1st Stop St. Johns River

The 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series heads to the St. Johns River for the first tournament of the year, the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional runs from Jan. 3-5.

Is there a better way to start a new year than casting for bass on one of the country’s best big fish factories? The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series thinks not, as the Southern Regional will be held Jan. 3-5 on Florida’s St. Johns River, which ranked 48th last year on Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list.

There is little doubt that one New Year’s resolution for each of the 100 preregistered, two-angler teams competing in the event will be to clinch a position for the national championship to be held in the summer. There are a minimum of 10 qualifying spots for the 2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, which leads to a berth in the 2016 world championship of bass fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic.

One angler who is especially eager to get started is Hunter McKamey, a Florida native and member of the University of Central Florida’s Reel Knights. McKamey resides on the St. Johns, although this event will be held an hour and a half upstream from his typical stomping grounds.

“The St. Johns River is really diverse,” McKamey said. “There are several lakes in that area that could play a factor. You’ve got Crescent, Lake George, Little Lake George and even as far south as Dexter and Woodruff. Then you’ve got the river, too, and certain spots in the river always hold fish no matter what time of the year. It’s going to be a crazy tournament, to be honest. A lot of factors are going to go into it.”

One of those factors is a tidal influence on Crescent Lake of nearly a foot that will be in full swing because the tournament falls on a full moon. If by chance the weather sets up right prior to the event, the possibility of a full-blown spawn is there.

“Fish could be out on the edges of the grass, in the grass or up really shallow,” McKamey said. “We actually have a high-water situation right now. We’ve had a lot of rain the last couple months, which is unusual for this time of year, and that could push the fish up shallow.”

“There have been some good bags of bass caught out of Crescent the last couple of years in bigger tournaments. There are bass all up and down those lakes. Getting them to bite could be the hard part if a January cold front blows through.”

Someone will get those bites. To see who, tune in for live-streamed weigh-ins daily on Bassmaster.com, where visitors can also find on-the-water photo galleries and blog posts throughout the event. Launches and weigh-ins will be held at Bull Creek Fish Camp (3861 CR 2006, Bunnell, FL 32110) at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

The local hosts for this event are Flagler County, Fla. and Visit Flagler County and the Palm Coast Beaches.

2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Carhartt

2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Nitro, Skeeter, Triton, Yamaha

2015 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Supporting Partners: Dick Cepek Tires, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano

About B.A.S.S. 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, Bassmaster High School Series presented by Carhartt, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.

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