Parks, Smith Take Lead In Bassmaster College Event, Vying For Repeat On Saginaw Bay
BAY CITY, Mich. —

It’s safe to say, Logan Parks and Tucker Smith enjoy fishing Saginaw Bay.

With a Day 1 limit of smallmouth weighing 22 pounds, 15 ounces, the Auburn University duo claimed the lead at the Strike King Bassmaster College Series at Saginaw Bay presented by Bass Pro Shops. They are looking to repeat on the fishery after winning this same event last season.

Their Day 1 bag exceeded their biggest limit from last year (21-0), and the duo holds nearly a 2-pound lead over Brian Linder and Nathan Thompson from Minnesota State-Mankato.

"This is just an awesome fishery," Parks said. "They aren't everywhere but when you find them you really find them. We have a pretty special place we found last year and it is producing again."

After winning the Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year championship in 2021 as well, Parks and Smith had a tough start to this season but qualified for the National Championship at Norfork Lake. With that goal achieved, Parks added winning was the only thing on their minds this week.

After fishing exclusively for smallmouth in their best area during the 2021 event, Smith and Parks arrived at their spot today and caught over 20 pounds within 15 minutes. They made a couple of short moves, resulting in several key culls throughout the day.

"It was like three casts in a row that we had three 4-pounders," Parks said. "We caught our limit, culled once and left it after we got to 20 pounds. We ran around and fished some other stuff that was nearby that set up the same way, and we were able to cull up."

Smith said they decided early on in practice that focusing solely on smallmouth would be their best chance at achieving that goal. Those smallmouth bites have all revolved around the spawn and most of their damage was done with one bait.

"They are in all stages right now," Smith said. "I think we are catching more spawners than post-spawners where we are catching them. You can see rocks and see an occasional one swim around. But they are glued to the bottom and you just have to fish around and wait for a bite."

With more bass left in their primary area and a couple of secondary areas left to fish as well, Parks and Smith are optimistic about their chances at a repeat.

"We left them biting. There are more fish there, and we have a few places that have some fish on them that we didn't fish hard at all today," Smith said. "We are looking forward to it. Hopefully, they bite and we get some good weather and we can go catch them."

Dakota Posey and Trent Buchholz from Lamar State College Orange anchored their 20-14 third-place bag with a 5-8 largemouth, earning Big Bass of the day honors.

The full field will launch from the Independence Boat Launch at the USS Edison Battle Ship starting at 5:30 a.m. ET and will return for weigh-in beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Following the Day 2 weigh-in, 19 teams will earn a spot in the 2022 Strike King Bassmaster College National Championship at Winyah Bay presented by Bass Pro Shops Sept. 2-4.

The tournaments are being hosted by the Michigan B.A.S.S. Nation.