BROOKELAND, Texas – The LSUS Bass Fishing pair of Brayden Nichols and William Tew won the opening college event of the Major League Fishing series Sept. 8 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Nichols/Tew bested the field with their five-fish limit of 20 pounds, 12 ounces, besting the field by more than two pounds on the Abu Garcia College Fishing series.

“Our morning spot didn’t really work out,” Tew told “We caught two little ones there. We had a bunch of brush piles we were going to run throughout the day, so we ended up hitting them pretty early.”

The tandem targeted brush piles in 15-20 feet of water in the San Augustine Park area of Rayburn, catching eight bass total – all keepers.

“We caught a five-pounder and a six-pounder when we got to our first brush piles,” Tew said. “We kind of beat around for the fifth fish and finally caught it.

“We weeded through a bunch of two-pounders, and about (11 a.m.) we went back to where we caught the big ones and caught a 6.5-pounder.”

The pair captured $2,000 in winnings.

The individual win was the second under coach Charles Thompson, who is starting his fourth season.

“What a way to start the first tournament of the season,” Thompson said. “There were (180 boats) in the tournament, and it was great to show what we could do on a body of water that’s closer to home for us.”

LSUS placed four boats in the top 50 and another two in the top 100.

Tripp Bowman/Matthew Nesbit finished 21st (12-11), Chance Shelby/Levi Thibodaux placed 24th (12-4) and Luke Batts/Bryant Martin came in 46th (10-3).

The Pilots captured important points in a bid for another top-15 finish to their season.

“I think we do have what it takes to be a top program again this season and compete for a national title,” said Thompson, whose team made a late push to finish 15th this past season.

LSUS gets back on the water this weekend with half the team headed south for a Louisiana event while the other half treks to Kentucky.

High school anglers interested in fishing at LSUS can attend an open house Thursday at 6 p.m. This is not a recruiting event but an informational session to help anglers and parents understand college fishing and to tour LSUS’s campus.

To attend, contact Charles Thompson at