Bethel's Inaugural Bass Team Earns Fourth Place Finish Out of 71 Teams


Bethel University bass fishing team members Jacob Hardy of Paris and Jake Lawrence of Union City finished fourth among 71 boats and 28 college teams during a Lake Guntersville, Ala., competition despite icy and difficult fishing conditions.

Bethel University’s inaugural bass team finished in the top five at Lake Guntersville during a blinding snow storm which left northern Alabama with more than two inches of snow on boats and anglers during the event. Twenty-eight college teams competed in the event with a total of 71 boats and 142 anglers taking part.
      Bethel’s team, composed of Jacob Hardy of Paris, and Jake Lawrence of Union City, weighed in on Friday with a 5-fish limit that weighed 15.55 lbs. putting the team in fourth place for the first day. Day one had seen both Hardy and Lawrence catching several largemouth bass with the biggest weighing 5.07 lbs.
      “Friday’s snow storm made conditions as tough as I have ever seen while trying to fish,” Hardy said. “But the bass bite was very strong, and water conditions were really good. Largemouth bass were biting on several baits even though conditions made being on the water very difficult.”
      Day two started out with cold temperatures in the mid 20’s and warming up to highs in the mid 30’s.
      “The bright, sunny skies made fishing conditions a bit more favorable for us,” said Lawrence. “But it seemed the main fish bite came just before or during the snow storm on Saturday, and the bite slowed down a bit on Saturday.”
      Saturday’s weigh-in saw the Bethel team move from fourth place into a strong first place position with just a few more teams to weigh in their fish. The University of Alabama team came up to the scales with 15.05 lbs. moving them into first place and moving the Bethel team to a strong fourth place finish after the University of Alabama at Birmingham weighed in with 15.40 lbs. for the day and with Troy State University just barely passing Bethel’s team by less than one hundredth of an ounce.
      “Bethel’s strong finish was due to the persistence of our team’s anglers,” said Head Coach Garry Mason. “Our boys never gave up during the cold conditions. They worked hard to find and catch fish when the other teams had already come off the water and given up. I am very proud of our team and their great finish. They have shown that they can fish against big schools from across the country and compete with all of them.”
      Bethel’s bass team will compete in its next competition on Feb. 27 at a Kentucky Lake event.
      For more information about Bethel University’s bass fishing team, call Coach Garry Mason at 731-693-7770, or e-mail him at