The third stop of the 2019 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops kicks off tomorrow morning on Bull Shoals Lake, located in the picturesque Ozark Mountains of Arkansas and Missouri. Over 200 boats of young men and women have converged on north-central Arkansas in hopes of punching their ticket to the 2019 Carhartt College Bassmaster National Championship.
College anglers traveled from all over the country for their chance to Out Fish Them All and have had no problem finding fish in the deep, clear waters of Bull Shoals. Lots of anglers were happy to admit catching bass won’t be the problem this week, but finding the bigger than average (3-pound plus) fish hasn’t been as easy.
I caught up with three seasoned college anglers from different corners of the country to pick their brains on what to expect. Kaito Ajiro, a junior attending Colorado State, Garett Marler (junior) of University of North Alabama, and Adam Salvador (junior) out of Georgia College were all kind enough to share their thoughts.
What are you studying?
Kaito Ajiro (Colorado State): “I am an Econ major.”
Garett Marler (UNA): “I’m studying Information Technology.”
Adam Salvador (Georgia College): “Accounting major.”
What are two lures you expect to excel on Bull Shoals this week?
Kaito Ajiro (Colorado State): “Based off of what we’ve seen in practice, I’m going to say a jerkbait and a flipping jig.”
Garett Marler (UNA): “A buzzbait and a mid-depth crankbait, something in the 8-10 foot range, will be a major player for us.”
Adam Salvador (Georgia College): “The fish we’ve been catching have primarily been post spawn honestly, so I’m saying a (weightless) Fluke and a jerkbait of some kind.”
What boat snack will you have packed that’ll play a major key in your performance this week?
Kaito Ajiro (Colorado State): “That’s easy, GoGo Squeeze Apple Sauce is a major key for sure.”
Garett Marler (UNA): “Hmmm…. That’s a tough one but I’d have to say Honey Roasted peanuts or Ritz Cheese Crackers.”
Adam Salvador (Georgia College): “Pringles chips, without a doubt the best boat snack of all time!”
It’s worth noting that these anglers seemed to get more fired up when asked about boat snacks than asked about key lures for Bull Shoals this week. The diet of a collegiate angler while on the road for a tournament is a special kind of wrong.
Favorite thing about the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series format?
Kaito Ajiro (Colorado State): The premium organization of these events. Carhartt Bassmaster College Series tournaments provide us college anglers with the closest experience of a professional level event.
Garett Marler (UNA): “ I like the fact that these are in 3-day events, if you make it to Championship Saturday. They are one of the only college events like that and bring about a different kind of preparation and pressure. I love it.”
Adam Salvador (Georgia College): “Man, I just like that these events give me a place to compete with my friends and fishin’ buddies. I just love bass fishing and these tournaments are professionally run in a super easy to follow format. That’s all you can ask for!”