BUFFALO, New York -- GEICO anglers pros Carr, Bradley qualify for Bassmaster WS National Championship are heading to the Bassmaster Weekend Series National Championship after successfully qualifying for the prestigious event at the final regional tournament on Lake Erie.
Bradley and Carr had big final days at the two-day tournament that ended Saturday. Bradley finished 42nd out of 83 anglers with 16.73 pounds of fish, including 11.87 pounds on Saturday.
Carr made a big jump, too, landing 17.46 pounds on Saturday for a two-day total of 24.28 pounds that moved him all the way up to 18th. Included in his haul was a big fish of 4.3 pounds.
The top 50 anglers from the regional tournament – featuring top finishers from the Northeast Division of the Bassmasters Weekend Series – advance to the national championship tournament, which takes place Nov. 9-12 on the Santee Cooper in South Carolina.
"I know it means a lot to GEICO, and I'm so happy to get them there," said Carr, who reached his fourth national championship in five years. "Christiana made it in, too, so it's a big deal for GEICO."
Weather conditions on Lake Erie prevented anglers from fishing the entire lake on Friday, and most didn't catch the five-bass limit. Bradley brought in two for 4.87 pounds on the first day. Tournament officials then opened up part of the lake on Saturday, and Bradley did much better.
"I figured something out late in the day," Bradley said. "It was a really good spot, and I feel like if I had another hour on that spot, I could have caught a few more and had an even bigger weight. Still, I had a good tournament, and I'm looking forward to joining Teddy for the national championship. That's a great honor to be able to fish there."
Carr landed 6.82 pounds of fish on Friday after a tough week of practice trying to find smallmouth. He did discover a spot along a retaining wall near the harbor, and after a venture to the lake Saturday ended when the winds picked up to 35 mph, he returned to the wall.
"All of a sudden, about 12 o'clock, they just turned on," Carr said. "I sacked up 17 1/2 pounds between 12:30 and 1:30."
That left Carr with a top-20 finish and the satisfaction of landing smallmouth after struggling with those fish this season.
"It's a great way to finish the regular season, to get the best of those smallmouth," Carr said. "The last two years, I've had one mishap after another when it came to those fish. It was nice to close it out on a positive note."
Now, it's on to the national championship for Carr and Bradley in November.
"It's going to be the best of the best," Carr said. "Some of the best in the country will be there, so it'll be great competition. The best thing about it is it's going to be in a Southern reservoir away from these smallmouth."
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