If you look at all the setbacks that Brett Preuett suffered throughout the course of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic Bracket, you’d be as shocked as he was that he made it past the first day. Before today, he lost fish, missed fish, had a giant treble hook buried in his skull and nearly fell into Lake Chatuge chasing a rod that he eventually lost.
But on Tuesday, everything that could’ve gone his way went his way. He caught a 13-02 stringer to outduel Bethel's Zack Parker in the finals. Parker boxed 11-00.
“Today is the best day of my life by far; everything just sort of happened for me,” he said. “I had fish hooked with just one hook and landed them, and I got everything in the boat. It was meant to be.
“It’s been a long week. I’ve had hooks in my head and there have been some long days on the water, but it’s all been worth it. We’ve been here for 9 or 10 days fishing, and you definitely have to earn it to get here. Every year, every pro is fishing for the chance to compete in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, so to get that opportunity to go is great.”
Preuett relied on a trio of topwater baits for his catch during the Classic Bracket, including a Lucky Craft Sammy, a Triton Mike Bucca Baits Bull Shad and an Academy H2O Express prop bait. He also caught a few fish on a dropshot rig and Fish Head Spin the first 2 days of the bracket.
“I was just waiting each day for the schooling to start,” he said. “I had so many hit it and blow up on it and not get hooked, and some that came off each day, but not today. The big ones that ate the bait today got to the boat. With the Lord’s blessing, I fished clean today for the first time.”
Besides the berth in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell, Preuett also won the use of a 2015 Toyota Tundra for a year, a Nitro Z8 with a 250-horsepower Mercury Optimax ProXS, as well as $7,500 from Carhartt to be used as an entry fee for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens division of his choosing.
For Preuett to win, Parker had to lose. Parker was the most consistent angler in the field, weighing in close to 10 pounds each day. However, since the weights did not accumulate in the bracket, his multi-day totals couldn’t carry him to the victory.
Every fish that Parker weighed ate a dropshot-rigged Roboworm in prizm shad. He saw nearly all of them on his depthfinder.
“Things might not have turned out the way I wanted them to today, but the Lord’s blessed me with this great opportunity and I’m going to make the best out of it.”