DeSplinter wins a Bassmaster tour event.
Hunter DeSplinter had to keep opening the livewell to make sure it was real.
“When I set the hook, I looked at my partner and said, ‘I think I got a giant,” DeSplinter said.
A 2016 Geneseo graduate, he never thought he would catch one, but DeSplinter pulled in a 10-pound bass, and that was just the start of things to come.
In just his second big tournament with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, DeSplinter had an unreal weekend at the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Tour event at Toledo Bend among a 248-team field.
DeSplinter and his partner, Conner Choate, claimed the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s first Bassmaster College Series title after capturing a winning total of 41 pounds six ounces, in Many, La., on Jan. 27.
Sitting in 10th after the first day of the tournament, DeSplinter and his partner were focused on just staying among the top 30 teams and earning a qualifying spot to the Bassmaster College Series National Championship which will be held during the summer.
The duos second day was highlighted by DeSplinter bringing in a 10-pound monster bass.
“After that, I knew we had a shot to win this thing,” DeSplinter said.
After hooking the fish, DeSplinter saw the fish take a deep dive to try to jump and the fish ended up jumping right into the net.
“It’s kind of everybody’s bucket list goal to catch a double-digit bass,” DeSplinter said. “It’s a really big accomplishment just to catch a 10-pound fish let alone to do it in a tournament.”
It weighed in at 10-pounds to the ounce earning big bass honors at the tourney, and DeSplinter added another seven pounder before the day was done.
The duo finished the second day with a massive bag of 25 pounds nine ounces to put them in the lead.
With the final day being canceled due to fog, the duo had done enough to take the title.
When DeSplinter started college at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, he knew they had a club team but wasn’t focused on fishing in college until he met his partner Choate who convinced him to join.
In high school, DeSplinter said boat captain Bruce Fehlman really helped him get started fishing competitively.
As a senior with the bass fishing club, DeSplinter and partner Cole Toone went on to be sectional champions in 2016 and placed 20th at the state tournament.
DeSplinter said his dad had him out fishing since he could walk and his family and friends are the main reason he’s had so much success.
A sophomore at Wisconsin-Platteville, DeSplinter is focusing on making even bigger waves at the National Championship this summer.
“We are going to go in like any other tournament,” DeSplinter said. “We are just going fishing. That’s kind of what we did for this tournament. Find something that correlates to what we are used to doing.”