Lamenting the two that got away, Dalton Wilson and Randall Morris of Bethel University brought in 27-5 to lead after Day 1 of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Wild Card on Pickwick Lake.
Considering their sack of five-and-a-half pound average bass to lead the event and a chance for that weight to have been even bigger, Pickwick certainly didn’t disappoint the pair on Day 1.
“We lost two fish that would have culled today,” said Wilson.
The typical offshore game paved the way for the leaders, who caught their fish on main river ledges.
Wilson and Morris are trailed by two of their Bethel University teammates, Cody Ross and Dewey Swims, who brought in 24-6 to end the day in second place.
The 2013 National Champions, Jacob Nummy and Tyler Strock from Auburn University of Montgomery, sit in 3rd place with a total of 23-14.
Nummy and Strock are hoping for a chance to repeat for their school.
“Making it back to Chatuge for the National Championship is everything,” said Nummy.
This week’s Wild Card is the last opportunity for anglers to qualify for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, which will be held next month on Chatuge Reservoir.
A few anglers who have already qualified are fishing this event just for the chance at a victory, but the remainder of the field hopes to make the top 17 and advance to the National Championship.
In the event of a double qualification, runners-up will be extended an invitation to compete.
Saturday is the second and final day of the Wild Card, and the public is invited to come out and participate in the festivities.
The launch will take place at McFarland Park at 5:30 AM. The final weigh-in will begin at 2:30 PM on the University of North Alabama campus. To follow the action from the water online, visit Bassmaster.com.