final session of the week with a first place finish. This was a moment that had been a long time coming for the young angler. “It’s really nice after fishing the same boat docks two days, I fished them Friday too…finally paid off,” he added. At one point today, he was ready to pull up the trolling motor. Yet with one flip of a Berkley bait to the same boat dock he’s fished for two full days, Millraney set into a prize winning fish.
This week at Kentucky Lake has been an amazing experience. The best anglers in college fishing conquered a difficult and finicky Kentucky Lake in the fall time to bring in some really nice fish. Each and every session took at least a four pound fish to claim first place, with the biggest bass being over five pounds. That five pounder from Hunter Schneider of Adrian College will prove key in Adrian’s quest to maintain the lead in the School of the Year race. Next week we will update the standings for the Bass Pro Shops School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia and provide an in-depth breakdown of those rankings following the first ACA event of the year.