East Texas Baptist University Extends Lead at 2022 Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship - Major League Fishing
East Texas Baptist University Extends Lead at 2022 Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship
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East Texas Baptist University Extends Lead at 2022 Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship

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March 31, 2022 • MLF • Press Releases

WAGONER, Okla. – After another brutal day on the water, the East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) duo of Kaden Proffitt of Pittsburg, Texas, and Cason Ragsdale of Winnsboro, Texas, extended their lead Wednesday after Day Two of the 2022 Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI National Championship Presented by Lowrance at Fort Gibson Lake

The duo grabbed the early lead on Day One by a slim one-ounce margin and narrowly maintained that lead on Day Two, bringing only four bass to the scale weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces. Their two-day total of 29 pounds, 7 ounces gives them a mere one-ounce lead over the second-place team from Stephen F. Austin – Austin Anderson of Nacogdoches, Texas, and Cal Cameron of Coppell, Texas – who brought a limit to the scale weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces, to bring their two-day total to 29 pounds, 6 ounces.

“The conditions definitely changed today,” Ragsdale said. “We started off in the morning expecting the fish to do something different with the rain we got last night. I didn’t know if the lake would come up, but knew there would be water running in, so we decided to run the backs of creeks. 

“There weren’t as many fish there as we thought there would be, but we ended up catching a 4 ½-5 pounder in one of them,” continued the senior business administration major. “We tried to duplicate that up the lake, but it just didn’t work out. We ended up catching a few fish out of the same areas as we did on Day One, but overall, it was just a tougher day.”

The duo said once they realized the creeks weren’t going to deliver like they had expected, they ended up fishing transition banks again on Day Two. 

“Our baits have been pretty different each day,” Proffitt said. “Day One we mostly caught our fish on a crankbait, but today we caught them on several different baits, just fishing the conditions.”

The Tiger team said they expect the conditions to change once again for Day Three, but are optimistic that they can find what it takes to win out on Fort Gibson Lake.

“We’re around quality fish and believe we can go out there and catch another bag tomorrow, if we can just get the right bites,” Ragsdale said. “If we can get another 5-pounder tomorrow, that would go a long way – if we could just get a couple more keepers to go with it. I expect tomorrow to get even more difficult if the sun comes out and the wind dies down like is forecasted. But if it’s difficult for us, that means it will be difficult for everyone, so we’ll see what happens.”

The ETBU bass fishing team is one of the best in the country – previously earning the 2020 Tackle Warehouse School of the Year title – but has yet to win a national title.

“Winning this event would mean everything,” said Proffitt, who is also a senior business administration major. “It would be our school’s first national championship and our first team win in our collegiate series, so it would be huge for us and for the program.”

The full field of 176 teams competed on Tuesday and Wednesday, with only the Top 10 – based on two-day cumulative weight – advancing to Championship Thursday. The National Champions will be crowned Thursday based on the cumulative three-day weight total.

The Top 10 teams that now advance to Championship Thursday on Fort Gibson Lake are:

  • 1st:           East Texas Baptist University – Kaden Proffitt, Pittsburg, Texas and Cason Ragsdale, Winnsboro, Texas, nine bass, 29-7 
  • 2nd:          Stephen F. Austin – Austin Anderson, Nacogdoches, Texas and Cal Cameron, Coppell, Texas, nine bass, 29-6
  • 3rd:          Kentucky Christian University – Lafe and Matt Messer, both of Warfield, Ky., nine bass, 29-5
  • 4th:           McKendree University – Bailey Bleser, Burlington, Wis., and Nathan Doty, Decatur, Ill., 10 bass, 27-7
  • 5th:           Illinois State University – Justin and Austin Carr, both of Bloomington, Ill., nine bass, 26-6
  • 6th:           Murray State University – Kayden Effinger of Westfield, Ind., and David Wisler of Noblesville, Ind., eight bass, 26-4
  • 7th:           East Texas Baptist University – Cannon Bird of Marshall, Texas, and Jacob Keith, Jefferson, Texas, 10 bass, 25-13
  • 8th:           King University – Donavan Carson of Bluff City, Tenn., and Landon Lawson of Jonesborough, Tenn., nine bass, 25-10
  • 9th:           Drury University – Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Mo., and Cameron Smith of Nixa, Mo., six bass, 24-1
  • 10th:        Texas A&M – Dawson Cassidy of Gainesville, Texas and Augustus McLarry of Caddo Mills, Texas, eight bass, 23-12

For a full list of results, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 285 bass weighing 823 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 115 teams Wednesday. The catch included 13 five-bass limits.

The final 10 teams will launch Championship Thursday from Taylor’s Ferry North, located on Dock Road in Wagoner at 7 a.m. CT each day of competition. Thursday’s championship weigh-in will be held at Taylor’s Ferry North starting at 3 p.m. and will be livestreamed. Fans are welcome to attend the event or tune in to the weigh-in and follow the online coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The 13th annual College Fishing National Championship is a three-day event – hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Wagoner – featuring the Top 176 college bass fishing teams from across the nation competing in an internationally televised, no-entry fee tournament for a $33,500 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard.

In addition to the boat package, both members of the winning team and the runners-up at the 2022 Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship will advance to the 2022 Toyota Series Championship where they will compete as pros for a top prize of up to $235,000. Both members of the third-place team will advance to the 2022 Toyota Series Championship to compete as co-anglers for a shot at winning a $33,500 Phoenix 518 Pro with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard.

Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The Top 10 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.

Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.

For complete details and updated information visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI on MLF’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.