Texas Tech Bass Fishing Team Grabs Lead In Bassmaster College Regional
LUFKIN, Texas —

Travis McGuire and Layne Bynum of Texas Tech University brought a huge limit of five bass weighing 28 pounds, 10 ounces to the scales today and jumped into the lead of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

The Texas Tech anglers cashed in with a major bounce-back effort after struggling on Thursday. The teammates only managed 12-14 on the first day, but they stuck with their instincts and probed a deep-water spot for the biggest catch of the event so far.

McGuire and Bynum utilized a 10-2 trophy largemouth to anchor their catch, which also featured another big bass in the 8-pound range. Those two giants dwarfed the trio of 3-pounders that completed their limit, but big bites like those are crucial on a fishery like Sam Rayburn.

“We didn’t do a single thing different than on Thursday,” McGuire said. “I think the cold front that came through gave our big fish ‘lockjaw,’ but they bit today and that’s what matters.”

The pair knew they were in the right place, however, because they could see the bigger bass on their sonar screens, even though they couldn’t get them to bite the first day. The spot they’re fishing isn’t on any standard mapping system, but rather an area that McGuire found years ago fishing another tournament. This week they checked the area and after getting an 8-pound bite in practice, they knew big bass still lived there.

The Red Raider teammates caught plenty of fish throughout the day, but there were evident spurts where the catching turned on.

“We caught the 10-pounder this morning and then we caught a 4-pounder,” Bynum said. “Then we went about two to three hours without a fish. We filled our limit with ‘average’ keepers and then caught the 8-pounder near the end of the day.”

The University of Louisiana-Lafayette also vaulted up the leaderboard with 26 pounds, 13 ounces on Friday and jumped from 40th place into second. With only four bass the first day, it seemed that all was lost for Lawrence Kuznik and Dakota Moore, but they scrapped their gameplan and fished deeper to charge into the runner-up position.

“We were fishing shallow in practice, and the temperature dropped 5 degrees from the end of practice to the first day of competition on Thursday,” Moore said. “I think it pushed our bass out deeper somewhere. We went to a new area at the end of Thursday and caught enough to have confidence today.”

The Ragin’ Cajun anglers caught bass throughout the day. Adjusting to the current weather conditions helped Kuznik and Moore stay in the vicinity of heavyweight bass.

Thursday's leaders Tyler Craig and Spencer Lambert of the University of Louisiana at Monroe dropped to third after posting 15-13 on Friday and only trail the leaders by 1-3. Murray State University’s Hunter Mills and Jordan Hartman caught 18 pounds and moved into fourth with 39-14. Rounding out the Top 5 was the team of TJ Tucker and Bennett Pierce of Arkansas Tech University with a two-day total of 37-13.

The 115-team field at the start of the event was cut to the Top 20 teams for the final day on Saturday. Those teams will battle it out for eight more hours on Sam Rayburn Reservoir in hopes of qualifying for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship in summer. The Top 17 teams will advance to the championship.

Saturday’s Top 20 takeoff will be at 7 a.m. CT at Cassell Boykin Park, and the final weigh-in begins at 4:15 p.m. on the campus of host university Stephen F. Austin.