The conclusion of the Day 1 weigh-in for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series at Smith Lake found Nate Overocker and Evan Seggerman of Greenville University in 48th place. Just under 10-lbs of Smith Lake spotted bass had the Greenville Panthers in a solid position going into the final day of competition on Saturday.
Seggerman, a senior with a degree in Biology and Overocker, a junior studying Mathematics were pleased with their Day 1 results, but are hoping to move up the leaderboard far enough to earn a coveted spot in the 2021 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship.
Overocker and Seggerman have been well-traveled this year, competing in all three Bassmaster College Series events so far, and would love to nail down a qualification here in Cullman, Alabama.
“Throughout practice and again today we are catching our better fish first thing in the morning,” Seggerman said. “We were able to put three solid keepers in the boat before 7:00 am, and then had to grind all day for our final two keeper bites.”
Both spotted and largemouth bass have to be over 15-inches in order to be a keeper this week on Smith Lake, and they have certainly been tough to come by for most of the 200+ boat field. Weights are bunched up around 7 to 10-pounds, with just over 12-pounds having teams in the top ten.
“We’re keying in on a bit of shad spawn activity,” Overocker offered. “If we can replicate our day one results but add just one more quality bite I think we’ll move quite a ways up the leaderboard. It all starts with a good morning though, that will be key.”
The central Illinois natives made the ten-hour drive to Smith Lake in Overocker’s 2018 Toyota Tundra, which is another reason why they are eager to improve their position. Overocker is proudly registered for Toyota Bonus Bucks College Series, and would love to finish high enough to earn his second Bonus Bucks check of 2021.
“We drive that truck all over the country to and from fishing tournaments and I never have to worry about reliability,” Overocker said. “It’s a great vehicle and the Bonus Bucks program gives us the chance to make some extra money while we’re at it!”
The College Series portion of the popular contingency program offered by Toyota is similar to the official program in that an angler doesn’t have to win an event to earn the rewards; you just have to be the highest placing registered participant in a supported event.
For college anglers, there are no year restrictions when it comes to Bonus Bucks. If you are a college angler towing your boat with a Toyota tow vehicle, whether it’s a 2018 or a 2002, you are eligible for Toyota Bonus Bucks College Series. The program offers the opportunity to earn money for yourself and a matching amount for your school’s fishing club.
With any luck, Seggerman and Overocker will be making the drive back to Illinois on Sunday with a National Championship berth, and maybe a few Bonus Bucks in their back pocket.