Originally published May 31, 2013
Marshall Sandretto and Eric Logisz, members of the MSOE Fishing Team, won the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Midwestern Regional Championship. The tournament was held in Iowa on Lake Sugema. Both are mechanical engineering majors at MSOE. Sandretto hails from Winthrop Harbor, Ill., while Logisz is from Mount Prospect, Ill. The MSOE Fishing Team is one of more than 70 student organizations at MSOE.
The teammates won on the strength of consistent daily limits weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces on Wednesday and 9 pounds, 8 ounces Thursday for a two-day total of 17-11.
The Midwestern Regional was plagued by rough weather from the beginning, and the final weigh-in was delayed because of inclement weather. Changes began on the eve of the final practice day when, in the interest of angler safety, B.A.S.S. officials elected to move the event from the flooded Mississippi River to nearby Lake Sugema.
Another challenge to the collegiate anglers was a slot limit on the lake’s bass that prevents keeping fish between 12 and 18 inches. The young fishermen caught plenty of tiny, 10- to 12-inch bass, which they could weigh in, and lots of 12- to 18-inchers, which they could not. The rare 18-plus-inch fish, which they called “overs,” were game changers
“We had two ‘overs’ each day,” said Logisz. “But those ‘unders’ put us up about a pound and a half or so.
Anglers fought this slot all week, with many teams catching a limit of slot fish that would have added 10 to 12 pounds to their scores, but instead were able only to weigh in limits of five fish for 2 or 3 pounds.
Some anglers tried to target only overs, but never reached a limit. Others tried to catch anything they could but fell short of qualifying without a quality bite.
It was MSOE’s Sandretto and Logisz who figured out the right combination of quantity and quality. Without their overs or unders they would have been unable to win the regional.
“We started off doing a bunch of stuff,” said Logisz. “We flipped and pitched a little bit, threw a spinnerbait and tried to get some reaction bites, but we couldn’t get anything going.”
The pair finally found cooperative fish when they began flipping green pumpkin ****** creature baits around real shallow trees on windy banks.
Day 2 was more of the same for the team from Milwaukee, with one exception. After only getting a few bites early, they decided the increased cloud cover called for a change in bait color.
“Marshall switched to a black-and-blue Texas rigged ******, and that’s what we caught our big fish on,” said Logisz.
Catching numbers of fish wasn’t a problem for most anglers on Sugema this week, and it was no different for MSOE.
“We just went through a lot of fish,” said Sandretto. “We would catch shorts, then we’d catch fish in the slot, and then we would eventually catch a bigger one. It was just kind of random where the large ones were.”
MSOE sampled a few other baits and techniques but relied heavily on the flipping game with one common theme throughout their pattern: wind. With winds out of the south, the MSOE team members focused their efforts on the north shore of the lake, where they caught all of their fish this week.
In addition to their win, Sandretto and Logisz qualified for the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship, which will be held on Lake Chatuge, Aug. 1-3. They will be joined by second-place finishers, Jackson Grabeel and Joseph Reilly of Western Illinois University, along with the remainder of the Top 10 finishers from Lake Sugema.
Sandretto and Logisz also won the tournament’s Livingston Lures Leader award of $500 in product for being in the lead on Day 2.
MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,500 students. MSOE offers 20 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 94% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.