STEPHENVILLE (June 16, 2016) — Tarleton State University’s Bass Fishing Club will send three teams to the 2016 collegiate bass fishing championship after the student anglers finished among the top 13 teams at this past weekend’s Carhartt College Wild Card tournament presented by Bass Pro Shops on Lake Murray near Ardmore, Okla.
After leading the 80-team field of anglers representing 40 colleges and universities on Day 1, Tarleton’s Austyn Fowler and Zach Hurst took 5th place at the end of the three-day tournament with 15 fish weighing an accumulative 41 pounds, 1 ounce.
The top 13 teams from the Carhartt College Wild Card advance to the collegiate bass fishing championship, July 28-30 in Campbellsville, Ky. on Green River Lake.
Also qualifying for the national championship were the Tarleton duo of Zach Ziober and Dakota Ebare, who finished 11th with 15 bass totaling 37 pounds, 10 ounces, and 12th place anglers Stetson Overton and Justin Seeton, who combined for 37 pounds, 1 ounce with 15 bass at final weigh-in.
Tarleton’s Bass Club also was represented by Tanner Crim and Zach Montalvo in the Wild Card tourney. The duo reeled in 10 bass for an accumulative 18 pounds, 13 ounces.
Northwestern State University’s (Natchitoches, La.) John Ledet and Justin Cooper took 1st place with 15 bass weighing 51 pounds, 7 ounces. The duo started the tournament in 6th place but took the lead on Day 2 with a second day catch of 17-10 that gave them 33-6 heading into the final round.
According to tournament organizers, the largemouth and smallmouth bass were caught both shallow and deep on Lake Murray, a 5,700-acre impoundment in southern Oklahoma. Ziober and Ebare teamed up to catch the heaviest five-bass limit on Day 1, weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces last Thursday.
The duo reported they found the most success early in shallow water, and then moving deep. “The day went about like we planned,” said Ebare. “We took it easy on some of our areas to save them for Day 2 and Day 3.”
On Day 2, the Tarleton anglers’ goal was to land in the Top 20—the cut-off for teams to advance to the championship round on Saturday. “We weren’t getting our better bites until later in the day,” added Ziober.
The Wild Card format served as a bonus opportunity for advancing to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. Most of the national championship teams previously advanced through five conference championships. The Wild Card was the final chance to qualify for this season of the collegiate series.