Despite fishing for more than four hours with two hooks from a 2/0 treble lodged firmly in the back of his neck after an errant cast early Monday, the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s Brett Preuett sucked it up and moved on to the finals of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic bracket.
If he can defeat Bethel University’s Zach Parker on Tuesday at the Chatuge Reservoir near Hiawassee, Ga., he’ll be filling one coveted spot in the 2015 Bassmaster Classic field set to fish Lake Hartwell in February.
“I tried to make a long cast in a hurry, but left too much line out and snagged myself in the neck. It hit so hard that it straightened out the split rings,” Preuett said. “But, I wouldn’t stop fishing for anything. If I had a toe cut off I’d probably try to keep fishing because I love it so much.”
Preuett, who had to get the hooks removed by a doctor, weighed in five fish today for 9-5 to eliminate Bentley Manning of Tennessee Tech.
“I’ve got to catch them much better than I did today. it’s going to be a battle,” he said. “I know that B.A.S.S. made this hard for a reason; it’s got to be tough to make it to the Classic. Zach’s a great fisherman, so it should be tight tomorrow.”
Preuett, who lost several keepers on Monday, said that the most difficult obstacle for him to overcome tomorrow will be execution.
“I’ve got to capitalize on my bites and put fish in the boat,” he said. “That’s been hurting me, and I know Zach’s going to catch them tomorrow, so I’m going to have get each bite into the boat.
“Everything’s on the line, and I know I’m on the right fish to win this thing, so that makes me feel better. No matter what, I know everyone’s proud of me, but I do want to win for all the people sending thanks and prayers, and I just want to come through for everybody.”
Parker caught five fish for 9-9 to defeat Tennessee Tech’s Robert Giarla and earn a spot in Tuesday’s final against Preuett.
“I only got six keeper bites, and I think I’m going to change some stuff up tomorrow,” Parker said. “I saw some stuff today that I think will help me tomorrow if I can adjust to it. The lake is changing a lot, and I think it’s changing right now, so I’ve got to make some adjustments to keep it going.”