NATCHITOCHES, La. — Hometown heroes John Ledet and Justin Cooper of Northwestern State University brought in the biggest bag of the final day weighing 17-0 to take home the title of 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops champions with a three-day total of 30-9.
In addition to their win on the Red River, Ledet and Cooper qualify for the 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship along with the remainder of the Top 14 teams from the Central Regional.
“The good Lord blessed us today,” Cooper said. “We went into some spots that I’ve had a lot of success in before, and we just caught them.”
After starting the event off a little slow with only two fish for 6-15, it was apparent that the local favorites going into the event were around the right quality of fish. However, the brutal cold front that moved in on the final day of practice was something that, local or not, made catching numbers of fish on Thursday very difficult.
On Friday, Ledet and Cooper brought in three fish for 6-10 and found themselves in seventh place headed into the final day. Their 17-0 Saturday weight was the second biggest bag of the entire tournament and enough to rocket Northwestern State to the top of the leaderboard and grant them a win by a margin of 4 pounds.
“The first two days we tried to wait out our prespawn fish that we had found, but they wouldn’t bite fast enough,” Ledet said. “Then today we decided we had to change things up if we wanted to win this thing. We started to run and gun and finally ran into a school of fish that wanted to bite.”
Ledet and Cooper caught most of their limit today fishing a flat filled with lily pad stems in the Little Jungle. Their kicker, a big female weighing 6-2, came off that same flat.
“I caught that fish on a 3 1/2-inch V&M Baby Split Tail Beaver in about 5 feet of water next to a sunken duck blind,” Cooper said.
Evan Smith and Aaron Sarna of Arkansas Tech University finished the Central Regional in second place making a big move on the final day with a 12-0 bag that gave them a total of 26-9 for three days.
Dwight Camp and Jonathan Furlong of Southeastern Oklahoma University fell to third place on the final day after taking the lead on Day 2 with the Bass Pro Nitro Big Bag of the event weighing 17-8 and worth a $250 Bass Pro Shops gift card. Their final round weight of four fish for 5-7 brought their three-day total to 25-3.
The 6-10 lunker caught by Hunter Leppert and Cole Eubanks of Arkansas Monticello on Day 2 held on to the Carhartt Big Bass honors for the Central Regional. The team will be awarded a $500 Carhartt gift card.
The Livingston Lures Leader Award of a $250 gift card will be awarded to Ledet and Cooper.
For a complete list of Saturday’s results, photos and video from on the water, visit Bassmaster.com.
Local hosts for the event include the City of Natchitoches, the Red River Waterway Commission and Northwestern State University.
2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt
2015 Bass Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, GoPro, Humminbird, Mercury, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Partners: A.R.E. Accessories, Dick Cepek Tires, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro