Pilots’ fishing team finishes 3-4 at Grand Ecore Bassmaster event

PILOT ANGLERS:  The LSUS fishing team celebrated a pair of top four finishes Friday at the Bassmaster College Series event on Red River outside Natchitoches. (Photo by KEVIN SHANNAHAN, Journal Sports)

By KEVIN SHANNAHAN, Journal Sports

NATCHITOCHES — The Red River landing at Grand Ecore on the outskirts of Natchitoches was a happy destination for the LSUS Pilots fishing team Friday, as collegiate anglers representing 19 states using 135 boats competed in the 2023 Strike King Bassmaster College Series stop presented by Bass Pro Shops and hosted by the Red River Waterway Commission.

The anglers enjoyed a day of perfect weather as they hunted for the best spot to reel in some big bass and climb the leaderboard.

The LSUS fishing team brought a strong contingent of 14 anglers in two-person teams. The Pilots, under coach Charles Thompson, produced some rock-solid numbers, with two teams posting finishes in the top four.

Brayden Nichols and William Tew placed third in the tournament with a two-day total of 10 bass and a total weight of 23 pounds, 11 ounces. Right behind in fourth place were Pilots’ Tripp Bowman and Matthew Nesbit with a two-day total of 10 bass and a total weight of 23-2.

The champions were Seth Elkins and Dale Hansard of Jacksonville State. The Alabama-based tandem hauled in 10 bass weighing 29-9, using 80 gallons of gas to make the round-trip to Pool 5 near Caspiana. That was the winning weight by one pound over Cole Holloway and Brandon Martin of Emmanuel College in Georgia.