April 17th, 2012 12:01 EST
Auburn University takes Lead at the FLW College Fishing National Championship
Change seemed to be the name of the game Saturday at the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray. Although the weather was more of the same " beautiful and sunny with temperatures hovering at 80 degrees " more than one team said changing conditions forced teams to make adjustments to their fishing approaches. The Auburn University team of brothers Jordan Lee of Vinemont, Ala., and Matt Lee of Auburn, Ala., adapted to change well enough to weigh five bass for 15 pounds, 12 ounces for a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32-4. The Auburn team carries a 3-pound, 6-ounce lead into the final day of competition.
Twenty-five teams from across the country have competed in 20 qualifying events and five conference championship tournaments, and the top five teams from each conference are competing for the title of national champion in this three-day nationally televised event.
"We couldn`t feel better going into the last day," said Jordan, a junior business marketing major.
"We really thought we left them yesterday biting," said Matt, a sophomore computer science/math major. We went back (today) and caught two quick, and then it got bad there."We had to adjust and we went to a different place that we didn`t even catch a keeper off of the first day, and we caught three real quick. But mid-day was just terrible."
"We didn`t care to lead on the first day, but right now to have a 3 Â½-pound lead... that`s right where we want to be," Matt continued. "If we catch about 16 pounds it`s going to be tough for someone to catch 19 or 20 tomorrow."
Matt said local tournaments held on Murray over the weekend and warm temperatures paired with no wind might make fishing difficult Sunday.
"We might can still scrape out 15 or 16 (pounds)," Matt said. "If it`s like that, the chances of somebody catching 19 or 20 is small. We still have to catch them, though.You only get so many chances out here. If we lose a couple, it`s over with. We just have to go fishing."
Matt said the team has discovered one bait that the fish seem to prefer, but he declined to go into specifics regarding techniques the team used Saturday.
"The bait has been key," Matt said. "We`re catching them on one thing."
Rounding out the top five teams that made the cut to the final day of competition are:
2nd: Kansas State University " Ryan Patterson, Goddard, Kan. (nine bass, 28-14)
3rd: Clemson University " Andy Wicker, Pomaria, S.C., and Harold Turner, Sumter, S.C. (10 bass, 28-9)
4th: Kennesaw State University " Thomas Frink, Woodstock, Ga., and Justin Marlow, Kennesaw, Ga. (10 bass, 28-5)
5th: Virginia Tech " Wyatt Blevins, Pulaski, Va., and Carson Rejzer, Hampton, Va. (10 bass, 27-4)
Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com.
The final takeoff for the national championship will be from Park Site No. 8 (North) located at 2101 N. Lake Drive in Columbia at 7 a.m. The final weigh-in will be at *4 p.m. Sunday. Weigh-in will be adjacent to the Carolina Baseball Stadium on the University of South Carolina campus located at the corner of Blossom and Williams streets in Columbia.
*Final weigh-in will immediately follow the University of South Carolina baseball game and time is subject to change.
FLW will be hosting the College Fishing Festival from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday, adjacent to the Carolina Baseball Stadium. Activities include a sports zone, tailgate games, climbing wall and Ranger boat simulator.
The national championship awards the top team with $50,000 cash, a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine for their school`s bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent. FLW has awarded more than $3 million in prizes to more than 125 colleges and universities. College Fishing events are free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance.
Four regular-season events were held in each conference " Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western. The top five teams in each qualifying event advanced to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championships. The top five teams from each conference championship advanced to the national championship, and the winner of the national championship will qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, will be held Aug. 9-12 on Lake Lanier in Duluth, Ga., and will offer the collegiate anglers the opportunity to compete for a top award of $500,000. The national champions also will receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for Forrest Wood Cup competition.
Coverage of the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship, hosted by the Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network. "FLW" will air May 27 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. "FLW," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide.
For more information about the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship, visit CollegeFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
FLW is the industry`s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport`s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy " the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water," through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world`s richest fantasy sports game " FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.