GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – The University of Montevallo team of Grayson Morris of Birmingham, Alabama and Jacob Pfundt of Canton, Georgia won the sixth-annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky and Barkley lakes Thursday with a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 25 pounds, 4 ounces. The victory earned the duo a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, and a slot in the 2021 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“Consistency always pays off,” Morris said. “Everyone out here can catch fish. When you have a pattern that you think you can get five bites a day off of, especially on Kentucky Lake, you might as well grind it out and stick to that.”
It was a grind for the entire field, with the Montevallo duo being the only team in the entire tournament to weigh in a limit both days.
“Wednesday, we had eight bites, but only five of them kept,” Pfundt said. “Thursday, we got eight bites, and all of them would have kept, but we only culled once.”
Plying the same stretch of bank they found in practice and plucking 12 pounds, 13 ounces, from on day one, the pair went to work on the final day in search of a few key bites. The duo said the wind was blowing harder than the day before, and they found their stretch of bank was windswept with bait being pushed right up into it.
Two baits got the job done from there: a Reaction Innovations Vixen and a River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130, both in the bone color. The team didn’t have another rod on the deck. They covered water, running the same bank most of the day.
“When we got two bites on the same bank, we knew it had to mean something,” Morris explained. “Everyone else was getting two or three bites a day, so just finding some fish is huge this time of year.”
Morris has had success on Kentucky Lake in the past, particularly in high school tournaments, but that did little to reassure Morris and Pfundt. However, those high school tournaments taught Morris two important things: Getting bites on Kentucky Lake can be a grind, and sticking with a good game plan is the only way around it.
“We knew we had to catch five,” Pfundt said. “We caught our fifth bass around 12 o’clock. It was more of a relief than anything because we were just worried about bringing in five.”
The pair had good reason to be relieved. Winning by just 1 pound, 15 ounces, anything less than a full limit might have resulted in a different outcome.
“We’re just shocked,” Morris said after weigh-in. “It doesn’t feel real. I’ve had a lot of success on this lake, and I continue to be blessed on it. We had a great day – plenty of bonding and had a great time on the water catching some fish.”
The top 20 teams that now advance to the 2021 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University of Montevallo – Grayson Morris of Birmingham, Ala. and Jacob Pfundt of Canton, Ga., 10 bass, 25-4, $30,000
2nd: Bethel University – Joseph McClosky of Swanton, Md. and Ryan Winchester of Powell, Tenn., nine bass, 23-5
3rd: Dallas Baptist University – Reece Martin of Lindale, Texas and Mark Harris of Lindale, Texas, nine bass, 23-1
4th: Murray State University – Dalton Kelly of Keenes, Ill., and Jacob Autry of Beaver Dam, Ky., nine bass, 22-12
5th: Murray State University – Harbor Lovin of Fayetteville, Ohio and Luke McKinney of Shelbyville, Ky., seven bass, 20-2
6th: Bryan College – Matt Marcel of Tullahoma, Tenn. and Hunter Palmer of Wartrace, Tenn., eight bass, 19-4
7th: East Texas Baptist University – Kaden Proffitt of Pittsburg, Texas and Cason Ragsdale of Winnsboro, Texas, seven bass, 18-8
8th: Bethel University – Tristan McCormick of Burns, Tenn. and Steven Mills of White Bluff, Tenn., seven bass, 17-6
9th: East Texas Baptist University – Cody Ross of Livingston, Texas and Cameron Tullis of Henderson, Texas, eight bass, 17-1
10th: Campbellsville University – Wil Rigdon and Hunter Grant Adams, both of Campbellsville, Ky., seven bass, 16-15
11th: Campbellsville University – Matthew Bradham of Paris, Tenn. and Caleb Stephenson of Carrollton, Ky., seven bass, 16-2
12th: Blue Mountain College – Bryant Marsh of Corinth, Miss. and Ty Cox of Guntown, Miss., six bass, 15-10
13th: Faulkner University – Will Cannon of Montgomery, Ala. and Tyler Smith of Selma, Ala., eight bass, 15-3
14th: Bethel University – Hunter Fillmore, Waynesville, Ohio and Trent Lawson of Westfield, N.C., six bass, 14-15
15th: Greenville University – Cordell Beckmann of Breese, Ill. and David Bartlett of Aurora, Ill., seven bass, 14-13
16th: Carson Newman University – Cole Rankin of Knoxville, Tenn. and Ewing Minor of Charlottesville, Va., six bass, 14-8
17th: East Texas Baptist University – Jacob Keith of Jefferson, Texas and Cannon Bird of Marshall, Texas, six bass, 14-3
18th: McKendree University – Alec Berens of Channahon, Ill. and Bailey Bleser of Burlington, Wis., seven bass, 14-1
19th: Tarleton State University – Caden Cowan of Stephenville, Texas and Trevor Easter of Morgan, Texas, seven bass, 14-0
20th: University of Central Florida – Marshall Wiggins of Eustis, Fla. and Dawson McGovern of Aushburn, Va., six bass, 13-15
Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
The Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College Fishing Open on Kentucky and Barkley lakes was hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Moors Resort & Marina. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be next week, Sept. 25 – the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event at the Chesapeake Bay in Edgewood, Maryland.
Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open advance to the following year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
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