college

Top lures at College Championship

For the 120 teams that qualified for the Strike King Bassmaster College National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops at Winyah Bay, catching bass wasn’t an issue. But finding a few big bites separated the Top 12 teams from the rest of the field.
In the end, it was Coastal Carolina University's Andrew Vereen and Connor Cartmell who took the victory with 40 pounds, 2 ounces on Vereen’s home body of water. The duo ran way up the Santee River located South of takeoff in Georgetown to secure the victory.
With the university located just up the road in Conway, as well as Vereen’s hometown of Murrells Inlet, the CCU duo had plenty of family, friends and supporters in the crowd to help celebrate the massive win. 
Tidal water fishing is often a shallow water anglers dream and that was certainly the case during the 2022 Strike King Bassmaster College National Championship at Winyah Bay presented by Bass Pro Shops. To revamp your tidal water and river tackle, head over to Basspro.com and check out their impressive selection. 
Owen Januszewski/Matt Mosby, Adrian College (12th-place, 23-14)
The Adrian College duo utilized two main presentations to make it to Championship Sunday at Winyah Bay.
The first was a black/blue 1/4-ounce Missile Baits Ike Mini-Flip jig, a staple in any river rats game.
They also used a Stupid Tube with a 3/16-ounce Poor Boys jig head and Poor Boys tube in either black with gold flake or green pumpkin with orange.
James Willoughby/Jacob Pfundt, University of Montevallo (11th-place, 27-13)
Two topwater techniques carried Willoughby and Pfundt to a Top 12 finish at Winyah Bay.
A black ¼-ounce Crusher Lures buzzbait with a gold blade and a grub style trailer produced plenty of bites throughout the tournament. 
A black or green pumpkin Zoom Horny Toad rigged on a 5/0 Trokar hook was also a big player as Pfundt said he was able to get it into thicker cover without getting hung up.
Connor Jacob/Sam Smith, Auburn University (10th-place, 30-10)
Three power fishing techniques lifted Jacob and Smith into Championship Sunday.
They utilized a pearl white ⅜-ounce V&M Pacemaker Swim Jig paired with a Zoom grub trailer.
A white Spro Bronzeye frog also triggered strikes on Winyah Bay.
The Auburn duo also threw a ½-oz chartreuse/white Stanley Wedge Spinnerbait with willow blades and a white grub trailer. 
Matthew Cummings/Levi Mullins, Bethel University (9th-place, 32-11)
A mixture of moving baits and flipping baits came into play for Mullins and Cummings.
For topwater action, the Bethel duo threw a black PH Custom buzzbait.
They also threw a ⅜-ounce white/chartreuse Duckett Spinnerbait to catch more aggressive bass.
When they needed to slow down, the Bethel team pitched a Texas rigged Berkley Powerbait The General with a ⅜-ounce sinker. 
Tommy Sendek/Grayson Morris, University of Montevallo (8th-place, 32-14)
Similar to their teammates, Morris and Sendek threw two topwater presentations to land in the Top 10.
They slowly winded a ¼-ounce Dirty Jigs Buzzbait with a Z-Man GOAT trailer around cypress trees to trigger bigger than average bites.
To give the bass a different look, they also threw a black Zoom Horny Toad rigged on a 4/0 Gamakatsu EWG Superline hook.
Jake Monti/Samuel Dunson, UNC Charlotte (7th-place, 32-14)
Monti and Dunson utilized two main presentations to catch their bass.
They Texas-rigged a Bizz Baits Sassy Stick in candy bug color on a ¼-ounce Queen Tackle tungsten worm weight.
To trigger a reaction bite, the UNC Charlotte duo cranked a Black Label Ricochet Jr. balsa squarebill in chartreuse/black.
Hayden Gaddis/Ben Cully, Carson Newman (6th-place, 33-2)
Two power fishing techniques kept Gaddis and Cully in the Top 10 all week long at Winyah Bay.
They swam a ½-ounce Z-Man Evergreen Jackhammer in BHite Delight color and paired it with a 3.8 Keitech swimbait.  
A ⅜-ounce Boogerman buzzbait with a black buzz toad for a trailer also triggered strikes.
Conner DiMauro/Justin Botts, Bryan College (5th-place, 34-3)
A rotation of three baits helped DiMauro and Botts achieve a Top 5 finish.
The unique design of the ½-ounce Crock-O-Gator Head Knocker Buzzbait paired with a gray ghost colored Zoom Horny Toad helped them get a couple extra bites in crowded areas.
A discontinued Jackall Iobee frog with a white belly and brown body also triggered topwater strikes.
As a follow-up bait, the Bryan duo threw a 6-inch Haw River floating worm in sherbet color with a 4/0 Owner hook.
Brooks Anderson/Parker Guy, Emmanuel College (4th-place, 34-9)
Anderson and Guy switched between a topwater bait and a finesse presentation at Winyah Bay.
A Spro Bronzeye Frog in Killer Gill was one of their key baits at Winyah Bay
They also rigged a Zoom floating worm on a 4/0 Gamakatsu hook.
Tyler Christy/Trey Schroeder, McKendree University (3rd-place, 36-4)
As the only team in the Sampit River, Christy and Schroeder qualified for the College Classic Bracket using two baits.
Their finesse presentation was a 1/16-ounce shaky head with a scuppernong colored Zoom Trick Worm.
Their topwater strikes came on a black Crock-O-Gator buzzbait with a gold blade. They paired that with a black Zoom Horny Toad as a trailer.
Jackson Swisher/Seth Slanker, Florida Gateway College (2nd-place, 37-13)
Swisher and Slanker used their tidal experience on the St. Johns River to excel on Winyah Bay and grab a spot in the College Classic Bracket.
Either a ¼ or 3/8-ounce Boogerman buzzbait with a black blade was locked in Slanker’s hand all tournament long. He paired it with a black Zoom Horny Toad trailer.
They picked up a couple extra bites with a variety of soft plastic stickbaits in junebug colors. He rigged it on a 5/16-oz sinker and a 3/0 Owner Jungle Hook.
Andrew Vereen/Connor Cartmell (1st-place, 40-2)
Using their hometown advantage to navigate way up the Santee River, Vereen and Cartmell utilized a variety of baits to earn the victory and a spot in the Classic Bracket.
Fishing mostly wooded cover, they threw a chrome or translucent Ima Little Stick 135 over top of laydowns and logs.
They also pitched a ½-oz green pumpkin Osborne homemade jig paired with a Zoom Super Craw. 
When the bass showed themselves but didn’t commit to the topwater bait, Vereen and Cartmell threw a white Zoom Super Fluke as a follow-up bait. Occasionally they would dip the tail in chartreuse dye.