Two Bryan College teammates joked at the beginning of their freshman year, while competing in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, of making the Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship and competing against one another in the bracket-style competition.
Not only did Jacob Foutz and Jake Lee win the championship, the teammates were the last two standing for the coveted GEICO Bassmaster Classic berth, which has been sponsored by Carhartt the last six years. Foutz would go on to win, with the strongest performance of the bracket, a limit of 16 pounds, 5 ounces.
“We helped each other out in practice and knew that if it came down to each other on the last day, we would enjoy the moment.
“Obviously, the experience was emotional after the season Jake and I had together, and having the success both of us had, it meant a lot for us to do well,” Foutz said.
Foutz will not only receive a Classic bid, he will receive a brand-new Nitro Z20 garnered in Bryan College Colors and a Toyota tow vehicle.
Before Sunday’s final weigh-in at the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, the 19-year-old college freshman took time to answer a few questions.
Where did you grow up?
“Uhrichsville, Ohio. We moved to Chattanooga about five years ago.”
How’d you decide to go to Bryan College?
“I received a fishing scholarship, and it was close to home.”
What’s your college major?
Were you on a high school fishing team?
“Yes, Walker Valley High School. There, I was president of the team for one year.”
Did you take anything away from being the president of your high school team?
“Yes, I did. It gave me a sense of leadership and the ability to work well with others.”
You’re by far the youngest Carhartt College Competitor to win the Classic Bracket, how does that feel?
“You know; I try not to think about it. I just want to enjoy the experience, really.”
Will you compete in the Bassmaster Opens next year?
“Yes, I’ll have to take some online courses to be able to manage my time correctly through the opens and school.”
What's your favorite style of fishing?
“Flipping, growing up doing that at home in Ohio we did that a lot so I try to apply that to wherever I go in the country, but I enjoy catching them however they are biting.”
What are your goals for the future?
“I’d like to qualify for the Elite Series, but we will cross the bridge of school and fishing when we get there.”
How’d you begin fishing?
“My grandparents and parents were really in the outdoors. I was fortunate enough to grow up with a 12-acre pond in my backyard so that was where I was able to cut my teeth per say.”
Who is your angling hero?
“My dad, he taught me the importance of keeping my mind in the game, and it’s just as much about the mental side as it skill set.”
Have you fished Lake Hartwell before?
“I fished Lake Hartwell last September for the BFL Regional, I finished 32nd.”
What are your thoughts about competing in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic?
“I think I’ll be alright, I don’t want to have any preconceived notions, have fun, and not stress myself out with the magnitude of the tournament.”
You’re getting a new boat and truck combo for this win, have you ever had anything of this magnitude fishing related?
“No, nothing close to it. Everything hasn’t even set in yet, I’m trying to soak in all the experiences with it, and it’s been amazing so far.”