Mark Hugus and Cody Hahner of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point won the 2014 Carhartt College Series Midwestern Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks with a two-day total of 32-13.
Hugus and Hahner had an impressive 5-pound-and-9-ounce margin of victory over the second place team of Cody Lincoln and Jason Hawksford, also of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Although the top 14 finishers move on to the Carhartt College Series National Championship, qualifying was never the focus for Hugus and Hahner.
“We came here to win,” said Hahner. “We finished second at our last tournament last weekend and that hurt.”
When Hugus and Hahner hit the water for practice at Lake of the Ozarks, their main focus was finding bigger fish. The bigger bites were spaced out during practice so the duo ran new water on days one and two while mixing in a few areas where they previously caught multiples.
“We basically looked for transition banks in pockets,” said Hugus.
These “transition banks” consisted of bigger rock turning to chunk rock where Hugus and Hahner would throw MegaBass 110 jerkbaits to trigger bites from pre-spawn bass that were moving toward shallower water.
Their win can be credited to covering water and not letting lost fish mess with their mentality. On Day 1, Hugus and Hahner lost a fish over 5 and a fish over 3 early in the morning. Knowing that their main window of opportunity would come later in the day as the water warmed up, they were able to shake off the lost fish and focus on the next bite.
Day 2 began much the same way with Hugus losing the team’s second keeper bite of the morning, a solid 4-pounder.
“We just kept our head down and kept fishing,” said Hugus.
That mindset paid off as Hugus and Hahner hit a flurry around noon boating most of their 13-3 day two weight in a 30-minute span.
Cody Lincoln and Jason Hawksford also of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point held their Day 2 starting position finishing 2nd behind their teammates.
Kansas State University’s Quinn Fowler and Dylan McKee finished 3rd with 26-3.
Ryan Gilbert and Jacob Cllisch of the University of Wisconsin, Plattville caught the Carhartt Big Bass for the event on Day 1 weighing 7- 1.
Mark Hugus and Cody Hahner of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point took the Livingston Lures Leader Award with a two-day total of 32-13.
Mark Hugus and Cody Hahner of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point also won the Bass Pro Nitro Big Bag award with their Day 1 bag of 19-10.
The top 14 advance to the Carhartt College Series National Championship to be held later this year.