Seventy-six of the best collegiate teams across the nation squared off on Lake Barkley for a shot to qualify for the Bassmaster/Carhartt National Championship which will be held at Lake DuBay in Stevens Point, Wis. The event was held in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Pros Tournament on Kentucky Lake during this year’s Bassfest.
McKendree University anglers narrowly missed going from wire to wire in first and second place of the three-day event as team members,
Jordan Ledbetter of Carlyle and Trent Robinson of Havana, Ill. maintained the first-place position with a catch tipping the scales at 15 pounds, 14 ounces on day one and 12-13 on day two for a two-day total of 28-11.
Their McKendree teammates, Phillip Germagliotti and Shane Campbell, both of Highland, maintained second place with 14-7 on day one and 13-10 on day two for a two-day total of 28-1.
Maintaining the top two positions for the first two days is an incredible accomplishment. Only the top 20 teams from days one and two of the tournament qualify to advance and fish day three of the tourney.
There was an added twist on the third day of the tourney, as it was also second-chance day for the 40 Bassmaster Elite Pro anglers that did not make the first cut on Kentucky Lake. Therefore, on day three these professional anglers were all fishing Lake Barkley, alongside the collegiate anglers, for a chance to qualify for the Bassmaster finals on Kentucky Lake. Having these added 40 pro anglers on the same water for day three made it extra tough on the collegiate anglers.
At the completion of day three, however, the McKendree team of Germagliotti and Campbell held on to second place with 12-1 and a total three-day weight of 40-2.
Germagliotti and Campbell were only one of three teams in the event that caught their five-fish limit all three days of the tournament. Their day three weight was also enough to beat 24 of the 40 pro anglers that fished the same water on day three.
McKendree’s Ledbetter and Robinson finished day three with 8-12 for a total three-day weight of 37-7, and took home third-place honors. Their second- and third-place finishes qualified them for a coveted spot in the upcoming Bassmaster/Carhartt National Championship. The event was won by Wallace State University in Alabama who came in with 15 pounds on day three for a three-day total of 42 pounds, 5 ounces.