For the second year in a row, 2015 East Clinton graduate Cole Floyd is a collegiate national champion.
Floyd and Bethel University teammate Carter McNeil became the first pair in late May to repeat as winners of the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops.
The duo took home the championship at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., with 45.65 pounds for the two-day event.
Last year, Floyd and McNeil caught 47.75 pounds of fish to win the 2018 championship. During the event in 2018, Floyd and McNeil rotated among several different schools of bass to rack up more than 40 pounds of bass. The question on everyone’s mind this year now is, ‘Are they running the same spots that won them the title last season?’ “We’ve had to completely switch it up. It’s hard to catch them on the same places year after year,” said Floyd. “There’s a lot of places that they weren’t there at all. We had to work for them.”
In the 14 years of the tournament, no other school has won the championship in back-to-back years, not to mention the same two individuals.
After the first day of competition, Floyd and Carter led with more than 22 pounds of bass to ascend to the top of the leaderboard.
The pairing worked several key deep water areas, and knew that they were around the fish to win, according to a press release from Bethel University.
“We gave ourselves an opportunity to catch a big bag. I really didn’t think we were on what we were on. You know, it all fell in place and we had a good time,” said Floyd.
The victory not only makes back-to-back titles for Floyd and McNeil, it also is the third time Bethel has won this particular event. The program has grown into one of the true powerhouses of the sport, the release from BU noted. At each and every event they enter, teams representing Bethel University are considered to be among the favorites.
With the consecutive championships, Floyd and McNeil cemented their place among the best in program history. “When we first came to Bethel University, we knew we had big shoes to fill. Today, we’re fortunate enough to win two times. I can’t say enough about how awesome of a program it is,” said McNeil.