SAN ANTONIO, TX (October 13, 2018) – The more time an angler spends on the water, the more knowledge they gain, and in turn the greater chances one has for success. That is the common model used for anglers to be successful at any level. At Lake Dardanelle this week, freshmen anglers dominated the field. The AFTCO Collegiate Bass Open saw two teams of freshmen finish 1st and 2nd once the scales closed Saturday afternoon.
Finishing in the top spot is the all freshmen pairing of Rudy Worley and John David Nowlin. Representing Blue Mountain College, the young anglers weighed in 15.12 lbs on day two to amass a total weight of 27.62 lbs. Entering this event as the 52nd ranked school in the Cabela’s School of the Year presented by Abu Garcia, Worley and Nowlin had lofty expectations for their first ever college tournament.
“We wanted to do good. Mainly our goal was top 20,” said Worley. They managed to exceed expectations by topping a field of nearly 200
boats. The field this week at Lake Dardanelle was comprised of close to 400 of the best talent in the country. Both of the Blue Mountain College freshmen realize the significance of this major victory. “It’s incredible, especially since it’s my first. Since we just started our team, it’s big for our team and our school,” added Nowlin.
The pair spent the past two days on Lake Dardanelle targeting shad. Using a one-two punch of several specific baits, Worley and Nowlin loaded the boat with fish. “We caught most of our fish on a rattle trap, but a lot of our bigger fish came off of a spook,” noted Worley. Around 12:30 PM a strong storm system settled over the Russellville area. Heavy rain pelted the anglers and air temperatures dropped ever so slightly.
This sudden change in conditions had an instant impact on the bite. “I would say it helped. Water temp dropping a little bit more, getting them fish fired up. For the way we fished, yes it helped I would say a lot,” said Nowlin. With the change in the weather, both Blue Mountain College freshmen capitalized on their opportunity to land the winning fish.