The NC State Basspack will head to B.A.S.S. College Series National Championship for the second straight year. Senior duo Logan Anderson and Josh Frederick will be Florida-bound after running away from the field in what proved to be a tough tournament on North Carolina’s Lake Hickory. It’s the Basspack’s first win in a state qualifier since it was introduced to the college circuit in 2018.
Typically in the spring, this year’s qualifier had been pushed back to the fall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite a lot of experience on Lake Hickory, Anderson admitted to being a little apprehensive when the location was announced.
“It’s probably my second most fished lake behind Norman, not really out of desire, just because it’s close” said Anderson. “I always just went up there and sucked.”
This time around was not without challenges either, as neither Anderson nor Frederick even got a chance to fish the lake the week prior to the tournament.
“We actually put in zero practice days” said Anderson, who ran into boat issues leading up to the tournament and couldn’t get out on the water for even a single day.
Despite the hang-ups, local knowledge came through for the pair as they started tournament day in a well-known area of the lake and, with other competitors close by, quickly caught enough weight to know they’d be in contention for the win.
“It was no secret that you could run all the way up to the Lake Rhodhiss dam and catch fish” said Anderson. “Now a lot of people give up on it too early or they don’t know how to set up on it or whatever, and that’s where you can set yourself apart. That was my plan was to start there.”
And it worked. After a short morning lull, Anderson caught two 3-pounders back to back and the team completed their five fish limit by 10 AM.
“I had told pretty much everybody on the team if they weighed in 12 pounds and didn’t win, they just got beat. If you weigh in 12 pounds, you did what you could do, and we had around 12 [at 10 AM], so I knew we had a shot at that point.”
Anderson and Frederick would end up increasing their total to 14.31 by the end of the day, but 12 would have been more than enough, as the team more or less boat-raced the rest of the field, pun intended, eclipsing second place by almost four pounds, a significant margin on a lake like Hickory.
The team credited the Basspack’s sponsors for helping them breakthrough on a big stage. “We caught our fish on a TrueSouth Custom Lures jig and a Bizz Baits crawfish trailer, as well as a TrueSouth spinnerbait, and every fish we caught was on a J.B. Custom Rod.”
Now the seniors turn their attention to the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida, where they’ll compete for a national championship on October 29-31. Major bass tournaments in Florida are almost always early in the season, so a late fall trip is certain to be interesting, but Anderson and Frederick are excited for the challenge.
“I’m pretty excited that we get to go fish a national championship” said Frederick. “Definitely very interesting to go fish in Florida that time of year.”
It will be the second straight year the Basspack will be gunning for the mountaintop. The team of Gilliam Tharpe and Jacob Moore qualified last year after nearly winning a regional qualifier on Lake Norman. This year it will be Anderson and Frederick trying to bring a trophy home to Raleigh for the fourth time in the team’s history.