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Unction City, KS — Eight of the country’s best college anglers will launch on Milford Lake from Junction City, Kan., Sept. 29-Oct. 2 during the Bassmaster College Classic Bracket presented by Lew’s, fishing for a berth in the 2024 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota.

The 2023 Bassmaster College Team of the Year — Easton Fothergill and Nick Dumke from the University of Montevallo — automatically punched their ticket to the College Classic Bracket to compete alongside the Top 3 teams from last week’s Strike King Bassmaster College Series National Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops in this individual, elimination-style tournament.

Joining Fothergill and Dumke, who finished fifth at the NationalCollegeBassThumbnail Championship, will be national champions Hayden Marbut and Tucker Smith from Auburn University, Levi Mullins and Matthew Cummings from Bethel University and a second Montevallo team, Brody Robison and Jack Alexander.

This is the second trip to the College Classic Bracket for Smith, who finished second by just 3 ounces in 2021.

“The last time I was there, it really hurt my feelings,” Smith said of the narrow loss. “It will be good to be back and get another chance at it.”

Located several miles northwest of Junction City, Milford Lake is home to the Kansas state-record smallmouth, a 6-pound, 14-ounce fish caught in early April 2010. The lake has hosted a couple of Bassmaster tournaments through the years, including the 2018 College Classic Bracket and the 2021 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Central Regional.

On Day 1 of the event, all eight anglers will compete individually to determine seeding — based on weighing in the biggest bag — and set the bracket for head-to-head competition. Morning action on Days 2 and 3, the first two elimination days in the tournament, will be broadcast on FS1 beginning at 8 a.m. CT on Saturday and 7 a.m. on Sunday. The final day of competition will be streamed on

In addition to a spot in the Bassmaster Classic, the College Classic Bracket champion will also earn paid entry into the 2024 St. Croix Bassmaster Opens and the use of a Toyota Tundra and a Nitro Boat.

For full coverage of the tournament, visit

The event is being hosted by the Geary County, Kansas Convention and Visitors Bureau.

2023 Bassmaster College Series Title Sponsor: Strike King

2023 Bassmaster College Series Presenting Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2023 Bassmaster College Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota2023 Bassmaster College Series Premier Sponsors: Dakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha2023 Bassmaster College Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew’s, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

2023 Bassmaster College Series Youth Sponsors: 13 Fishing, Seaguar, Shimano


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About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. 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 (, TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 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, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Strike King Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota.