There’s no place like home, and that doesn’t just apply to the Wizard of Oz. The Ouachita River and her backwaters were almost treacherous the past two days, but college fishermen from around the South braved the waters and local fishermen from the University of Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Tech ended up bringing home the top awards in the 2014 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional on the Ouachita River this weekend.
When the final fish hit the scales, ULM’s Trapper Munn and Dustin Perkins climbed to the top of the leader board and captured the tournament with 19 pounds, six ounces for the day. Their five fish weighing 11-3 Saturday was the biggest limit of the two day event. They were in fifth place after Day One. First day leaders and ULM teammates Brett Preutt and Jackson Blackett slipped to third with 18-2 for the two days.
“As always we want to thank the Good Lord,” said Perkins after weighing in the biggest bag of the event on his home campus of Louisiana – Monroe. Both Perkins and Munn thanked their family and sponsors, as well stating that they couldn’t do this without them. In particular Munn wanted to thank his cousin for letting him borrow a boat.
Fishing in a backwater known as Little Moon, the ULM team targeted cypress trees in 8 to 10 feet of water. “We’d pitch a Sweet Beaver right next to the trees and they would smoke it on the way down,” said Munn.
Local knowledge was key for Munn and Perkins. Little Moon is typically inaccessible by boat and they were only able to reach it this week due to the high water levels caused by recent rains. “There wasn’t even a ditch to go through,” said Munn. You just have to weave randomly through the woods. Then you pop out into a lake and run it. Then go through some more woods and then pop out into the other lake.”
Louisiana Tech’s Brandon Greco and Austin Watkins moved into second with 18-10 for the tournament. The Bulldog duo had been in sixth place after Day One. The top 13 teams can now advance to the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, to be held this summer. Tech’s Matthew Loetscher and Caleb Boudreax slipped to sixth; John Tilbury and Jeremy Rainbolt of Delta Community College finished ninth and ULM’s Nick LaDart and Brian Eaton were tenth.
For the most part, the best fish were caught up in the backwaters and most were caught close to the bank. Floating debris mats hid some of the best fish and they were caught on plastics, topwaters (including frogs) and spinnerbaits.
For all the details and lots of pictures, check out http://www.bassmaster.com/tournaments/2014-carhartt-college-central-bass-regional