Students compete in collegiate bass championship tournament

Joshua Cannon (left) and Alex Frazier (right) display some of their catches at the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship.

Joshua Cannon (left) and Alex Frazier (right) display some of their catches at the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship.

Josh Cannon and Alex Frazier, students at Western Carolina University, competed in the 2016 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship from Thursday, July 28, through Saturday, July 30, at Green River Lake near Campbellsville, Kentucky.

They finished 14th in a field of 82 two-person teams and individual competitors, catching eight fish with a combined weight of 14 pounds, 15 ounces.

Cannon, a rising junior, said that their start was rough. “We hit a stump the first morning of the tournament and couldn’t fish hardly at all on day one,” he said. “We fixed it and got to our fish on day two and made a huge comeback to finish in 14th. Imagine if we hadn’t broken down on day one.”

Cannon said he has been fishing for a “very, very long time.”

Cannon holds a sizable catch at weigh-in on the second day of the tournament. (Photo courtesy Ronnie Moore, Bassmaster.com)

Cannon holds a sizable catch at weigh-in on the second day of the tournament. (Photo courtesy Ronnie Moore, Bassmaster.com)

“I got my first boat a year-and-a-half ago, and it’s just been a matter of upgrading with electronic gear,” he said. “It’s a never-ending cycle of buying stuff.”

The equipment is needed because the lake was off-limits to the entrants before the tournament. To prepare, Cannon tried researching the lake. “But there was really nothing on it I could find. Often that means that a hosting or nearby school wins,” Cannon said.

Frazier, a rising senior, won the 2015 Carhartt College Eastern Regional bass fishing championship in March of that year with his partner, 2015 graduate Austin Neary. This year, Frazier and Cannon finished eighth, qualifying them in the top 15 for the national championship.

The final results of the tournament are posted online at https://www.bassmaster.com/sites/default/files/final_standings.pdf .