McKinney Wins Bassmaster College Classic Bracket On Lay Lake, Earns Dream Classic Berth

Category: article

 Nov 20th, 2020 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Nov 20th, 2020 at 8:54 AM

McKendree University’s Trevor McKinney has won the 2020 Carhartt College Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops on Lay Lake and earned a berth in the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. Photo by Kyle Jessie/B.A.S.S.

November 19, 2020

McKinney Wins Bassmaster College Classic Bracket On Lay Lake, Earns Dream Classic Berth


COLUMBIANA, Ala. — Thanks to a morning flurry, McKendree University senior Trevor McKinney caught 11 pounds, 11 ounces to win the Carhartt Bassmaster College Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops at Lay Lake, defeating McKendree teammate Blake Jackson by just over a pound.

With the victory, McKinney qualified for the 2021 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk scheduled for March 19-21 on Lake Ray Roberts.

“It’s been my dream since I was a little kid to make the Classic. I watched it every Sunday morning when I was a kid. Now I can say I’m going to the Classic,” McKinney said. “All of my friends and family are superproud.

“I’m not trying to sound cocky, but I’ve had a feeling all week that this was mine to win.”

McKinney caught the biggest bag of the event on Day 1 with 12-4 but stumbled a little on Day 2 with 7-12. With Jackson weighing the heaviest bag of Day 2 with 9-8, McKinney said he knew it would be a close battle in the championship round.

“I know how good of a fisherman Blake is. I knew he was fishing his strengths, and I knew he was going to be hard to beat today,” McKinney said.

During the first two days, McKinney focused on the back of one pocket on Lay Lake that had a plethora of baitfish in shallow water. As the tournament wore on, he noticed he was catching fewer fish and knew he had to make an adjustment.

So, to start the championship round, McKinney started on the point outside of the pocket where he hadn’t caught fish the first two days. He caught around 40 fish, filling his limit within an hour.

“I knew fish were leaving the area and the first place they are going to stop is that point. And that point had a lot of current coming around it too,” he said. “There was actually a hard spot off the point about 15 yards, and all of those fish were right on the hard spot.

“Even though I didn’t catch them on the point yesterday, I could see them on the graph. When I started there this morning they were biting.”

After using an underspin with a baby fluke on Day 1 and a jerkbait on Day 2, McKinney used a Rapala DT 6 crankbait to catch the majority of his fish in the final round. While he had been catching mostly largemouth the first two days, he caught all spotted bass on the final day.

“It was different for me every day,” McKinney said. “If I had come into the tournament with a mindset to do one thing, I wouldn’t have caught them.”

When the bite stalled on the point, McKinney moved to a deeper bank and used a DT 10 to make two critical culls to put the tournament out of reach.

Jackson also had a productive morning, catching all five of his keepers before the 10:30 a.m. break. He only trailed McKinney by 6 ounces at the time.

The afternoon bite never materialized for him, however, and as McKinney culled up, Jackson was unable to land another keeper fish.

“(Going back to the dock) was one of the hardest things I’ve endured. I was pretty emotional about it,” McKinney said. “If there was anyone I wanted to win this tournament other than me, it was Blake. He’s my best friend.”

Along with the Classic berth, McKinney earned $7,500 courtesy of Carhartt and will receive paid entry into all of the 2021 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens. McKinney will fish the Opens out of a Nitro Z20 rigged with Humminbird and Minn Kota products and have the use of a Toyota Tundra tow vehicle.

Discover Shelby County, AL hosted the event.

2020 Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt

2020 Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2020 Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2020 Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Ranger Boats, Yamaha

2020 Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Mossy Oak Fishing, Rapala, TNT Fireworks

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, Huk Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX presented by Abu Garcia and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

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