Sean Cummins (left) and Maurice Hudson of Penn State University win the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops on the James River out of Richmond, Va., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 14 ounces.
RICHMOND, Va. — Maurice Hudson and Sean Cummins of Penn State University lead wire-to-wire to win the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops on the James River with a four-day total of 42 pounds, 14 ounces.
The Nittany Lions teammates only brought four fish to the scales for the second consecutive day, and it was enough to overcome a hard charging Ohio State.
“After Thursday, we thought we had something figured out,” Hudson said. “Then we found out we had a cameraman and media coverage following us around, and we got nervous. We were a little camera shy and didn’t fish clean (flawlessly) at all. Coming in with four fish today had us worried.”
The duo relied heavily on a crankbait bite and ran the changing tides to stay around the quality fish they needed to do well. Hudson, who fishes the Potomac River and Upper Chesapeake Bay, knows how the tides change and the impact they have on the fish so timing was the most critical thing in this event.
“Running with the tide is key,” Hudson said. “Once you figure out a pattern, you have to stick with it on that specific tide. We knew our key bites would come an hour later every day, so we had to stay patient and not fish a spot too early.”
Throughout the transition of the tide they would throw crankbaits that varied in depth. When it was high tide, they could catch fish on deeper-running crankbaits, but with less water on their cover at low tide, they could lean on a shallow squarebill bite. They also added important bass on a jig over the last two days.
Hudson and Cummins rotated multiple main river spots throughout the event and think their bite wasn’t affected by the changing weather, which threw three different conditions at the teams this week.
The Ohio State team of Jacob Miller and Kyle Waller stayed consistent over the three-day event and cashed in with a second-place finish for the week. They weighed a final-day limit of 14-2 and pushed their total to 42-5, just 9 ounces behind Hudson and Cummins.
Miller and Waller had two key areas and patterns they could rely on throughout the tournament. Every morning the duo ran down river and fished a stretch of cypress trees adjacent to a spawning pocket to fill their limit. After catching numerous keepers, they would run a grass pattern in the Chickahominy River when the tide started to get low.
“We didn’t plan on our spots holding up as well as they did this week,” Miller said. “We would lay off of our cypress trees after getting a limit, so we could conserve it throughout the tournament because we would catch a limit in the first 15 minutes of our day.”
Their one-two punch helped them stay around the 13 to 14-pound range each day, but on the final day, they couldn’t get that big bite they so desperately needed.
The rest of the Top 5 rounded out with Carson Orellana of Strayer Univeristy in third, Tyler Woolcott and Cody Wilson of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in fourth and Sam Glenn and Cameron Baker of UNC Charlotte in fifth.
The Top 13 teams after the final weigh-in earned a berth to the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Green River Lake in Campbellsville, Ky., on July 28-30.
Hudson and Cummins were also awarded the Bass Pro Shops Nitro Big Bag Award after catching 17-2 on Thursday. They also won the Livingston Lures Day 2 leader award.
Jay Emmert and Logan Brewster of the University of Tennessee won the Carhartt Big Bass Award after hauling in a 7-pound, 8-ounce largemouth on the first day of the competition.
2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt
2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, GoPro, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats
2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: Rapala, Shell Rotella, Shimano, ABU Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Costa, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole
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The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Nation, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.