Minnesota’s Trevor Lo is Classic bound after defeating Texas A&M’s Josh Bensema in the final round of the 2015 Carhartt College Bassmaster Classic Bracket presented by Bass Pro Shops. Reigning Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops National Champion Josh Bensema brought in only one fish weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces and was unable to hold off the midday charge that boated Lo three fish worth 6 pounds, 3 ounces.
As Lo stood on stage and was awarded his berth into the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic, he was overcome with emotion and fought to hold back the tears.
“Feels good,” said Lo. “I don’t know, I’m just overwhelmed right now. I have so many emotions going through me. I’m just so thankful for all my family coming to support me. I never thought I’d make it this far and I’m just so thankful.”
Immediately after the Top 4 teams were decided via the National Championship last week, contestants were allowed to go out on the Wisconsin Flowage to scout for an hour or they could opt out and work on tackle. Lo chose to work on tackle after having researched the lake online using Google Earth.
“I fish a lot of river systems back home and I did what I know how to do. I looked for outside bends in the main channel. I found current breaks and fished deep laydowns. I started with that game plan on the first day and it worked so I stuck to it.”
Lo’s primary bait this week was a weightless Gary Yamamoto Senko, both whacky-rigged and Texas rigged.
“I didn’t even bother to pick up another rod cause that’s what they were biting.”
When asked by tournament director Hank Weldon who Lo wanted to thank,
“First and foremost, I want to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for the grace He’s provided for me to even be here fishing this tournament, my mom and my dad and my family and friends that are watching and that are here.”
In addition to the Bassmaster Classic berth, Lo receives a fully-rigged Toyota Tundra accompanied by a sponsor provided fully-rigged boat and motor combo to use for the year. Lo was also awarded $7,500 cash by Carhartt to use for expense money in the 2016 Bass Pro Shops Opens. As if that wasn’t enough, Lo’s entry fees for all nine of those Opens will be paid.
Finishing one spot shy of all of that is a bitter pill to swallow and one that Aggie Josh Bensema is going to be choking down for a while. As elated as Trevor Lo is right now, Josh Bensema sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. However, Bensema sees only the positive.
“I want to thank my family for coming out, my girlfriend and of course Matt (teammate Matthew McArdle) for helping me get this far. I’ll be a junior starting this fall so I have two more years to try to get back here. It’s been a great week. Today’s a little disappointing but it just fuels the fire for next year.”
As optimistic as Bensema wanted to be, those last few words were all he could manage before the emotion and the weight of the moment got to him.
Bensema caught his fish this week on a variety of baits around main-river current breaks. He would typically throw a 6th Sense Crush 50X and 25X Squarebills on each stop first and then follow up with a Santone Flipping Jig rigged with a Kicker Fish Kicker Craw Jr trailer.