Bassmaster College Series – Jacksonville State wins 2020 Tournament

Photo: Gary Tramontina

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Bassmaster College Series on Lay Lake started out slow for Zeke Gossett and Lucas Smith of Jacksonville State. They capitalized on a morning flurry that yielded a five-bass limit of 17 pounds, 4 ounces. Leading the Jacksonville State University bass fishing team to victory in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops on Lay Lake. 

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Gamecock Anglers finish first in Bassmaster College Series

Gossett, a senior majoring in parks and recreation, and Smith, a freshman business management major, fished the lake’s south end and targeted main-current streams. Their first half hour was frustratingly fruitless, but then the bite ignited and the winners boxed their weight by 9:30 a.m.

The morning started slow, but by the 9 AM hour the two anglers hit a feeding window that yielded a flurry of bites and some quality sized fish. 

“We hit a flurry — I caught two in a row, then he caught two in a row. It was crazy. Our biggest one today was a 3-13. Our smallest was barely 3 pounds.”

Gossett and Smith alternated between 1/2-ounce Z-Man Jack Hammer ChatterBaits with Reaction Innovations Little Dipper trailers and those same Skinny Dippers rigged on 1/2-ounce swimbait heads.

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Jacksonville State becoming ‘Angler University’

This was not JSU’s first time finishing top of the leader board in a Bassmaster College Series tournament. One year ago, in February 2019, anglers Will Nichols and Jamon Phillips finished first during a weekend tournament on Lake Norman in Cornelius, NC. 

On the final day of the 2019 tournament, JSU anglers Nichols and Phillips started out in 10th place, but made up more than 5 pounds, catching mostly spotted bass. Nichols and Phillips pulled in a limit of five bass totaling 16 pounds, 2 ounces, giving them an overall three-day weight of 37.15, enough for first place.

Students Win College Carhartt Bassmaster Tournament