FORT MADISON, Iowa — Despite challenging conditions hampering most teams competing in the North Super Regional on the Mississippi River, Scott Dooley and Shelby Lovelace from the University of Missouri put together two solid days to easily outdistance the rest of their competitors and take home the victory.
Their 20.60-pound total over the two days of the tournament was more than 9 pounds greater than any other team managed to bring in.
"It feels awesome to finally win our first college tournament," Dooley said. "Going wire to wire, this will give me a lot of confidence going into the National Championship. I'm really looking forward to that now."
Finishing in second place was Zach Wojtowicz and Jesse Schultz from Indiana University with a two-day total of 11.45 pounds, including the big bass of the tournament, a 4.46-pound largemouth they caught Saturday. Third place went to Iowa State University's Kyle Wood and Clayton Meyer with 8.47 pounds.
Rounding out the top five was the University of Iowa's Tyler Mehrl and John Mercer with 8.33 pounds in fourth place and Western Illinois University's Dave Hamilton and Tim Himsl in fifth with 5.92 pounds.
The tournament was all Missouri from start to finish. Dooley and Lovelace were one of only two teams to bring in a limit Saturday and they followed that up with four fish Sunday, when no other team could land more than two keepers.
"After catching our first keeper today, we went 2.5 hours without a bite," Dooley said. "We decided to leave out of there and went to another backwater area I found that had a little cleaner water earlier in the week."
They planned on making one quick loop around, then heading to another spot and were nearly done with the rotation when Dooley found the magic tree.
"We got back to the entrance and there was a split laydown there that had rock under it," Dooley said. "Coming down the middle of the tree on the right side, I pitched in there with a tube and felt one pick it up. We ended up putting three fish in the boat all off that one tree."
For Lovelace, his second collegiate tournament couldn't have gone better, and as he continues to get more involved with the club at the University of Missouri, the confidence gained from this event will go a long way.
"This means a lot to me," Lovelace said. "Being able to win one of the first two tournaments I fished is great. I just wish Scott was going to be around again next year."
Indiana University faced a large deficit entering the day, but Wojtowicz and Schultz stayed strong and boated 3.71 pounds to jump into the second-place spot.
"The key for us was patience," Schultz said. "We spent 3 to 3.5 hours this morning without a bite. We kept our head up and knew we were fishing a productive area."
Their second-place catch was buoyed by the 4.46-pound largemouth Wojtowicz caught on Day One.
"It was important to let these fish take the bait before setting the hook, otherwise you are going to miss them," Wojtowicz said. "That big one moved it about 4 inches and then stopped. When I set the hook, the rod only made it to about parallel and then it just stopped. It was the first fish we caught in the area and gave us confidence for the rest of the tournament."
Schultz and Wojtowicz flipped a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver in both Backwater Blue and black neon colors and noted that the addition of a bead above the lure helped attract bass to their bait in the dirty water.
All the schools that participated this week punched their ticket to the College Bass National Championship in Little Rock from July 8-10. Over 60 colleges and universities from around the country have already qualified for the prestigious event and will head to Arkansas for the chance to be only the sixth school to hoist the championship trophy.
|Place||School||Angler||Angler||Day One||Day Two||Total|
|1||Missouri||Scott Dooley||Shelby Lovelace||11||9.6||20.6|
|2||Indiana||Zach Wojtowicz||Jesse Schultz||7.74||3.71||11.45|
|3||Iowa State||Kyle Wood||Clayton Meyer||8.47||0||8.47|
|4||Iowa||Tyler Mehrl||John Mercer||6.4||1.93||8.33|
|5||Western Illinois||Dave Hamilton||Tim Himsl||5.42||0.5||5.92|
|6||St. Cloud State||Dave Saterbak||Eric Schreurs||1.55||3.57||5.12|
|7||Missouri||Champ Caldwell||DuRon Netsell||1.43||1.41||2.84|
|8||Wisconsin at Whitewater||Jake Menden||Tyler Netzer||0||1.33||1.33|
|9||Illinois||Marshall Lachecki||Matt Widtmann||0||0||0|
|9||St. Cloud State||Korey Sybrant||Eric Tessmer||0||0||0|
|9||SIU Carbondale||Nathan Bochniak||Clayton Black||0||0||0|
|9||Wisconsin at Whitewater||Addison Peck||Chunou Xiong||0||0||0|
|9||Iowa State||Jeff Davis||Landon Moore||0||0||0|
|9||SIU Edwardsville||Luke Hicks||Adam Rossel||0||0||0|