Trevor Lo started bass fishing with his dad when he was 7 years old, casting from a borrowed canoe on the St. Croix River and Lake Minnetonka.
Now Lo, of Woodbury, a marketing student and member of the University of Minnesota fishing team, is a national champion: winner of the B.A.S.S. Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Classic.
Lo was crowned Tuesday on Lake DuBay, part of the Wisconsin River Flowage near Stevens Point, Wis.
“I looked for outside bends in the main channel,” Lo said. “I found current breaks and fished deep laydowns. I started with that game plan the first day and it worked, so I stuck to it.”
Lo’s dad, Vangcha, along with his mother, Maychoua, and brother, Tyler, were on hand to witness Trevor’s achievement. The family is Hmong, and Vangcha came to the U.S. in 1980 when he was 13 years old. Maychoua was 5 when she came in 1976.
“The last two of my three fish didn’t come until the final hour of fishing,” Lo said. Total weight of his two smallmouth and one largemouth bass was 6 pounds, 3 ounces.
Each was caught on a weightless Gary Yamamoto Senko, both wacky rigged and Texas rigged.
For his win, Lo earned a berth in the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, to be held in March 2016 on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees near Tulsa, Okla.
Lo also achieved a year’s use of a Toyota Tundra pickup wrapped in the U’s colors; a sponsor-provided bass boat, also for a year; entry fees for all nine 2016 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens presented by Allstate; as well as $7,500 cash provided by Carhartt for fishing expenses next year.
“It was tough fishing every day here, trying to figure out what the fish are doing this time of year and what structure they’re relating to,” Lo said.
Competition Tuesday ran from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., during which Lo piloted a sponsor-donated Nitro Z-7 bass boat with a 150-horsepower outboard.
Video footage of the championship will be shown later this year on the B.A.S.S. television show, The Bassmasters on ESPN2.
Taking second to Lo was last year’s champion, Josh Bensema of Texas A&M University, who landed one fish.
This is the first year Lo fished on the U’s squad, which Lo said is more student group than club team. “We have 25 or so members, but only eight fish competitively because we’re the only ones with boats,” Lo said.
Saturday, Bensema and a Texas A&M teammate, Matthew McArdle, topped Lo and fellow U angler Chris Burgan in a three-day tournament to win the Carhatt Bassmaster College Series National Team Championship.