ST. MARTINVILLE — Once ULL Ragin’ Cajuns Bass Fishing Team member Braxton Resweber gets to Leesburg, Florida, site of the national championship of college bass fishing, he has a plan.
Resweber, who has won many local and regional bass tournaments, said he will refrain from listening to “dock talk” this week in the days leading up to the 2020 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship presented by Bass Pro Shops. He’ll turn a deaf ear to any pretournament chatter because he wants to do it his way.
“I don’t care how anybody else is catching them. I’ll stick to myself, trust my gut and go from there,” Resweber said a few hours after a fundraising bass tournament Oct. 18 in the Atchafalaya Basin. “You know how dock talk is for those tournaments. Do your own thing and don’t listen to nobody else.”
Resweber, 23, planned to leave today, by himself, and spend the week alone in Leesburg. The St. Martinville Senior High graduate double-qualified for the college national championship with Charles “T.J.” Norris. However, work obligations prevented his tournament partner from competing this week, he said.
The Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Championship will field as many as 130 teams from colleges and universities across the U.S. The Top 4 teams from the College Series Championship advance to the Bassmaster College Series Bracket Challenge in November on Alabama’s Lay Lake. Those Bracket Challenge qualifiers are competing for one berth in the 2021 Bassmaster Classic scheduled for March at Lake Ray Roberts near Denton, Texas.
The tournament with so much at stake begins Thursday and ends Saturday.
“After Sunday, I’ll start practice Monday, Tuesday and half a day Wednesday,” Resweber said.
“Best-case scenario, I make the Bracket Challenge and get to fish the bracket-style tournament.”
That he is fishing in a national championship tournament hasn’t sunk in yet, according to Resweber.
“Not really. I’ve got so much going on with school, it ain’t going to sink in till I get there. I’m excited but I’ve got stuff to do before then. I’ve got to focus on that,” the UL-Lafayette senior said, noting he had three school projects to complete this past week before towing his Champion west to Florida.
The 19-foot Champion’s 200-h.p. Mercury outboard motor will sport a new lower unit when it hits the water on the Harris Chain of Lakes. The old lower unit went out Oct. 18 during a fundraising tournament for him out of Bayou Benoit Boat Landing in the Atchafalaya Basin.
“That ain’t going to bring me down. It’s just another obstacle to overcome. That ain’t going to stop me,” Resweber said about the outboard motor problem.
Immediately after Sunday’s tournament in the Basin, Resweber said he was overwhelmed by offers from two bass anglers to use their respective boat in Florida. One was from Dennis Worsham of New Iberia, he said, and the other was from his father Paul’s friend, Spence Falgout of Jefferson Island.
“Oh, that’s unbelievable, the amount of support I got. The Coteau club donated $200. Ricky Watkins donated $100,” he said, adding he also got a pledge of $200 from Andre “Tank” Sampay of Conroe, Texas, formerly of Jeanerette, who recently won the Angler of the Year title in the Franklin-based Bullet Bass Club.
Later, he reported his parrain, Chene Resweber, hustled up donations and also donated, and other donations came in from Daniel Bryant, Hunter Thibodeaux and Keith Thibodeaux.
He said in a heart-felt message to all who have rallied behind him, “Thanks for all your support. It’s unbelievable the amount of people. I made a list. I can’t thank them enough.”
Inexplicably, ULL, which sends the football team and other teams to away games, declined to donate a penny, he said.
He’s ready to go one-on-one with big bass in the Harris Chain of Lakes.
“Oh, yeah, they’ve got good ones over there. Any cast can be a 10,” he said.
Hopefully, he said, he can fish his strengths – punchin’ soft plastics and throwing a Z-Man Jackhammer Chatterbait — successfully. He’ll let the bass tell him what to throw and adjust accordingly.
“I don’t care as long as I figure out how to catch them. I ain’t making no plan. I’ve just got to go find fish. I hope I can find a way to catch the good ones,” he said.