Catching up with Fothergill

Current Bassmaster College Series champ Easton Fothergill has an intriguing last name, but at age 21, his life story is even better. Six weeks prior to winning the Bassmaster College Classic Bracket and a subsequent berth to the upcoming 2024 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Classic presented by Jockey, he had a hole drilled in his skull to drain a brain abscess that could have caused brain damage or taken his life.

The 21-year-old Grand Rapids, Minn., native and University of Montevallo standout angler continues to thrive, and he graciously took a few minutes to gives us a life update, including his plans to pack a few non-forward-facing sonar baits in his Tundra for the Grand Lake Classic.

Q: Why did a kid from Minnesota choose to attend a university in Alabama?

Fothergill: I knew if I wanted to be the best bass angler I could be, that I’d have to learn how to catch fish in the Southeastern United States. Also, Montevallo is one of the best-funded college fishing programs in America.

Q: How’s 2024 treating you so far?

Fothergill: As good or better than I could dream of. I fished my first-ever Bassmaster Open. It was at Okeechobee in late January, and I scored a Top 10. I’m still trying to get my head around doing that well against guys like Randall Tharp and Brandon McMillan. I was also super fortunate to do well at the Bassmaster Open on Lake Ouachita last week too, so I’m now sitting second overall in the Bassmaster Opens Elite Qualifier points race.

Q: What kind of prep have you done for the upcoming Bassmaster Classic?

Fothergill: I spent two full days on Grand Lake at Thanksgiving. I really liked it. It reminds me of Lake of the Ozarks. It’s going to be a super weather-dependent event, and I like that, because nobody gets a super strong advantage. We’ll all have to fish in the moment.

Q: What three lures do you have a ton of confidence in going into Grand Lake?

Fothergill: You can bet I’ll be packing a 1/4-ounce jig to skip docks, a wacky worm, and if the water’s dirty, I’m throwing a spinnerbait with Colorado or Indiana blades.

Q: You’re a really calm and cool dude. Are you anxious about anything?

Fothergill: The Classic is definitely heavy on my mind. I can’t wait to ride in to weigh in at the BOK Center in Tulsa. Beyond the Classic, I’m super pumped about the Bassmaster Open on my home lake in August – Leech Lake, Minn.

Q: You bought an older model Toyota Tundra, but this year, like all Bassmaster College Series Classic Champs, you get to roll around for a season in a brand new Tundra. How does it compare to the older one you own?

Fothergill: It’s night and day. That 14-inch screen on the dash is incredible. It’s super-smooth riding, and I love hearing that twin-turbo wind up and deliver a pile of torque and horsepower.