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


Location Changed For Green Thumb Garden Club Of Ooltewah June 25 Meeting

The Green Thumb Garden Club of Ooltewah is featuring Roland and Casandra Cansler MD, consulting rosarians and members of the TriState Rose Society and American Rose Society. They will speak on growing beautiful roses.  The meeting will be held Monday, June 25, 7 p.m. at the Morning Pointe Assisted Living of Collegedale, 9450 Leyland Dr. Following the presentation ... (click for more)

County Agrees To Take Title To Planned Park By W Road

The County Commission on Wednesday voted to take title to land by W Road that is set to be a 200-acre woodland park. A group has been working since 2016 "to create a unique 200+ acre park that spans from Mountain Creek Road and Reads Lake Road all the way up the W Road, officials said. The group stated, "Through our partnerships with the Land Trust for Tennessee, SORBA, the ... (click for more)

Strong Winds Wreak Havoc In Chattanooga; Thousands Lose Power

A storm with wind gusts up to 70 mph did considerable damage in downtown Chattanooga around 2 p.m. on Saturday. Fencing along Miller Park was twisted onto a nearby lane of traffic on Market Street. A sizable tree was split, causing it to fall across Cherry Street between Third and Fourth streets. A number of traffic lights were knocked out of service. Several thousand ... (click for more)

2 Shot In Separate Incidents Early Saturday Morning; 1 Victim Is A Juvenile Girl

Two people were shot early Saturday morning in separate incidents. The first incident was at  3:30 a.m. when the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a person shot on the 1000 block of North Willow Street.  Upon arrival, officers made contact with the victim who was suffering from a gunshot wound.    HCEMS transported the victim to a local hospital ... (click for more)

Protecting Family Homes On Signal Mountain

The Signal Mountain Town Council will vote at their upcoming July 9 meeting on whether to approve a controversial rezoning application regarding property located at the northwestern corner of Albert Road and Taft Highway.  Prior to the rezoning request, Albert Road was the redline on Taft Highway past which commercial development within the town did not extend. This rezoning ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Claude And "Mr. John"

There are some who believe this last week has been a devastating one for our community, losing two of our most beloved “builders” within three days of one another. Claude Ramsey, who spent over 40 years in public service and because of the type man he was never lost a political race, died on Monday after a hard fight with illness at the end. On Thursday we lost “Mr. John” Franklin, ... (click for more)