UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT TYLER LEADS NATIONAL GUARD FLW COLLEGE FISHING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ON KENTUCKY LAKE
MURRAY, Kentucky – The University of Texas at Tyler team of Matthew McClellan and Tyler Fisher, both of Tyler, Texas, crossed the stage Thursday with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces to lead day one of the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship on Kentucky Lake. The team now holds a 6-ounce lead over the Louisiana State University-Shreveport team of Zach Caudle, Shreveport, La., and Joe Landry, West Monroe, La., who caught three bass weighing 14-14 in a tournament featuring the top 25 college teams from across the country.
“I am shocked to be in first place,” said McClellan, a senior kinesiology major. “These weights are truly surprising to me. I expected someone to bring in a 20 pound sack. I am surprised we are in first place.
“We had a lot of bites today, but only had five keepers and we are extremely lucky to have the one bass that weighed over six pounds. That is the difference in this tournament right now,” McClellan added. “We were doing a lot of running and gunning and covered a lot of water. We didn’t make a long run, but we kept moving all day long.”
Afraid to give up any secrets, they were extremely tight lipped about baits they were using and exact location they were fishing indicating they plan to do the same thing tomorrow. The team spent their spring break trying to learn Kentucky Lake, but before then neither had fished the lake before.
“I can’t wait for tomorrow,” said Fisher, a senior in business management. “I expect the bite to be better tomorrow. The lake is supposed to be back up to full pool and the water temperatures are rising. Those fish are wanting to come up.
“This is very different than any of the lakes we fish in Texas,” Fisher went on to say. “It’s mostly grass fishing in Texas, no rocks or bushes. The water coming up will only help us because it will cover the bushes. I hope it rains too, we’ll be unstoppable then. The style of fishing we are doing here isn’t anything different than what we would do on any Texas lake, but physically Texas lakes are very different then here.
Rounding out the top 10 teams in hopes of making the top-five for the final day of competition are:
3rd: Christopher Newport – Ryan Ingalls, Fairfax, Va., and Joe Wilkerson, Falls Church, Va., five bass, 14-11
4th: Virginia Tech – Jody White, Shaftsbury, Vt., and Carson Rejzer, Hampton, Va., five bass, 13-5
5th: University of Florida – Jake Gipson, Niceville, Fla., and Matthew Wercinski, Niceville, Fla., five bass, 12-8
6th: North Carolina State University – Ben Dziwulski, Woodbine, Md., and Kevin Beverley, Fuquay Varina, N.C., four bass, 10-5
7th: Auburn University – Shaye Baker, Reeltown, Ala., and Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 10-2
8th: California Polytechnic – Scott Hellesen, Whittier, Calif., and Damian Bean, Oakland, Calif., four bass, 9-12
9th: Chico State – Parker Moran, Carmel, Calif., and Marshal Smith, San Jose, Calif., four bass, 7-15
10th: Eastern Kentucky – Kyle Raymer, Brandenburg, Ky., and Jonas Ertel, London, Ky., four bass, 7-12
The rest of the best:
11th: Truman State University – Mike McCarthy Jr., St. Louis, Mo., and Spencer Clark, St. Louis, Mo., two bass, 7-9
12th: Kennesaw State University –Thomas Frink, Simi Valley, Calif., three bass, 7-7
13th: University of Florida – Dennis Croyle, Sarasota, Fla., and Travis Gates, Fort Pierce, Fla., three bass, 7-7
14th: North Carolina State University – Jeff Bumgarner, Wade, N.C., and Will White, Marion, N.C., two bass, 5-4
15th: San Jose State University – Tyler Swasey, San Jose, Calif., and Anthony Lee, San Jose, Calif., two bass, 4-6
16th: University of Wisconsin, Stout – Jeremy Anibas, Colfax, Wis., and Ryan Helke, Menomonie, Wis., two bass, 4-5
17th: University of Wisconsin, Whitewater – Jordan Truttschel, Kiel, Wis., and Tyler Netzer, Lake Mills, Wis., two bass, 4-2
18th: University of Central Florida – Miles “Sonar” Burghoff, Orlando, Fla., one bass, 3-10
19th: Indiana University – Jesse Schultz, New Albany, Ind., and Dustin Vaal, Saint Meinrad, Ind., one bass, 2-11
20th: Stephen F. Austin – Robert “Blaze” Platt, Kennedale, Texas and Ryan Watkins, Rockport, Texas, one bass, 2-4
21st: Chico State – Thomas White, Fountain Valley, Calif., and Allison Shaw, Calabasas, Calif., zero bass, 0-0
Lamar University – Matt Morrison, Montgomery, Texas and Danny Iles, Hemphill, Texas, zero bass, 0-0
Sacramento State – Robert Matsuura, Sacramento, Calif., and Peter Lee, Fresno, Calif., zero bass, 0-0
Texas A&M – Paul Manley, Orange, Texas and Andrew Shafer, Chadfield, Texas, zero bass, 0-0
University of North Carolina, Charlotte – Tyler Teer, Burlington, N.C., and Joe Kinchen, Mooresville, N.C., zero bass, 0-0
The teams, which represent the top five teams from each of five divisions — Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western — are the representatives from a season where teams fished four regular-season events in each division. The top five teams in each qualifying event advanced to one of five three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championships. The top five teams from each of those regional tournaments are competing on Kentucky Lake for the title of National Guard FLW Collegiate National Champion, and will also qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Ark. The winners will also receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for Cup competition.
Takeoffs for the national championship will be at 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at Kenlake State Park Marina located at 888 Kenlake Marina Lane in Hardin. Daily weigh-ins will be at the CFSB Center on the campus of Murray State University located at 1401 State Route 121 North in Murray Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m.
FLW Outdoors will be hosting the College Fishing Festival, which runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 8 and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the CFSB Center. Activities include a sports zone, tailgate games, rock climbing wall, Ranger boat simulator and giveaways from sponsors. Bucky Covington will perform a free live concert on Saturday, April 9 at 2:30 p.m. at the CFSB Center prior to the final weigh-in and crowning of the national champions. All events are free and open to the public.
The national championship awards the top team with $50,000 cash, a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine wrapped in school colors for their school’s bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent. FLW Outdoors has awarded over $1.8 million in scholarship money to over 100 colleges and universities. College Fishing events are free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW Outdoors and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance.
For more information about National Guard FLW College Fishing, visit CollegeFishing.com.For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWCollegeFishing.
FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.