STEVENS POINT, Wis. — When Lake DuBay veterans said fishing would get tough for Saturday’s final day of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, Nicholls State’s team of Tyler Rivet and Allyson Marcel couldn’t know how tough “tough” could be.
Rivet and Marcel had the lead on the 81-team field after Friday’s second round, but failed to catch a fish Saturday.
Texas A&M’s Josh Bensema and Matthew McArdle boated two bass weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces to lift them from third place to the team win — the entire field caught only four bass weighing 9-2 — and advance to the next round in the event that qualifies one collegiate angler for a berth in March’s Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They trailed the Rivet-Marcel team by six ounces going into the final day.
The Bensema-McArdle team’s three-day total was 18-4. Their winning fish, a smallmouth bass, came five minutes before they had to leave for the weigh-in. Minnesota’s Trevor Lo and Chris Burgan finished second at 17-3 (they caught the other two keepers Saturday) with Rivet and Marcel, who had the event’s top single-day catch, 8-7 in Friday’s second round, holding at 15-0.
Louisiana had two other teams among the top 20: J.P. Kimbrough and Jared Rascoe of LSU-Shreveport finished 11th (7-15) and ULM’s Tyler Stewart and Nick Joiner were 17th (7-6).
All is not lost for the Nicholls State crew. Finishing among the top four teams gives Rivet and Marcel spots in the College Classic Bracket phase of the event. The eight anglers head to Sunday to compete individually in head-to-head bracket action Sunday through Tuesday. The winner gets a spot in the 2016 Classic.
Sunday’s weigh-in begins at 2:30 p.m. with live updates on the Bassmaster website: www.bassmaster.com.