Bryan College Freshman Qualifies For The 2018 Bassmaster Classic

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Jacob Foutz
Jacob Foutz
All season long, as teammates on Bryan College’s bass fishing team, Jacob Foutz and Jake Lee worked well together. The college freshmen finished ninth in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Eastern Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops at Cherokee Lake, Tennessee.
 
Last week they really clicked, claiming the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota. And this week, when the teammates were split up and battled their way through separate sides of the College Series Bracket on Serpent Lake, each dominated their matchups to make it to today’s finals.

 
There, it was each young man for himself as they competed for a single invitation to the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Lake Hartwell, South Carolina.
 
Foutz turned in the top performance of the bracket week, putting together a limit of 16 pounds, 5 ounces and easily defeating his teammate, Lee, who had 10-12.
 
Foutz showed his versatile fishing skills beginning with the National Championship on Lake Bemidji, where he and Lee fished shallow for largemouth bass. In the bracket competition on Serpent Lake, however, he focused his attention strictly on smallmouth. That decision proved to be a wise choice as he stayed consistent over three days of action. He defeated Bethel University’s Brian Pahl in the first round of competition with 14-1 and then Chico State’s Chad Sweitzer with 13-6. He saved his best for last as his 16-5 pushed him over teammate Lee, and now he is the newest angler to notch a berth in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic.
 
“It’s an unbelievable feeling, one that is hard to describe unless you live it,” Foutz said. “I’ve been fishing ever since I could crawl, and as long as I can remember I wanted to fish the Bassmaster Classic. I’m fortunate enough to have fulfilled a lifelong dream.”
 
The 19-year-old freshman (he turns 20 on June 9, 2018) just completed his first year of college and will now compete against the best anglers in the world, including his favorite angler Greg Hackney, in the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.
 
“There are a bunch of unbelievable anglers at Bryan College,” Foutz said. “They push Jake (Lee) and myself to be the best we can be. I look forward to representing college fishing this next year.”
 
A turning point in the final day of competition happened when Foutz caught a 4-pound smallmouth, which tied for the biggest bass of the bracketed competition. He started slow, but after catching a 3-15 and then a 4-0, Foutz began to see the writing on the wall.
 
“When I caught that 4-0 I felt like I gave myself a shot to win,” Foutz said. “I kept culling up throughout the day and when I hit the 16-pound mark I was pretty certain I won.”
 
Foutz concentrated on smallmouth by drop shotting a Gary Yamamoto Shad Shape worm on offshore humps that varied in depth. The shallower humps were in 12- to 15-feet of water, but his best areas were deeper than 20 feet.
 
He is the first National Championship winner to also take home the College Classic Bracket championship since this format was created in 2012. He and partner Lee are the third set of teammates to make it through the entire bracket and face off in the finals. Auburn University teammates Matt Lee and his brother Jordan did so in 2012 with Matt winning and punching his ticket to the 2013 Classic. The next year Jordan Lee was matched against his teammate, Shane Powell. Lee won and made it to the 2014 Classic at Lake Guntersville.
 
“My great-grandma is my biggest fan, she sends me a text every night before a tournament,” Foutz said. “This is something I wanted to do for her.”
 
With his win, Foutz will be given the use of a fully rigged and wrapped Toyota Tundra and Nitro Z20 bass boat with a 225 Mercury Pro XS equipped with Power-Pole shallow-water anchors, Humminbird electronics and a Minn Kota trolling motor. Carhartt awarded him with $7,500 in prize money to help with travel as he also gained entry into not only the 2018 Classic, but also all nine Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens in 2018.

2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt

2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Huk, Skeeter Boats, Humminbird, Mercury, Shell Rotella, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, Minn Kota

2017 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Costa, Shimano, St. Croix Rods, ABU Garcia, Advance Auto Parts, Phoenix Boats, Livingston Lures, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels


New Trout Fishery To Open In Fall Creeks Falls State Park

TWRA has partnered with Fall Creek Falls State Park to bring new trout fishing opportunities to the area.   Both rainbow trout and brook trout will be stocked in the upper sections of Cane Creek by  March 1 .  The rainbows will be placed in The George Hole, near the Nature Center, where anglers will have ample bank-fishing access and the brookies will be stocked ... (click for more)

Getting Back To Our Roots

When you think about TVA, you think about a lot of things: electricity, economic development, flood control, hydropower, dams, navigation, water quality and much more. But did you know that planting trees to improve both the land and water resources in the Valley was a big part of TVA’s primary mission from the beginning? Listed as priority number two on in the TVA Act of 1933, ... (click for more)

Daisy Elementary Evacuated After Bomb Threat

Daisy Elementary School was evacuated on Friday, after a threatening message about a bomb was found on a wall. The school was evacuated immediately, and public safety personnel responded to inspect the building.  The students were taken to the gym at Soddy Daisy High and provided with food as they waited to reenter the building.   Children and teachers were ... (click for more)

East Ridge Council Approves Funding For $2.3 Million Camp Jordan Upgrade; Christopher Harris Chosen As Administrative Hearing Officer

The city of East Ridge is continuing to make improvements and upgrades in the city’s appearance and facilities. At the Jan. 11 city council meeting, approval was given for moving forward to make improvements at Camp Jordan Park. This overhaul for the 40-year-old park includes upgrades to restrooms, concessions, fencing, bleachers, grading baseball and softball fields, turfing the ... (click for more)

Reflections On Billy Graham

Sandra and I are saddened this morning after learning of the death of Billy Graham. We rejoice today, because Mr. Graham once said "It will be reported that Billy Graham has died, but that won't be the truth. He said the truth is that he had only moved to a new location".  I remember when we named 15th Street as Billy Graham Avenue, his daughter Gigi came for the dedication ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We’re The Angriest State

WalletHub, a financial-health website that has found it can draw a lot of attention by ranking the states on which is “fattest,” smartest, and so forth, has just announced its “sinful” rating and Tennessee churches should be ashamed of the job they are doing in making the Volunteer State a haven for puritans. Then again, our tourism may soon explode … remember Sodom & Gomorrah. ... (click for more)