University of North Alabama wins MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Tournament on Harris Chain of Lakes

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The University of North Alabama duo of Dylan Nutt and Carter Nutt, both sophomores from Nashville, Tennessee, won the MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the Harris Chain of Lakes with a five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces. (MLF)

LEESBURG, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2024) – The University of North Alabama duo of Dylan Nutt and Carter Nutt, both sophomores from Nashville, Tennessee, won the MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the Harris Chain of Lakes with a five-bass limit weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces. The victory earned the Lions’ bass club $2,000 and a qualification into the 2025 MLF College Fishing National Championship.

“Right off the bat, we hit a wave, and I lost my hat,” Dylan said.  “It was a pretty negative way to start the day. We got into the lock to go into Lake Griffin and one of my buddies gave me a nice University of Tennessee visor to wear.

“I think that was the thing that made the difference,” Dylan added with a laugh. “I had the Clifford Pirch look.”

With headwear properly settled, the Nutt team started catching bass in Lake Griffin – the first was a 5-pounder. Dylan said the team relied heavily on a Scottsboro Tackle Company ½-ounce top-hook swimbait that Dylan said was “amazing” for fishing grass. They added a few additional bass on a Z-Man Evergreen Chatterbait Jack Hammer and a Carolina rig.

The team rotated through a couple of fishing areas and culled up to an estimated 19 pounds before locking back down to Big Lake Harris to finish the last two hours of competition.

“In the last 10 minutes before we were about to check in, Carter caught a 4½-pounder,” Dylan said. “At that point, we thought that we had secured a top-10 finish. We had no idea we had the tournament won at the time – it’s the Harris Chain, and it takes big weights to win here. There very easily could have been a 30-pound bag caught.”

“This is just an indescribable feeling,” Carter added. “For us to win our first major college tournament – it’s pretty special. The Harris Chain is one of the hardest lakes to win a tournament on.”

The top 10 teams finished:

                1st: University of North Alabama – Dylan Nutt and Carter Nutt, Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 21-12, $2,000
                2nd: Lander University – Anderson Jones and Hampton Shull, both of Greenville, S.C., five bass, 20-13, $1,000
                3rd: Bethel University – Colten Drawdy, Plant City, Fla., and Hunter Shelton, Cadiz, Ky., five bass, 17-14, $700
                4th: Carson-Newman University – Nicholas Dellaporta, Pequannock, N.J., and Drew Pitts, Lutz, Fla., five bass, 17-0, $600
                5th: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Kade Hillestad, Grayson, La., and John Kyle Pearce, Frierson, La., five bass, 16-15, $500
                6th: LSU-Shreveport – Ian Carter, Bastrop, La., and Levi Thibodaux, Thibodaux , La., five bass, 16-12
                7th: University of South Carolina-Union – Jacob Butts, Starr, S.C., and Mark Kershaw, Fort Mill, S.C., five bass, 15-15
                8th: University of Tennessee – Joseph Bissing, Libertyville, Ill., and Jackson Paden, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 15-11
                9th: Murray State University – Jonah Potts, Albion, Ill., five bass, 15-8
                10th: Campbellsville University – Evan Fields, Shelbyville, Ky., and Karsten Raney, London, Ky., five bass, 15-6

A total of 225 teams participated in the event, meaning 27 teams now advance to the College Fishing National Championship. The full list of National Championship Qualifiers and complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Harris Chain of Lakes was hosted by Discover Lake County Florida. The next tournament for MLF College Fishing anglers will be the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Clear Lake, March 8, in Lakeport, California.

The 2024 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI season features college teams from across the country competing in nine regular-season tournaments. The top 12 percent of teams from each regular-season tournament advance to the 2025 Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI National Championship.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular College Fishing updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.