TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — When brothers and Bemidji State anglers Mitch and Thor Swanson placed ninth in last year’s Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Lake Bemidji, some could say the home-field advantage may have had something to do with their success.
But, it appears, they can do equally as well wherever that championship site might be. Even better.
The Swansons, from Blaine, Minn., traveled to Tenkiller Lake in Oklahoma for this year’s championship earlier this month, and not having the luxury of competing on a fishery in their backyard didn’t seem to be a factor: They improved to sixth place in this year’s championship, just missing out on advancing to the College Bracket event, Aug. 14-16 on Milford Lake in Junction City, Kan. (The top four two-man teams advanced, with those eight individual anglers vying for a berth in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic.)
Mitch Swanson, a senior, and Thor Swanson, a junior, teamed to catch three bass weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces on the third and final day to finish with a total of 28 pounds, 5 ounces. Garrett Enders and Cody Huff of Bethel University (Tenn.) led wire-to-wire and won with a bag of 41 pounds, 6 ounces.
Also for Bemidji State, Luke Gillund, a junior from Ham Lake, Minn., and Jack Kons, a junior from Savage, Minn., tied for 117th in the 136-team event.