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ULM’s Preuett advances

The Top 4 college anglers, from left to right: Bentley Manning of Tennessee Tech, Zach Parker of Bethel University, Brett Preuett of University of Louisiana Monroe and Robert Giarla of Tennessee Tech.

The Top 4 college anglers, from left to right: Bentley Manning of Tennessee Tech, Zach Parker of Bethel University, Brett Preuett of University of Louisiana Monroe and Robert Giarla of Tennessee Tech.

And now there are four, including ULM’s Brett Preuett.

The Top 4 teams from the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship set out on Lake Chatuge Sunday in a head-to-head bracket-style competition, which pitted anglers one-on-one. This is one of the most grueling fishing competitions ever. First 166 college fishermen practiced three days, then endured the three-day team championship and now the top anglers are going one-on-one for a spot in the BASS Masters Classic. If this were a prize fight, even Rocky Balboa would have already thrown in the towel.

I know that the tournament itself wouldn’t normally have a lot of local interest, but the fact that one of our own is still hanging tough makes it exciting. Here’s how Sunday’s rounds went:

Brett Preuett 7-1 (ULM), 7-1 defeated Matt Roberts 2-5 (Bethel) — Brett Preuett had the second highest total weight for four fish while his opponent Matt Roberts scored a single bass, leaving him shy of advancing to the semifinal.

“Fishing’s in my blood, and no matter how hard things get, I’ll always keep after it,” Preuett said. “This has been an incredible experience that I’ll never forget, regardless of what happens. You can tell the pressure is getting to the fish, because I used to be able to go down a stretch of docks and catch a few, and I don’t think neither me nor Jason caught one off of our best spot,” he said. “I knew it was going to be tough, so I tried to get a limit with some schooling fish and missed a few, but I think I’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings and kind of roll with the day as it progresses.”

Robert Giarla 5 lbs, 4 oz (Tennessee Tech) defeated Jake Whitaker 2-3 (UNC-Charlotte)

Zach Parker 10-3 (Bethel), defeated Jackson Blackett 0-0 (ULM) — Jackson Blackett had some difficulties with his electronics early on, which left him scrambling to find the spots that he marked in practice. He didn’t weigh in a keeper-length fish today. Parker, on the other hand, was the only angler who managed to bring a limit to the scales and bested the whole field.

Bentley Manning 1-4 (Tennessee Tech) defeated Andrew Helms 0-0 (UNC-Charlotte) — Tennessee Tech’s Bentley Manning was certain that he was going home, since he could only muster a single bass today. But when he reached the weigh-in, he found his opponent hadn’t landed a single keeper.

The Final Four anglers launch Monday at 6:45 a.m. ET from The Ridges Resort and Marina where they will fish until 2:45 p.m. and then weigh in to determine which two anglers will go head-to-head in the final for a berth in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, set to be held next February on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.

Is there no MERCY RULE in college bass fishing?

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