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Kansas State University Team Takes Lead In Carhartt Bassmaster College Tournament
Bassmaster press release
FORT MADISON, Iowa - College anglers from throughout the Midwest battled it out today on Lake Sugema in Iowa, but the contest was as much man against bass as it was team versus team in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Midwest Regional. More than 50 teams found themselves struggling to boat "overs" - fish that exceed the 12- to 18-inch slot limit.

The size restriction, imposed to prevent overharvest of medium-size bass, confounded the anglers. Many reported catching plenty of bass within the slot, and it pained them to have to let the fish go. Most had to settle for small, 10- to 12-inch "keeper" bass, and the ones who boated more "overs," or bass larger than 18 inches, dominated the top of the leader board.

On a day when one fish of that size outweighed a typical five-fish limit of "unders," Ben Zuk and Ethan Dhuyvetter of Kansas State University brought in three "overs" and two smaller bass for an total of 11 pounds, 15 ounces and claimed the Day 1 lead. The Kansas State duo also weighed one of the larger fish of the day. Unfortunately, their excitement over the catch of a 5-pounder caused them to violate tournament rules prohibiting more than five bass in the boat at one time.

With five bass already in the live well, "We threw that big one in there, made a few casts - and then realized what we'd done," Zuk said.

He and his partner called Bassmaster College Series Tournament Manager Hank Weldon to report the error. In accordance with the rules, Weldon docked the team 2 pounds and allowed them to release the smallest bass in the livewell. Their pre-penalty weight of the day would have been 13-15 - about 3 pounds more than the second-place team of Travis Wilson and Brian Lafferty of Western Illinois University, who had 10-12.

The story of the day, however, was the slot. Every team crossing the weigh-in stage mentioned catching numerous bass between 12 and 18 inches. Those unable to boat a fish longer than 18 inches had to settle for five-bass limits weighing between 2 and 3 pounds.

Even the leaders joined the chorus.

"We had two 17 3/4-inch bass that were pretty chunky," Zuk said. "They would have looked good in the livewell."

The team caught a total of 20 fish Wednesday, including seven in the 10- to 12-inch range. Two of those smaller bass filled their limit. A good day on Day 1 is no guarantee of what will happen Thursday.

"We could catch 20 pounds tomorrow, or we could blank," said Zuk.

Another cumulative half inch today and Kansas State could have had 20 pounds. But three fewer casts and they would have had one of the five-fish limits for 2-8 that many other teams brought to the scales. The Kansas State anglers aren't ready to disclose all of their secrets, but hard work was the key.

"We weren't having much luck this morning," said Dhuyvetter. "We found an area that looked good, got a few 18-inch bites, and that's where we're at."

"We just put our heads down and went fishing," said Zuk.

The top team members admitted to having figured out something that helped them get a few quality bites. Without disclosing details, they said their fishing method was more important than the lures they used.

The second-place finishers Wednesday were Western Illinois University team members Wilson and Lafferty, who hope for an even stronger Day 2.

"We probably caught 30 fish today with two over 18," said Lafferty.

The two anglers caught numerous fish just on the bubble, though only two fell to the right side of the 18-inch mark.

"We were on better fish, catching 16- to 17-inch fish all day long," said Lafferty.

The weather seemed to help WIU, and that's something the team hopes doesn't change with an approaching weather front.

"I prefer for the sun to be out because it puts the fish right in the cover, and that helps us," said Lafferty.

Only a few of the anglers this week have any experience on Sugema. Lafferty and Wilson are among those, albeit in an unconventional manner.

"My partner, Travis, and I have been fishing together forever," said Lafferty. "We fished this lake one time when we were 12 and 13 years old [with Travis's uncle]. We haven't been back since then, but we had a blast then. I'm 20, and he's 21, so it's been a while."

Levi Warner and Konner Kearney of the University of Wisconsin brought in the day's Carhartt Big Bass, which weighed 5-14. They clenched the third-place spot with a limit weighing 8-5 going into Thursday's final round.

For live coverage of all the action on the water, fans can follow the live blog on, which also features on-the-water photo galleries, BassCam video reports and the live weigh-in at 3:45 p.m. CT.

2013 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt

2013 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Humminbird, Koppers LIVETARGET, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Quantum, Yamaha

2013 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Partners: Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Luck-E-Strike, Power-Pole, Shimano

2013 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Proud Partner: Mustang Survival

Media Contact: Cara Clark, 205-313-0955,, or Dave Precht, 205-313-0931,

Carhartt Bassmaster College Series
5/29/2013 - 5/30/2013
Lake Sugema - Ft Madison, IA

Today's Activity Accumulative
Name # Fish # Live Lbs - Oz # Fish # Live Lbs - Oz

1 Ben Zuk - Ethan Dhuyvetter Kansas State University 5 5 11-15

2 Travis Wilson - Brian Lafferty Western Illinois University 5 5 10-12

3 Levi Warner - Konner Kearney University of Wisconsin 5 5 8- 5

4 Marshall Sandretto - Eric Logisz Milwaukee School of Engineering 4 4 8- 3

5 Caleb Shoemaker - Bret Phillips Western Illinois University 5 5 7-15

6 Ryan Dunn - Gage Elder Southern Illinois University - Carbondal 4 4 7-15

7 Coleton Caldwell - Tyler Bennett Pittsburg State University 5 5 7- 7

8 Layne Woods - Brett Fickle Central Missouri 5 5 6- 9

9 Sean Gillenwater - Josh Collier Indiana University 5 5 5- 5

10 Bobby Anspach - Kevin Christof Wisconsin, Stevens Point 5 5 5- 2

10 Jackson Grabeel - Joseph Reilly Western Illinois University 5 5 5- 2

12 Kody Mattson - Curtis Spaniol Winona State University 2 2 3-13

13 Kevin Yeska - Tanner Blaschka University of Wisconsin 1 1 3-11

14 Toney Lewis - Scott Sullivan Central Missouri 2 2 3- 9

15 Marcus Prull - Jarett Svihlik University of Dubuque 1 1 3- 9

16 Dustin Genich - Nathan Hettinga University of Wisconsin, LaCrosee 5 5 3- 8

17 Aaron Wilson - Jacob Schurter Bemidji State University 2 2 3- 7

18 Cody Hahner - Stephen Maliborski UW - Stevens Point 3 3 3- 5

19 Harrison Barton - Kevin Nelson Winona State University 5 5 3- 4

20 Kholby Martin - Tim Himsl Western Illinois University 5 5 3- 3

20 Garison Miles - Nicholas Welu UW - Stevens Point 5 5 3- 3

22 Kyle Gates - Daniel Butler St Ambrose University 5 5 3- 2

23 Andrew Farmer - Jeremy Jackson Kansas State University 5 5 3- 1

24 Brandon Brimeyer - Ryan Brimeyer St Ambrose University 1 1 3- 1

25 Ryan Reynolds - Lauren Zimbelman University of Nebrask 5 5 2-15

26 Nick Carter - Leo Dedering Wisconsin, Stevens Point 5 5 2-14

27 Matt Feiten - Brian Kirt UW Stevens Point 5 5 2-13

28 Matt Hodge - Ben Devore Illinois Central College 5 5 2-12

29 Ben Crabtree - Derrick Hoffman Indiana University 5 5 2-11

30 Nathan Molitor - Harrison Thier Bemidji State University 4 4 2-11

31 Cody Lincoln - Jason Hawksford Wisconsin, Stevens Point 5 5 2-10

32 Sam Starr - Alex Fulkerson Kansas State University 4 4 2- 9

33 Cody Sullivan - Jacob Jagust University of Illinois 5 5 2- 8

34 Gabriel Collins - Luke Gillespie University of Nebraska 4 4 2- 3

35 Michaela Anderson - Bryan Billeadeau University of St Thomas 4 4 2- 2

35 Ryan Gi [truncated for length]