Tigers timing perfect

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – In a bass fishing battle that featured two SEC powerhouses going head-to-head, Auburn topped rivals Alabama to exact a little revenge and claim the Bassmaster College Classic trophy and bragging rights until the two schools meet again.

The matchup proved to be tight on a hot, challenging Lake Jordan fishery with the Tigers putting together 24 pounds, 8 ounces for their three teams, which was enough to beat Alabama’s 22-12. Jordan Lee and Shane Powell anchored the Auburn team with an 11-pound limit.

“Those guys (Alabama) are all our buddies, but to win this means a lot after getting beat at the last College Classic,” Lee said. “That was hard to take. All the Auburn fans were asking, ‘Why didn’t you win? Why didn’t you win?’ It is big to win and get that revenge on them.”

For Lee and Powell, the turnaround came down to great timing and a huge final hour. They had a small limit around 9 pounds, which wouldn’t have been enough to beat Alabama, when they revisited a spot and it paid off in a big way.

“In the last 45 minutes we came back to this spot that we had already fished four or five times,” Lee said. “The fish were suspended there and we caught our biggest spot on a scrounger right away. Then they started coming up – big ones. There were 4- to 5-pounders schooling on the big gizzard shad that were there.”

The other key factor to Auburn’s success on the whole was teamwork. The last time the teams faced off, the Tigers didn’t share much information on the fishery and it came back to haunt them when Alabama was left holding the trophy.

This time, they learned their lesson and the result was exactly what they planned.

“Teamwork was a big deal at this one,” Lee said. “Last time we didn’t really work together. Here, we all found our own stuff, but we told each other where we were fishing. When we would catch one or two, we would call and tell our other guys to come over. That didn’t happen a lot, but it probably made the difference.”

Auburn is coming off a runner-up finish at the Mercury College B.A.S.S. National Championship in July, which is airing on ESPNU. More information on Mercury College B.A.S.S. can be found by visiting http://www.bassmaster.com/college.