Once College Bass officials learned of Sherbert's situation, they ruled he could fish alone. His partner in the boat at for Day One became an ESPNOutdoors.com writer on assignment to observe him and write about the experience.
Despite the proliferation of fishing lures during the past decade, there are still a few cult baits around. The Silver Buddy is one of them.
"It's wonderful. Points winner is a great title to have on my resume — and I'm going to the Classic, a lifetime dream," said the 43-year-old Hartley, a veteran Elite pro who's been competing in BASS events since 1996.
In addition to the slower current in the river, another tournament also being held on the river had attracted much more fishing traffic, especially in key locations.
Before the takeoff on Saturday morning, ESPNOutdoors.com and CollegeBass.com chased down the final five and asked them one question: What would it mean for you to win the national championship today?
They brought the latest in tackle, more than enough rods and reels and sported matching Hawkeye fishing jerseys. But the problem was they didn't have a boat.
But the lure never reached its target. Instead it found the back of Sanford's head, lodging several barbs through his Costa Del Mar sunglass holders and into his scalp.
These teams embodied the perseverance, dedication and passion that is a hallmark of the College Bass National Championship.
Check out the college treams that competed in the 2006 Bassmaster College Championship.
The father of a 7-month-old son and owner of a car dealership — two factors that keep him too busy to compete as much as he'd like to — Ippoliti, 44, posted close to 15 pounds each day, a consistency he credited to a technique which he preferred not to discuss.