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UM drops giants in bass fishing final

LAKE GUNTERSVILLE – There aren’t many college sports where schools of all sizes can truly be competitive against one another, but fishing is one of them.

That point was made again last weekend at the Southern Collegiate Bass Fishing Series championship held on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville when the University of Montevallo finished tops among a field that included traditional powerhouses such as Auburn, Ole Miss and Georgia.

There were 10 participating schools that had qualified for the two-day championship. Each was allowed a team of up to three boats consisting of no more than two members per boat. Only the top two boat scores per school counted each day toward a team’s final score.

Fishing was good on Lake Guntersville and a team needed to have both top boats each day weighing five-fish limits of about 20 pounds each to be in contention. UAB led after the first day with a team weight of 41.08 pounds, anchored by a 7.47-pound largemouth that ended up as big bass for the tournament.

Montevallo followed the leaders by only about two pounds when teammates Clent Davis and Chuck Holderfield, and Justin Harden and Casey Crumpton, brought a combined weight of 39.22 pounds to the scale. On the second and final day, the same anglers weighed in 38.83 pounds, some 8 pounds more than the closest rival, giving them a championship total of 78.05 pounds and the trophy.

The winning anglers reported most of their fish came while casting Rapala DT10 crankbaits in mussel shell beds found in openings among the lake’s aquatic vegetation.

“We’ve really been on a roll here lately,” said Davis, a Jemison native. “We won an event three weeks ago, finished third in another tournament after that, and now have this win. I’m worn out from tearing a crankbait through Guntersville’s grass, but it was worth it. It’s been a good year for the Montevallo team, but we’re needing to get some new students onboard to fill our places when we finish up. Hopefully this win will help us with that.”