Winning the title in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Georgia’s Lake Chatuge, Auburn University at Montgomery’s Tom Frink gets to go out on top, and Jacob Nummy gets to see his creation rise to the highest possible high. AUM tallied a three-day total of 43-3, winning by 6-11.
Four years ago, Nummy started the AUM Anglers club with the hopes of one day bringing recognition to the school’s fishing team, and today AUM is king of the college heap.
If the pair hadn’t won, this would have been Frink’s final tournament as a collegiate angler, but now AUM has earned an invitation to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Bracket Championship set to be held this September. One angler from the Top 4 teams in that tournament will earn a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.
â€œI don’t really have words for how this feels right now. There are a lot of good fishermen here, and I feel for them because I know how it feels to lose,â€ Nummy said. â€œWe had some key bites and things go right that second day, but none of this would have been possible without the good Lord. This is going to do wonders for our program and recruiting.â€
â€œThe immense highs and lows are what make this sport what it is: amazing,â€ Frink said. â€œI feel speechless as to how to describe the feeling, but I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, either. We’ve been so close in so many tournaments, but to finally pull it off and win is amazing.â€
Frink said a rough first day set them on the right course.
â€œThat first day is what saved us,â€ he explained. â€œThings didn’t go how we thought they would, and we learned that we had to hunker down and throw the rat. I have to give Jacob a lot of credit, too, for having the discipline not to get up front and have us be shoulder to shoulder because those fish are so spooky. To have two guys up there would have scared off more fish. You also need a lot of room to sling it.â€
Both Nummy and Frink admitted that today presented them with the toughest fishing conditions they’d seen yet. Their El Raton rat wakebait produced a single fish, but it was a 5-6, the biggest bass of the day.
â€œThe rat produced one today, and it was our biggest, and I felt like that one would give us the win or put us close,â€ Nummy said. â€œBig fish are so rare and so special.â€
â€œI went home to California before this tournament and found a couple baits that I wanted to throw, and that was one of them,â€ Frink said. â€œI didn’t throw it much in practice because I didn’t want the fish to see it too much or for it to get damaged.â€
Frink used the El Raton mostly on main-lake laydowns and shallow clay or rock banks where largemouth were loitering. Four hours into the day, the duo had just one fish in the livewell, so they began to scramble in order to eke out a limit, which proved necessary for their win. They hit docks and marinas with drop shot rigs to add four more fish to their livewell.
Local favorites Matthew Peeler and Brad Rutherford of Young Harris College took the runner-up spot and will also compete in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Bracket Championship later this year. They had 36-8 over three days.
In third place is the team of Jordan Lee and Shane Powell of Auburn University, who wound up with 35-15. The final team to earn a berth in the Bracket Championship is that of Nick Barr and Jarred Walker of Eastern Washington University with 34-8. Auburn’s Matt Lee and Chris Seals were the team that finished fifth today with 32-7 and did not qualify for the Classic bracket event.
Winners of the $500 Carhartt Big Bass are Florida State’s Charles Fee and Cody Spears for the 5-15, weighed in on Day 1. The $250 Bass Pro Shops/Nitro Boats Big Bag goes to Tom Frink and Jacob Nummy for their 20-15 sack, weighed in on Day 2. The Yamaha Hat Bonus goes to Frink and Nummy, as well, for wearing a Yamaha hat across the stage on Day 3. The highest-finishing team each day earned $500 daily, hence AUM’s $1,000 prize. Young Harris’ Peeler and Rutherford won $500 on Day 1.
Winning the tournament’s Livingston Lures Leader award of $500 in Livingston Lures products for being in the lead on Day 2 were the AUM champs, Frink and Nummy.