Making a move

After spending all day around their best spot, Sands and Dimauro are making a move back to Lake Harris.

Dimauro said while the bite has slowed down since about noon, they felt their best chance to upgrade was to stay in their best area.

Now with an hour and a half to go, they want to make sure they leave plenty of time to navigate through the Harris Chain back to Venetian Gardens. Weigh-in is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.

More than a just a title

With roughly two hours left to fish, the Top 12 teams are competing for more than just the National Title.

The top 4 teams concluding today’s weigh-in will qualify to fish the 2020 College Classic Bracket on Lay Lake, November 17th through the 19th, and compete for a spot in the 2021 Bassmaster Classic.

Cole Sands and Conner Dimauro of Bryan College entered the day with a 15 pound, 1 ounce lead over the 2nd place team of Jack Tindell and Brett Fregia of Lamar State College Orange. Although the gap between 1st and 2nd place coming into Championship Saturday is a sizable one, the gap between 12th place to 4th place is much smaller at 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

Over the first two days of competition we have seen 11 bags over the 20-pound mark which has lead to several massive jumps up the leaderboard. For example, Ty Cox and Fisher Overton of Blue Mountain College moved up 90 spots after Day 2 of competition with a 26 pound, 10-ounce limit. Making up a 5 pound, 13-ounce deficit for the chance to fish the Bassmaster Classic can be done easily on The Harris Chain of Lakes.

With more than just a title on the line, the weigh-in this afternoon is sure to be suspenseful from start to finish. Be sure to tune-in at 3:30 ET to watch a National Champion get crowned as well as 8 anglers earn the opportunity to compete for the 2021 Bassmaster Classic.

Searching for giants

Sands and Dimauro have moved to a new school of fish and have caught four or five little bass in less than 20 minutes.

After deciding to leave their primary for a few minutes, Dimauro said when they were idling over, they saw fish on the graph and decided to stop and fish it.

They are hoping to weed through some smaller fish and find one or two more giant fish to increase their weight before 3:30 p.m.

Bryan College adding weight

Sands and Dimauro continue to excel on the Harris Chain of Lakes, culling up several times in the last hour.

Their goal for the day was to exceed the 30-pound mark and Sands believes they are one fish away from achieving that goal.

The heaviest three-day total for a Bassmaster College Series event was 72-13 out of the St. Lawrence River in 2019. Sands and Dimauro started Day 3 with 55-12.

Bryan College lands a giants

Sands and Dimauro just landed their fourth keeper, a fish that weighs around 7 pounds, despite a broken rod. A few minutes later, they added their fifth keeper.

Things are starting to heat up for Bryan College.

That fish is the sixth fish over the 7-pound mark for the duo this week.

“I have fished this lake all my life and I haven’t had three consecutive days like this,” Dimauro said. “God had really blessed us this week. This one means so much to us.”

Slowly but surely

Sands and Dimauro have caught two more keepers, the latest Sands said he believes is around 4-and-half pounds.

After experimenting with a couple different presentations to see if they can generate some bites, Sands switched back to the Carolina Rig to catch their second biggest fish.

“This is the first time I’ve picked up a spinning rod all week. There’s too many down there not to try it,” Sands said.

While Day 2 started with a bang, Day 3 has played out similar to the first day of the tournament. Sands said on Day 1, they were getting a bite every 45 minutes or so and he expects it to play out that way today.

“When they are ready to bite we will be ready,” he added.

Dimauro said while they have gotten plenty of fish to eat their Carolina Rigged worms throughout the week, but they have also felt bites that they never connected with.

“We are throwing 3-4 oz weight and when we looked at the weights last night they had teeth marks on them,” Dimauro said. “They keep eating the weight.”

One in the boat

After a run filled with music and singing from Sands and Dimauro, we have arrived on their first offshore spot on Lake Beauclair and Sands wastes no time in landing a 5-pounder.

“It bit as I started to reel it in,” he said. “There are a 100 fish under the boat right now.”

Dimauro said there are several groups of fish in the area and they will bounce around, change angles throughout the day. They are dragging Carolina Rigs with big worms around a grass edge in about 9 foot of water.

Not only are there big bass in the area, but there is also a school of hybrids chasing bait.

Dimauro added they plan to stay on their best stuff all day and catch as much weight as possible.

Championship Saturday ready to start

It’s a beautiful morning here in Leesburg as the Top 12 teams prepare to head out to the Harris Chain of Lake for the final day of the Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship.

The forecast calls for sunny skies and lighter winds than the previous two days.

The Bryan College team of Cole Sands and Conner Dimauro caught 27 pounds, 7 ounces and lead the tournament with a two-day total of 55-12.

They hold a 15-pound lead over the Lamar State College-Orange team of Jack Tindell and Brett Fregia.

We will be following the leaders all day, so stay tuned to the blog all day for updates.

Fishing in a crowd

We spent the majority of our afternoon in the back of Little Lake Harris where we were greeted by several boats. 

Amongst the 7 or 8 boat rotation that we followed was the second place team of Tyler Lubbat and Calvin Landsberg. 

The area that these boats were focusing on was a large flat with submerged hydrilla with isolated patches of Lilly pads. 

After speaking with several of the teams, it appears that today has been much more difficult to get a big bite. With many of the top teams struggling on Day 2, there will be plenty of opportunity to climb up the leaderboard. 

First Flight is due in at 3:30 ET. Be sure to tune in to the weigh in to see who will be fishing on Day 3! 

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