Texas Tech schools Central Regional


Ronnie Moore

LUFKIN, Texas —Travis McGuire and Layne Bynum of Texas Tech University caught their second consecutive 28-pound limit Saturday to take the title of Carhartt College Series Central Regional Champion on Texas' Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Bass Pro Shops was the presenting tournament sponsor.

The Red Raider teammates tallied a three-day Carhartt College Series record of 69 pounds, 8 ounces to win by an overwhelming 12-1 margin over the University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Persistence paid off for the Texas anglers as they toughed it out on one primary offshore spot for the duration of the tournament, waiting for waves of big fish to funnel into their area. McGuire and Bynum didn’t even give up after a humbling 12-14 on Day 1 had them mired down in 48th place.

“We were catching them when they were moving up to feed before they head to spawn,” McGuire said.

“Those big fish always go deeper for the winter so we wanted to position ourselves where they were headed.”

The victors fished what they called a “highway,” which is what anglers refer to when an area has attributes that fish desire for prespawn and postspawn conditions. There is always a wave of fish moving deeper to the area or pulling up shallower to that transition.

They picked apart that highway with four specific baits throughout the three-day event: A Strike King 6XD, a Football head jig, a swimbait and a Carolina Rig.

After struggling on Thursday, they opted to stick with the spot they knew held big bass. It delivered on Friday, relinquishing the 28-10 Bass Pro Shops Nitro Big Bag of the tournament and accompanying $250 gift card to Bass Pro Shops.

Anchoring that bag was the 10-pound, 2-ounce Carhartt Big Bass, which garnered the team a $500 Carhartt gift card.

They utilized the second biggest bag of the event to pull over 12 pounds away from Day 1 leaders Tyler Craig and Spencer Lambert of Louisiana-Monroe for the win.

Craig and Lambert took a different approach to their second-place finish as they focused on a ditch that was filled with grassy hydrilla. They would load the boat with 8 to 10 fish on a red lipless crankbait.

“I think those fish were pulling up at night and feeding in that ditch,” Craig said.

“I found that spot two weeks ago and caught 12 or 13 fish and decided to leave it alone because it would probably be good this week.”

Thursday's cold front paid big dividends for the ULM duo as they landed an 8-pounder and a 6-pounder to anchor their 24-8 limit.

“I don’t know what would’ve happened if it stayed warm during the tournament,” Lambert said.

“But I think the really cold evenings stopped the bigger females from pulling up from deeper water into the area.”

Tyler Rivet and Cameron Naquin of Nicholls State took home 3rd place, Colt Benedict and Reed Foster of Dallas Baptist placed 4th and rounding out the Top 5 was Lawrence Kuznik and Dakota Moore from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

The Top 18 teams, excluding Murray State’s Hunter Mills and Jordan Hartman, will advance to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops later this summer. Murray State isn’t in the Central Region, but decided to fish Sam Rayburn for School of the Year points. Their regional is in May on Cherokee Lake.

Texas Tech was also awarded a merchandise certificate from the Livingston Lures Leader Award program for holding the tournament lead on Day 2.


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