Archive for the ‘News’ Category
On February 19th, my partner Ross Richards and I were able to get our first ever win in an FLW College Fishing tournament. Ross and I have been fishing the FLW events for three years now, being able to rack up four top five finishes, while failing to earn the ever elusive first place. We knew it would be our last FLW tournament fishing together if we failed to qualify for regionals at Roosevelt, and were more determined than ever. We had previously finished eighth on Lake Roosevelt two years before, while I also finished in eighth last year with teammate Jacob Bliss.
Tourney day started off with all eight of our teammates packing into a suburban, filled with bags of clothes, tackle, rigged rods and rod tubes. Needless to say it was quite a nightmare trying to get all the doors closed, and the forty-five minute ride to the lake from Payson, wasn’t going to be too enjoyable for anyone. (Pictured below)
We headed to a pre-spawn transition area where we had caught fish of good size in previous tournaments, banking that some of the fish had moved up into shallower water. Using drop shots, we casted to the outside of the brush lines and were able to pull in a limit by 9:15. We spent four hours in the same area, being able to cull up and catch the kicker we needed. (Video below… It’s pretty comical on a couple different levels, particularly my growling)
After switching areas with our bite shut off and the rain pouring, we tried a few spots before finally getting into some more fish in the twelve-foot range, once more casting into cover. We quickly put eight more keepers in the boat but none would cull and it was time to go in. We were disappointed we didn’t get to cull our smallest fish, and thought it might hurt us in the end. Rather then waiting in suspense on stage, we decided to wait it out and weigh in at the end of the tournament. With Arizona State sitting in the hot seat with 9-14, we thought we had a good chance at taking it, but we couldn’t believe it until we saw our weight of 12lbs even flash on the screen. It was the second win in a row for the University of Oregon, and already we are looking forward to the third event on the Delta with high hopes.
Here’s an old clip from the KMTR 6 o’clock news in Eugene, OR, back in May. They worked some clips from FLW regionals on the Delta into the segment to make it a little more action packed… unless catching big logs gets you pumped up.
This past Saturday, the first FLW College Fishing Western Qualifier was held on Shasta Lake. Forty sleep deprived two-person teams of college students showed up in hopes of qualifying for regionals and winning some cash and bragging rights along the way. The previous two days of results from the EverStart series showed Shasta was fishing tough, and every limit was going to have to be well earned. As Monster energy drinks were cracked and shots of 5-hour energy passed around; College anglers gathered around the FLW stage early in the morning, greeting old friends from around the West, and nonchalantly chirping out a good luck to rival schools, who they surely hoped to beat after six hours on the water. For a January day at Shasta Lake, the morning was surprisingly warm, and as the day went on, at 66 degrees, It almost felt like a summer day to my partner and I, after countless weeks of cold and rain in Oregon.
Fishing was tough all around, and it was clear making the top five would come down to ounces as it often does at spotted bass fisheries. The bass weren’t cooperating; roaming alone, rather then in schools, making bites few and far between. My partner, Ross, and I were only able to put three fish in the boat, all coming in 25-35 feet of water. With our eyes glued to our graph for most of the day, we were seldom able to find bait, only being able to find one bait ball being actively pursued by bass, which we were able to milk one keeper from. We tried senkos, jigs, drop shots, spoons and wacky jig heads, with our only bites coming on the drop shot.
As we idled into check-in, our thoughts turned to our teammates, hoping they had greater success. Dock talk suggested everyone had a pretty tough day, with most teams shaking their heads holding up one or two fingers, signaling the number of fish they were able to bring in. Over the last two years of FLW College Fishing, the University of Oregon team remained the same for the most part, with most people fishing for the club for their third or fourth year. With many teammates graduating, this would be the first tournament for three new OBT members. This would be my partner and I’s twelfth FLW tournament, and it was fun to think back to our very first and get excited for our new teammates. As two of our teams reached the dock, excitement began to grow as Will Crowl and Kyle Schneider were able to bring in five fish, and the two man team consisting of my roommates; Nick Doring and Zach Niesen, were just one short with four, but with a good kicker. After weighing in our three fish for a respectable although disappointing 17th finish, Ross and I walked off the stage and waited in anticipation for our teammates to weigh in.
Chico State occupied the top three spots after the first ten or so teams had weighed in, as the local school was proving they knew their stuff. Crowl and Schneider came first, and after showing off some new OBT swag, the team took over the hot seat with 7lbs 6oz, led by Will “The Predator” Crowl’s five fish, all coming off shakeyheads. With a lot of teams to weigh in, it would seem very unlikely the weight would hold. But as more and more teams brought up light bags, it seemed it just might be enough. Doring and Niesen were able to slide into third place, anchored by Doring’s 2lb 10oz spotted bass, which by the day’s standards, was quite a kicker. Doring later explained he had actually sight fished the bass as it cruised into the shallows under the heating sun. In just his fourth time bass fishing overall, and some quick lessons the day before and during the car ride, Niesen was able to contribute two fish to the limit, bringing some laughs and loud cheering from the rest of the OBT. First and Fourth, with three teams to go. Boise State was up first, holding what looked like a solid bag. Doring and Niesen held their breaths as Justin Lucas shouted out, “5lbs 10 ounces, just short of the top five.” There were only two teams left, threatening the OBT’s first ever FLW tournament win, and a qualifying finish for Doring and Niesen. Cal Poly came next, a team that absolutely dominated the circuit the year before, and was able to qualify for Nationals in 2011. Another limit just short. Lastly, Sonoma State, another local team with a top five finish at Shasta the year before came to the scales. One fish went into the scale. A few seconds ticked away, and as the OBT realized Sonoma State had only one fish, the cheering began and the familiar “OOOOOOooooooooooooo” buzzed throughout the crowd. Crowl and Schneider were still in the hot seat, and the University of Oregon had won its first FLW College Fishing tournament, qualifying two teams in the process and bringing home $12,000 for the club.
For complete results visit: www.collegefishing.com
With only a few more weeks in 2010, a new year of FLW College Fishing is just around the corner. FLW is constantly working to improve the College circuit, and 2011 brings huge changes. As many anglers have voiced their discontent over the last two years over the limit rules, FLW is changing the previous six fish limit that required each angler to weigh three fish, to a five fish combined limit. This will make it easier on College anglers who at times were forced to put their rods down and try to put their partners on fish. Not only will a lot more limits be weighed in, but most likely bigger bags, despite the previous six fish limit. Competitors will also have the option of bringing their own boat if they so choose. Volunteers will still be provided for those competitors not bringing boats of their own, and by rule these observers must drive their own boats.
So what’s on tap for the west?
For the most part, much of the same.
Shasta Lake, CA, January 15th
Lake Roosevelt, AZ, February 19th
Delta, CA, May 7th
Clear Lake, CA, September 24th
The first three tournaments will all be return visits from last year for the lone FLW series out west, which has now changed to the EverStart series once again. Replaced by Lake Mead in 2010, FLW will return to Clear Lake for the first time since the 2009 season.
To read up on college fishing and check out other regions schedules, visit www.collegefishing.com
Starting Thursday, October 7th, my partner Ross Richards and I, and fellow teammates Cody Herman and Nick Doring will begin fishing the second ever FLW College Fishing Western Regionals. We will travel down to Folsom on Tuesday, and be supplied boats from FLW to prefish for one day on Wednesday, one day before the tournament. This will be our second consecutive year participating in the regionals, earning a fourth place finish the year before. To read more about the tournament, see below. I will keep you updated.
“FLW College Fishing to host Western Regional Championship on Folsom Lake
Sacramento State to host FLW College Fishing Festival in conjunction with tourney
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – National Guard FLW College Fishing is headed to Folsom Lake Oct. 7-9 for the Western Regional Championship. Twenty pre-qualified collegiate teams will be competing for a top award of $50,000 to be split evenly between the school and bass fishing club.
“Folsom is a small lake with a north and south river fork,” said FLW Tour pro Cody Meyer of Grass Valley, Calif., who is hot off a second place finish at the Forrest Wood Cup and a second place finish in the 2010 Western Division Angler of the Year race. “Most of the fish are going to come off the main lake, but the river forks will play a significant role in this tournament. There is definitely a huge population of fish in those river arms. This is a marathon not a sprint, and anglers are going to have to be patient and have several areas to go to.
“There are a lot of spotted bass in the lake, but you will see some mixed bags come to the scale,” Meyer went on to say. “If anglers stay in the main lake it is going to be a deep bite; 25 – 50 feet. I would look for deeper off-shore rock piles and drop-shot. The top water bite will be good early; I would go to one of the river arms and stay 20 feet or less. I believe it will take nine to 12 pounds per day to win.”
At this time of year water releases from Folsom Lake are typical. The young anglers are going to have to pay close attention to what is happening with the releases as they can make water levels in the lake fluctuate between two and three feet per day.
“Folsom Lake can be very finicky,” said pro Zack Thompson of Orinda, Calif. “It can fish hot one day and cold the next, especially if they are making releases. I think the key is going to be watching those water releases and being able to make adjustments.”
The fish should still be in their summer pattern,” Thompson added. “Water temperatures are going to be in the mid 70s. However, water is going to be cooler in the river arms.”
Anglers will take off from Folsom Lake Marina located at 661 Green Valley Road in El Dorado Hills, Calif., at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at Sacramento State Alumni Center, Lot 8. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins will begin at 4 p.m. and Saturday’s final weigh-in will begin at 5 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Sacramento State will also be hosting a College Fishing Festival throughout the three day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to live music, the National Guard Warrior Challenge, a Ranger Boat simulator, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize give-aways. The festival will take place at Sacramento State Alumni Center, Lot 8 from 2 – 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Schools that have qualified and will be competing in the tournament are:
Arizona State University – Brandon Service, Tempe, Ariz. and Ryan Miller, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Arizona State University – Joseph Jarrell, Phoenix, Ariz. and Mark Walker, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Boise State – Jared Spickelmier, Boise, Idaho and Eric Danser, Emmett, Idaho
California Polytechnic State University – Scott Hellesen, and Damian Bean both of San Luis Obispo, Calif.
California Polytechnic State University – John Zeolla, Oak Park, Calif. and Joe Gardner, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
California State, Long Beach – Dane Christensen, Long Beach, Calif. and Alfredo Gutierrez, Inglewood, Calif.
Chico State – Parker Moran and Marshal Smith both of Chico, Calif.
Chico State – Frank Vogt, Chico, Calif., and Bastian Golladay, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Chico State – Thomas White, Fountain Valley, Calif. and Allison Shaw, Chico, Calif.
Fresno State – Nicholas Thao, Clovis, Calif. and Che Yang, Fresno, Calif.
Humboldt State University – Derrick Hicks and Jen Edgar both of Eureka, Calif.
Northern Arizona University – Nicole Albright and Brent Perkins both of Phoenix, Ariz.
Sacramento State – Robert Matsuura, Sacramento, Calif. and Peter Lee, Elk Grove, Calif.
San Jose State University – Tyler Swasey and Anthony Lee both of San Jose, Calif.
Sonoma State University – Luke Haley, Sebastopol, Calif. and Alex Christianson, Cotati, Calif.
University of California, Davis – Mark White, Fairfield, Calif. and Travis Goldman, Freedom, Calif.
University of Nevada, Reno – Seth Hofland, Spring Creek, Nev. and Ricky Nielsen, San Rafael, Calif.
University of Nevada, Reno – Brandon Murphy, Boulder City, Nev. and Justin Landerman, Reno, Nev.
University of Oregon – Cody Herman, Eugene, Ore. and Nick Doring, Mill Valley, Ore.
University of Oregon – Ross Richards and Reed Frazier both of Eugene, Ore.
The top five teams from each regional advance to the national championship where the first-place team will win $100,000 with $50, 000 of that for their school and $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat for their fishing club.
FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.”
While on the water my roomate Nick Doring and Cody Herman got the call that they qualified for the 2010 FLW College Fishing Western Regionals. They will be the second team representing the University of Oregon at regionals, along with my partner Ross Richards and I. Check it out.
As I opened up my newest FLW magazine today, I saw I was named to the first ever FLW College Fishing All-American Team. It is a great honor, and I feel privileged for everything FLW has done for the sport of bass fishing and at the collegiate level. There is no other series like it for collegiate anglers at this time or ever before. Here’s a scanned page from the magazine, and a link to the article.
Check out some of the models from the new iRod line of rods, designed by pros such as Matt Newman, Fred Roumbanis, Greg Bolivar, Bub Tush and more. These rods will hit the market in the next few months and will be available at many online retailers. Enjoy the sneak peak, and look for them in stores soon!
Today it stopped raining for the first time in two weeks in Eugene, Oregon… I’m still hesitant but I think it’s safe to say summer is here. I will be finishing my third year at the University of Oregon tomorrow, and am looking forward to spending my first summer in Eugene. Over the past three years, I have learned a lot about bass fishing, both on and off the water, and am still uncovering secrets of the local lakes. I plan to fish as many tournaments as I can this summer as a boater on Oregon’s lakes as well as traveling for tournaments in California, focusing on the ABA circuits as well as local club tournaments. It will be my first year fishing tournaments as a boater, although on the college circuit we have complete control of the boats without actually owning them. It has been a crazy six months of fishing, traveling to fish Tennessee multiple times, fishing the gin clear waters of Lake Mead and the frigid waters of Shasta.
My third showdown on the Delta as part of the FLW College Fishing series is this Saturday, June 12th. Last year, on May 30th, my partner Ross Richards and I placed 4th earning $3,000 qualifying us for the Regionals on the Delta in September. We placed 4th once again in the Regionals, earning $8,000 and a trip to the FLW College Fishing National Championships. We are not qualified for the regionals after the first two qualifiers, where a top 5 is required. We hope to change that this weekend and feel confident in our chances. Having a body of water we have fished before, and had decent success on is definitely a confidence booster and somewhat abnormal for us after our first two years of the college series, as most of the lakes we visit are for the very first time.
My partner Ross Richards and I off to Knoxville, TN today to prefish Fort Loudon for the upcoming FLW College Fishing National Championship. We will be prefishing the 19th, 20th and 21st. Will keep you updated on how we do!