Southeastern Conference Championship set for Pickwick - Major League Fishing
Southeastern Conference Championship set for Pickwick
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Southeastern Conference Championship set for Pickwick

Grass bite expected to play big
Image for Southeastern Conference Championship set for Pickwick
McFarland Park on Pickwick Lake. Photo by D. W. Reed II.
September 24, 2015 • MLF • Abu Garcia College Fishing

FLW College Fishing is headed to Pickwick Lake Sept. 26-27 for the Southeastern Conference Championship tournament. Forty-five college teams have qualified for this event and will be competing for a top award of $4,000 and a berth in the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“I know that Pickwick is traditionally known as a ledge fishery, but that is just not the case right now,” says Walmart FLW Tour pro Jason Lambert of Pickwick Dam, Tenn., who has six top-10 finishes on Pickwick Lake in his FLW career. “There is so much grass and hydrilla in this lake right now – the most that I have ever seen. The grass bite is going to be very strong in this tournament, and I predict that is how it will be won.

“We’re finally starting to get the first cold fronts of the fall coming through,” Lambert continues. “The schooling activity seems to be a little bit behind schedule. Usually at this point of the year we have some fish up on top chasing bait, but we haven’t really seen that yet. By the time the tournament rolls around the topwater bite could start to play a little bit, as could throwing a frog, but I think that flipping the grass will be the dominant pattern.”

Lambert predicts that the winning team will have a two-day weight of about 34 or 35 pounds.

“I would recommend just picking up a plastic of some kind, going to the grass and just going fishing,” adds Lambert. “Grass fishing is a lot like ledge fishing. You can fish two miles of grass, then find a 30-yard stretch where you’ll get seven good bites. The key for the college anglers will be finding those productive stretches.”

Teams could also take cues from Aaron Harrelson, the winner of the recent Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division Super Tournament on Pickwick. Harrelson located a small creek channel in the grass and exploited it with a spinnerbait, a jig and a big worm. Details of his winning pattern can be found here, and he also appeared on the most recent episode of the FLW Podcast.

Schools registered to compete in the Southeastern Conference Championship hosted by Visit Florence include:

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – Blake Yarbrough and Taylor Thompson

Appalachian State University – Charlie Sipe and Matthew Reid

Appalachian State University – Ethan Howell and Hunter Hill

Auburn University – Ethan Hayes and Garrett Roberts

Auburn University – Mitchell Jennings and Timmy Ward

Bethel University – Hunter Louden and Chase Aulidge

Clemson University – Patrick Williford and Briggs Kennington

Clemson University – Ross Burns and Isaac Nesbitt

Darton State College – Wesley Griner and Dalton Dedge

Daytona State College – James Oltorik and Thomas Oltorik

East Carolina University – Michael Corbishley and Zachary Blalock

Florida Gulf Coast University – Zane Xanders and Hunter Bozeman

Florida State University – Drew Cook and Cody Spears

Gadsden State Community College – Josh Oliver and Colby Smith

Gadsden State Community College – Nathan George and Russell Sapp

Georgia College & State University – Justin Singleton and Ryan Stewart

Georgia Highlands College – Eric Fisher and Jake Akin

Georgia Southern University – Dean Mullett and Trent Palmer

Lander University – Ben Stone and Collin Smith

Middle Georgia State University – Ethan Wallace and Mark Denney        

Mississippi State University – Joseph Marty and Grant Galloway

North Carolina State University – Grayson Barber and Thomas Gomez

Seminole State College – Kevin Hires and Phillip Heyde

Tennessee Technological University – Matt Allen and Zach Youngblood

University of Alabama – Ethan Flack and Charles Hurst

University of Alabama – John Davis and Payton McGinnis

University of Alabama-Birmingham – Alex Wolfe and Austin Handley

University of Alabama-Birmingham – Matthew Oliver and Justin Woodruff

University of Florida – Hunter Bland and Tim Parker

University of Florida – Shelby Concon and Grant Bergeron

University of North Alabama – Dawson Lenz and Andrew Tate

University of North Alabama – Austin Mize and Brad Vice

University of North Alabama – Clint Frederick and Cody Harrison

University of North Alabama – John Maner and Colt Kelso

University of North Carolina-Charlotte – John Auten and Cole Blythe

University of South Carolina – Chris Blanchette and Hampton Anderson

University of South Carolina – Patrick Walters and Josh Rennebaum

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Gavyn Bridges and Blake Lee

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Dillon Falardeau and Patrick Hoskins

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Sam Mughal and Luke Lackey

University of West Georgia – Kenny Johnson and Brandon Black

University of West Georgia – Matthew Colbert and Tyler Collins

Western Carolina University – Austin Neary and Alex Frazier

Western Carolina University – Caleb Nuckols and Adam King

Western Carolina University – Tyler Thomasson and Josh Cannon


Tournament Details

Format: The full field competes on day one and the top 15 teams fish on day two. Winner determined by two-day cumulative weight.

Takeoff time: 7 a.m. CT

Takeoff location: McFarland Park, 200 James M. Spain Drive, Florence, Ala.

Day one weigh-in time: 3 p.m. CT

Day one weigh-in location: McFarland Park

Day two weigh-in time: 4:00 p.m. CT

Day two weigh-in time: Walmart, 3100 Hough Road, Florence, Ala.


More Information

FLW College Fishing teams compete in qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top 15 teams from each regular-season tournament qualify for their respective Conference Championship tournaments. The top 10 teams from each of the five Conference Championship tournaments will advance to the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW College Fishing on Facebook at and on Twitter at Visit to sign up or to start a club at your school.