Friday, June 13 2014, 08:43 PM EDT
UTC Takes the Win in Bassmaster College Regional
DAYTON, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and its Mocs fishing team came from 11th place with an impressive final-day catch to win the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional.
Lance Geren (pictured left) and Robbie Moore (pictured right) posted a two-day total of 31 pounds, 2 ounces to score the come-from-behind victory.
RAW VIDEO above, courtesy Elmer Harris, RheaReview.com
"This is so amazing that it really hasn't even sunk in yet," Geren said. "We don't really know when it will."
Geren, 24, is an engineering major at the University of Tennessee system school. Moore, 20, majors in business. Both students plan to graduate in the coming year.
Two students from the main UT campus in Knoxville finished in second place after leading the tournament after Day 1.
Tyler Wadzinski and Matt Beeler were knocked out of the lead after posting a final-day catch of 14-4. The team brought in a two-day weight of 30-9.
"We'll take it," Wadzinski said. "It's good to be here, and those guys just out-fished us."
Geren and Moore fished a classic summertime ledge pattern with a twist.
"We decided to fish a bit shallower than everyone else," Geren said. "It made sense to us because no one was really hammering the fish way out deep."
The team positioned their boat in 20 feet of water, making casts to bass positioned in 10 feet or shallower. The bass held on secondary drops between the shoreline and the deeper water.
A heavy jig did the trick for both days. The team used a locally made Jenko Jigs 3/4-ounce football head shape in all the summer candy color. A matching Strike King trailer was impaled on the jig for added strike appeal.
Staying near the launch site was another key.
"It's pure coincidence that our spots were near the launch," Geren added. "But it did allow us to keep fishing longer."
More competition time paid off in more ways than one. Moore caught the team's biggest bass weighing 5-11 going into the final hour of fishing.
Wadzinski and Beeler were confident going into the final round, although their areas failed to produce enough quality bites to sustain the lead.
"We couldn't get that one kicker fish," Wadzinski lamented.
Austin Neary and Zach Hicks represented Western Carolina University with a third-place finish. The team's high hopes of a win were dashed on Day 1 after a bass estimated at 10 pounds broke free at the boat.
Geren and Moore took home more than the winner's trophy. The anglers earned the Bass Pro Nitro Big Bag award of $500 for catching the 19-6 heavyweight sack of the tournament. They also took home the Livingston Lures Leader award, worth $500 in Livingston products.
William Shipes of Clemson University won the Carhartt Big Bass award for catching a 6-2 largemouth.
The Top 12 teams from the Eastern Regional are invited to the Carhartt College Championship, July 31-Aug. 2. The tournament will be held on Chatuge Reservoir in northern Georgia.
The Eastern Regional tournament was held in conjunction with the June 11-15 Bassmaster BASSfest, a unique tournament featuring pros from the Bassmaster Elite Series and top pros from the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series presented by Allstate.
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