College Wild Card win for Wallace State

Category: press release

 Jun 8th, 2015 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 8th, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Joshua Butts and Justin Rivers of Wallace State Community College-Hanceville pulled a come-from-behind win on the final day of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Wild Card presented by Bass Pro Shops.

Butts and Rivers caught a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds to end the tournament with 42 pounds, 5 ounces.

Teams from McKendree University held down the top spots on the first two days, making them favorites to win the title until unseated by Wallace State.

Phillip Germagliotti and Shane Campbell took second with 40-2, while classmates Jordan Ledbetter and Trent Robinson finished third with 37-7.

On Lake Barkley, the winning team focused on fishing a dropoff tapering from 5 feet into the main-river channel.

Joshua Butts, Justin Rivers (Craig Lamb/Bassmaster)

“The key was a shell and rock bottom,” said Rivers, 27, who is majoring in industrial maintenance. “It’s the hardest bottom around and really held the fish for us all three days.”

Butts and Rivers slowly worked 1/4- and 3/8-ounce lead-head jigs in the shallow shellbeds to trigger strikes. Jig trailers included the Gene Larew Biffle Bug and NetBait Paca Craw soft plastic lures. Strikes occurred as the lure dropped into deeper water where the bass were staging to feed.

The area produced consistently each day and gave the anglers no reason to search for new water.

“Current didn’t even matter that much,” said Butts, 22, who is majoring in welding. “That was huge since the current moved fish deeper in a lot of similar areas.”

Wallace State entered the final round in third place, behind the two teams from McKendree University. Day 2 on Thursday proved a challenge after a two-hour fog delay postponed the start of the competition.

“We were making a long run, and the delay really cut into our fishing time,” Rivers said.

The Top 13 teams in the final standings are invited to the 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. The championship is July 9-11 at Lake DuBay on the Wisconsin River.

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