Georgia Wins the East

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- This weekend, Ben Cleary and John Hickman from the University of Georgia fished together for the first time and managed to take the title from a strong field of local Alabama teams.

After catching 16.31 pounds on Day Two, the duo jumped from eighth place to first, leaving the Alabama River as East Super Regional champions. 

“Being in the middle of Alabama, you probably have 10 schools within a few hours of the Alabama River,” Cleary said. “When you are fishing in Alabama, you are going up against the best of the best. Luckily, we were up for the task.” 

Finishing in the runner-up position, in second place, was the team of Jonas Ertel and Kyle Raymer from Eastern Kentucky University with a two-day total of 27.25 pounds. The local team from Auburn University – Montgomery, Jacob Nummy and Larry Haag, caught the biggest bag of the day at 16.49 pounds and finished third with 26.99 pounds. 

Rounding out the top five was Auburn University’s Jason Mitja and Shane Powell in fourth place with 26.38 pounds and the University of Alabama’s Warren Hoffman and Ben Weldon in fifth place with 25.65 pounds. 

For Cleary and Hickman, a bad practice Friday quickly turned around on Day One, when they figured out that the falling water was pulling the fish out from the back of Cooters Pond and onto a stretch of riprap the team would work back and forth along for the majority of the tournament. 

“That area was right next to a channel, the shad were there ready to spawn and all the fish have to go through that area to spawn in the back,” Cleary said. “Once we got on that riprap, we just milked it all day. It seemed like you would hit it five times and then the sixth time, you would catch four fish.” 

Georgia fished an Ol’Nelle white and chartreuse spinnerbait with a white Zoom trailer on the back. While many of the other local anglers were also throwing spinnerbaits, Cleary and Hickman used a different style to entice bites. 

“Everybody was fishing it too fast, sometimes burning it across the surface,” Cleary said. “You almost had to fish it like a work, very slow across the bottom. The shad were key in that area. They would follow the spinnerbait and we could see them. They were big shad, so we knew big bass were not far away.” 

Hickman was fishing in his very first collegiate tournament, and wanted to thank his teammates, the school and everyone that helped out this week. 

“Fortunately for me, Ben’s original partner couldn’t make it and I got to fish with him,” Hickman said. “I hope I don’t get spoiled with the way this week went. The dinner in Montgomery was great, with every piece of chicken you could want, and then we went on to win the tournament.” 

The Day One leaders from Faulkner University, Kyle Tindol and John Nicks Galloway struggled on Day Two and with only 7.88 pounds, fell to 12th place. In the in-state rivalry between Auburn and Alabama, Auburn came back on Day Two to get the upper hand, averaging 9.97 pounds per team each day compared to Alabama’s 9.17 pounds. 

The next event for College Bass anglers will be the West Super Regional in Tyler, Texas, on Lake Tyler from April 24th to 25th. Coverage from all the events can be found on CollegeBass.com. 

East Super Regional Day Two Results:

Place

Team

Angler

Angler

Total

1

Georgia

Ben Cleary

John Hickman

29.61

2

Eastern Kentucky

Kyle Raymer

Jonas Ertel

27.25

3

Auburn - Montgomery

Jacob Nummy

Larry Haag

26.99

4

Auburn

Jason Mitja

Shane Powell

26.38

5

Alabama

Warren Hoffman

Ben Weldon

25.65

6

Auburn

J.T. Murphy

Kiron Browning

25.22

7

Alabama

Dustin Connell

Nick Carlyle

25.07

8

LSU - Shreveport

Zach Caudle

Joe Landry

24.94

9

Louisiana - Lafayette

Cody McCrary

Jordy Veillion

24.54

10

Auburn

Jordan Lee

Paul Davis

23.81

11

UNC Charlotte

Eric Self

Tyler Beam

23.52

12

Faulkner

Kyle Tindol

John Nicks Galloway

22.95

13

Alabama

Dalton Wilson

Kyle Worsham

22.77

14

Auburn

Anthony Goggins

Nick Palerino

22.66

15

Tennessee - Knoxville

John Young

Bradley Cooper

22.07

16

LSU

Douglas McClung

Travis Laurent

21.82

17

Mississippi State

Kyle Smith

Ryan Therrell

19.79

18

Alabama - Birmingham

David Smith

 

19.59

19

North Alabama

Ryan Salzman

Logan Leonard

19.47

20

Tennessee Tech

Seth Davis

Ryan Maddux

19.27

21

UNC Charlotte

Joe Kinchen

Tyler Teer

18.73

22

Troy

Justin Mott

Caleb Downing

18.46

23

Georgia

Randy Tolbert

Chase Simmemon

18

24

Auburn

Daniel Holland

Jonathan Adams

17.54

25

Alabama

Jeremy Christian

David Rogers

16.91

26

Alabama

Daniel Taylor

Caleb Parker

16.89

27

NC State

Will White

Jeff Bumgarner

16.81

28

North Alabama

Shawn Dalrymple

Robb Young

16.44

29

Auburn

Andrew Wendt

Robert Melvin

16.33

30

Georgia

Dessie Bower

Wesley Mitchell

16.04

31

Virginia Tech

Nick White

Caleb Brown

15.7

32

Auburn

Clay Messer

Sam Rochell

14.76

33

Mississippi State

Andrew Gordon

Xan Hancock

14.61

34

East Carolina

Brad Kimrey

Allen Rouse

14.53

35

Mississippi State

Greg Bentley

Aaron Posner

14.13

36

Alabama

Mark McCarty

Lance Coggins

13.99

37

Mississippi State

Josh Cameron

Taylor Odom

13.29

38

Florida

Mark Gipson

Rhett Rampi

13.17

39

Auburn

Eric Terrell

Gene Buckley

12.81

40

South Carolina

Stephen Britt

Jake Hostetter

11.93

41

Troy

Jeremy Knight

Blake Turner

11.77

42

Southern Miss

Dax Graham

Morgan Johnston

11.69

43

South Carolina

Chip Gilley

Brandon Owens

11.52

44

UT - Chattanooga

Drew Hardin

Alex Craw

9.6

45

Faulkner

Hunter Dismukes

Josh Lock

9.11

46

Georgia College & State

Jared Hendrix

Jonathan Rotureau

8.73

47

Georgia College & State

Zach Olson

Josh Futch

7.78

48

Alabama

Brian Morrow

Trent Wright

7.15

49

Gardner Webb

Lee Phipps

Jacob Vandenbark

6.06

50

Auburn - Montgomery

Brandon Johnson

Matthew Mallett

5.57

51

Mississippi State

Chesley Heatherly

Taylor Bowling

5.38

52

East Carolina

Zane Bennett

Zachary Watkins

2.48

53

Montevallo

Joseph Fuller

Jacob Odom

0

54

Montevallo

Clent Davis

 

0

55

Auburn - Montgomery

Valerie Mitchell

Baron Litaker

0

56

Troy

Darrick Luke

Josh Grimes

0

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