In August, John Garrett won the Carhartt College Series Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops, on Kentucky Lake. Yesterday here on the shore of Minnesota's Mille Lacs, he was presented with a new Nitro bass boat fully wrapped in his distinctive school colors of purple and gold, and a Toyota Tundra, to use over the next year. Both will come in handy when he competes in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic in Houston. Garrett is the 6th Bassmaster College Champion.
Garrett is a rising junior at Bethel University, which is located in McKenzie, Tenn. At 20-years-old he'll be making history as the youngest angler to fish a Bassmaster Classic. We wanted to get to know the newly minted College Champ, so we caught up with him backstage during the Toyota Angler Of the Year Championship.
Where did you grow up?
"Union City, Tennessee."
Were you on a high school fishing team?
"Yes, at Obion County Central High School."
What's your college major?
Are you on a fishing scholarship at Bethel?
"Yes, everyone on Bethel's fishing team is on scholarship."
How did you get started fishing?
"My granddad would take me out, since about 4-years-old. For a while we'd go out about every weekend to Kentucky Lake or Reelfoot Lake. He taught me everything he knows, and he knows his stuff pretty well." [His granddad Johnny Garrett attended the boat and truck presentation yesterday.]
Do you have any siblings?
"I'm the oldest of three boys. My brothers are 17 and 10."
Have you ever been this far north?
"I've fished at Lake St. Clair near Detroit. But this is the furthest north I've been."
Will you compete in the Bassmaster Opens next year?
"Yes I'll fish all nine. I'll be taking online courses so I can travel."
What are your goals for the future?
"I'd like to make the Elite Series."
What's your favorite style of fishing?
"Offshore, deep, using crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps."
Do you have any sponsors?
"I just signed with Strike King."
Do you have any fishing heros?
"Mark Menendez [Elite pro from nearby Paducah, Kentucky]. He's a great man, and a friend."
What have you learned from him?
"Patience, and be humble about everything."
What are your thoughts about competing in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic?
"I just want to fish my hardest, have a good time, and not stress out too much. I plan to pre-fish Lake Conroe in November."
What's your favorite college football team?
"The Tennessee Volunteers."