Coastal Carolina University Anglers Take Early Lead In Bassmaster College Series Regional

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Chesley Alford (left) and John Duarte of Coastal Carolina University are leading the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops on Winyah Bay with 15 pounds, 10 ounces on Thursday.

Photo by Ronnie Moore/Bassmaster

March 2, 2017

Coastal Carolina University Anglers Take Early Lead In Bassmaster College Series Regional

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GEORGETOWN, S.C. — The start of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops at Winyah Bay offered a shift in weather as rain and high winds handed the 77 teams different conditions from what they experienced in practice.

That didn’t faze the Coastal Carolina University team of John Duarte and Chesley Alford, however. The local favorites notched 15 pounds, 10 ounces of bass to take the early lead.

Their great start gave them a cushion of more than 2 pounds over the second-place team, Patrick Walters and Tyler All of the University of South Carolina. Duarte and Alford knew that the changing conditions and upcoming cold front meant they had better find a big bass on the first day to set the pace. They did so, catching a 5-13 largemouth that is currently in the lead for the Phoenix Boats Big Bass prize for the event.

“We wanted to catch a big fish early to set the tone,” Duarte said. “We managed that and then filled our limit. We only caught six fish, but we had numerous other bites.”

Their game plan came together perfectly as they didn’t see another competitor and had their best areas all to themselves. With that bonus big fish today, Duarte and Alford say they plan  “run the tide” in hopes of catching a limit of bass Friday. The strategy requires racing up or down river to be at the better fishing spots when tidal movement is most conducive to bass feeding activity.

“It’ll be very important to boat a limit on Friday,” Alford said.

“Now that we have the big fish out of the way, hopefully catching a limit each day will hold us over and help us stay consistent at the top,” Duarte added.

The Coastal Carolina duo knows that the USC team of Walters and All — also local favorites — are in striking distance after catching 13-7 today. The teammates are from nearby Summerville, S.C., and have years of experience at Winyah Bay and the connected rivers.

“We’ve been able to pre-fish occasionally since December,” Walters said. “We’ve been able to fish every river at Winyah Bay multiple times, so we had a pretty concrete idea where our best population of fish was. We stayed patient with them today.”

Walters attributes the calm demeanor of his teammate, Tyler, to their success as they didn’t fall apart after losing three solid keepers just outside of net range that would  have helped boost their total above 13-7. Having local knowledge helped the pair hit high-percentage areas and avoid places that appeared to be productive, but weren’t.

“You have to maximize your time because this place is so vast and there is a lot of dead water,” Walters said. “You can’t be in dead water and think you’re on them because that’s when your day will turn for the worst.”

The third-place team of Max Gresham and Zack Blake of Valdosta State brought 13-1 across the scales today. Baylor Ronemus and Cole Tinsley of Clemson are fourth with 12-15, and J.T. Russell and Chase Grubbs of the University of Montevallo are fifth with 11-7.

The full field of 77 teams will head back out on Winyah Bay Friday in hopes of making the Top 20 cut to advance to Saturday’s final round.

Takeoff Friday is at 6:30 a.m. ET at the Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex, located at 101 River Walk Drive, Georgetown, SC 29440. Weigh-in will start at 2:45 p.m. ET at the same location.

Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops
3/2/2017 – 3/4/2017
Winyah Bay – Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex – Georgetown, SC
STANDINGS BOATER DAY 1

Name # Live # Fish # Live Lbs – Oz # Fish Lbs – Oz
1 John Duarte – Chesley Alford Coastal Carolina University 5 5 15-10 5 5 15-10
2 Patrick Walters – Tyler All University of South Carolina 5 5 13- 7 5 5 13- 7
3 Max Gresham – Zack Blake Valdosta State University 5 5 13- 1 5 5 13- 1
4 Baylor Ronemus – Cole Tinsley Clemson University 5 4 12-15 5 4 12-15
5 J T Russell – Chase Grubbs University of Montevallo 5 5 11- 7 5 5 11- 7
6 Jonathan Kelley – Max McQuiade Coastal Carolina University 5 5 11- 3 5 5 11- 3
7 Sean Hall – Noah Pescitelli SCAD 5 5 10-14 5 5 10-14
8 Cody Stahl – Daniel Kennedy SCAD 5 5 10-10 5 5 10-10
9 Hunter McKamey – Kyle Oliver U. of Central Florida 5 5 10- 8 5 5 10- 8
10 Rick Couch Jr – John Kaufman U. of Central Florida 5 5 10- 7 5 5 10- 7
11 Jarrett Brown – Porter James University of Montevallo 5 5 10- 4 5 5 10- 4
11 Austin Mize – Ethan Goodwin U. of North Alabama 5 5 10- 4 5 5 10- 4
13 Jordan Heath – Taylor Tew Auburn University 4 4 10- 1 4 4 10- 1
14 Cole Burdeshaw – Cameron Mercer Auburn University 5 5 10- 0 5 5 10- 0
15 Armando Ortiz – Dylan McKee Auburn University 5 5 9-12 5 5 9-12
16 Chris Hiott – Kendall Pierce UAB 5 5 9- 7 5 5 9- 7
17 Chris Carnes – Tyler Lawwill UNC Charlotte 5 5 9- 4 5 5 9- 4
17 Hunter Franklin – Jesse Morrison U. of South Alabama 5 5 9- 4 5 5 9- 4
19 Tyler Brown – Clemson University 5 5 9- 1 5 5 9- 1
20 Tyler Woolcott – Daytona State College 5 5 9- 0 5 5 9- 0
21 Spencer DeFoor – Brandon Bland U. of South Alabama 5 5 8-11 5 5 8-11
22 Brett Blackwood – Justin Grigg Winthrop University 5 5 8- 9 5 5 8- 9
22 Thomas Oltorik III – John Byrd Stetson University 5 5 8- 9 5 5 8- 9
24 Dylan Burton – Andrew Shaddix U. of South Alabama 4 4 8- 6 4 4 8- 6
25 Zachary Bodford – Hunter Whitman NC State University 5 5 8- 5 5 5 8- 5
26 Austin Stanley – Knox Daniels Georgia College 4 4 8- 3 4 4 8- 3
27 Joshua Butts – Reid Connor Wallace State Hanceville 5 5 8- 2 5 5 8- 2
28 Wesley Griner – Nathan Ragsdale University of Georgia 5 5 8- 1 5 5 8- 1
29 Caiden Sinclair – Hunter Gibson University of Alabama 5 5 7-14 5 5 7-14
30 Collin Smith – Ben Stone Lander University 5 5 7-12 5 5 7-12
30 Brady Vernon – John Turner University of Montevallo 5 5 7-12 5 5 7-12
32 Nathan Martin – Bridger Thomas U. of North Alabama 3 3 7-10 3 3 7-10
33 Cole Nunnery – Jack Stegall Mississippi State 5 5 7- 9 5 5 7- 9
34 Andrew Warbington – Brant Lewis University of West Alabama 5 5 7- 2 5 5 7- 2
35 Caleb Bundy – Alex Moore U. of Central Florida 4 4 7- 2 4 4 7- 2
36 Brian Travers – Hunter Moore Liberty University 5 5 7- 0 5 5 7- 0
37 Alec Lower – Ryan Glennon NC State University 5 5 6-14 5 5 6-14
38 Cole Hewett – Jacob Romani U. of Central Florida 5 5 6-13 5 5 6-13
39 Hunter McCarty – Sloan Pennington U. of North Alabama 4 4 6- 9 4 4 6- 9
40 Brodie Cox – Jacob Robbins Clemson University 4 4 6- 8 4 4 6- 8
41 Zachary Ramsey – Joshua Rockefeller Augusta University 5 5 6- 7 5 5 6- 7
42 Daniel Murkerson – Case Key UAB 3 3 6- 0 3 3 6- 0
43 Wesley Fox – Nick Schultz UNC Charlotte 4 4 5-13 4 4 5-13
44 Jake Lee – Jacob Foutz Bryan College 3 3 5-13 3 3 5-13
45 Ryan Kent – Tyler Wilson Georgia Southern University 3 3 5- 8 3 3 5- 8
46 Hayden Carnell – Joshua McQueen UAB 4 4 5- 3 4 4 5- 3
47 Justin Jones – Zach Lineberry Troy University 3 3 5- 2 3 3 5- 2
48 Austin Handley – Caleb Wozniak Auburn University 3 3 4- 8 3 3 4- 8
49 Justin Roberts – Alexis Joyce SCAD 2 2 4- 7 2 2 4- 7
50 Morgan Locke – Florida State University 2 2 4- 6 2 2 4- 6
51 Zac Bennett – Tucker Sweat Georgia College 4 4 4- 5 4 4 4- 5
52 Derek Freeman – Robert White Clemson University 3 3 4- 5 3 3 4- 5
53 Justin Barnes – Cole Blackmon Alabama Southern 3 3 4- 3 3 3 4- 3
53 Nick Gresens – Chase Williams Georgia College 3 3 4- 3 3 3 4- 3
55 Jesse James – AJ Etheredge Troy University 3 3 4- 1 3 3 4- 1
56 Jake Smith – Larry Partain Wallace State Hanceville 2 2 4- 1 2 2 4- 1
57 Laura Ann Foshee – Katie Connolly SCAD 3 3 3-13 3 3 3-13
58 Chase Christie – Brandon Black University of West Georgia 3 3 3-11 3 3 3-11
59 Daniel Adrien – Mason Bond Georgia College 2 2 3-11 2 2 3-11
59 Daulton Smith – Cody Billings University of Georgia 2 2 3-11 2 2 3-11
61 Jared Baker – Darius Williams Georgia Southern University 2 2 3- 6 2 2 3- 6
62 Tucker Adams – Bryce White Mississippi State 2 2 2-15 2 2 2-15
63 Hunter Bland – Connor Young University of Florida 2 2 2-13 2 2 2-13
64 Nathan Bell – Cole Sands Bryan College 2 2 2-11 2 2 2-11
65 Andrew Kiser – Dean Legg Clemson University 1 1 2- 3 1 1 2- 3
66 Dylan Bucci – Collin Reedy University of Florida 1 1 2- 0 1 1 2- 0
67 Allan Stack – Ross Dove Clemson University 2 2 1-13 2 2 1-13
68 Matthew Cantrell – Grant Bergeron University of Florida 1 1 1-12 1 1 1-12
68 John Defore – Colton Granger Troy University 1 1 1-12 1 1 1-12
70 Jaci Skipper – Ryleigh Tyson SCAD 1 1 1- 1 1 1 1- 1
71 Michael Blake – Jayme Dewberry Auburn University 0 0 0- 0 0 0 0- 0
71 AJ Faught – Austin Scott Wallace State Hanceville 0 0 0- 0 0 0 0- 0
71 Tucker Hill – Austin Birch Georgia Southern University 0 0 0- 0 0 0 0- 0
71 Zachary Phillips – Noah Coleman Liberty University 0 0 0- 0 0 0 0- 0
71 Caleb Roberson – Brinson Laliberte The Citadel 0 0 0- 0 0 0 0- 0
71 Tyler Smith – Cody Whisenhunt U. of South Alabama 0 0 0- 0 0 0 0- 0
71 Miller Spivey – Logan Ledbetter Wallace State Hanceville 0 0 0- 0 0 0 0- 0

BIG BASS
Day Name City,State Lbs-Oz
1 John Duarte – Chesley AlfordMiddle River, MD 5-13

TOTALS
Day # Fish # Live Lbs-Oz # Limits
1 267 266 485- 7 34