The Virginia Tech team of Kile Quick of Lyndhurst, Virginia, and Mark Adams of Aylett, Virginia, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference opener on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“To qualify for the National Championship this early in the season really takes a lot of pressure off of us,” says Quick, a freshman majoring in agriculture. “It’s great to see all of our hard work pay off.”
“A lot of clubs have a couple of great anglers on their roster, but we had three teams in the top 10,” adds Adams, a freshman majoring in agricultural technology. “I think it shows the strength of our program.
“We went into this thing knowing that a lot of teams were going to start the day using topwater baits along points,” Adams continues. “In practice, we found that the bed fish were biting just about everything we threw at them, so that’s what we did. We had a game plan, we stuck to it and it worked.”
The duo says they ran south to the dam and focused on a cut in Craddock Creek. Quick says they primarily used a natural-colored Big Bite Baits Jerk Minnow rigged on a drop-shot and a Texas-rigged green-pumpkin Zoom Lizard to catch three bass fairly quickly.
“If they didn’t want the lizard, Mark (Adams) would flip the minnow in there and they couldn’t resist it,” relays Quick. “After that we hit a main-lake cut and focused on a couple of bigger ones, but they were really finicky. After the sun came out they finally bit. By 7:30 a.m. we had a limit worth nearly 11 pounds.”
After working another cut near Hales Ford Bridge, the team says they had about 16 pounds.
“Around 1 ‘o clock we decided to run north and hit two or three points to try for a kicker,” finishes Adams. “I ran a Carolina-rigged green-pumpkin Yamamoto Fat Baby Craw and caught a nice smallmouth with 30 minutes left in the day. That fish put us over the 17-pound mark. Everything just fell into place for us today.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2017 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Virginia Tech – Mark Adams, Aylett, Va., and Kile Quick, Lyndhurst, Va., five bass, 17-15, $2,000
2nd: Liberty University – Brian Travers, West Jefferson, N.C., and Caleb Unger, Dry Fork, Va., five bass, 15-6, $1,000
3rd: Adrian College – Nickolas Marsh, Commerce Township, Mich., and Caleb Taylor, Zionsville, Ind., five bass, 14-7, $500
4th: Patrick Henry Community College – Blaine Atkins, Martinsville, Va., and Dillon Crowder, Ridgeway, Va., four bass, 13-11, $500
5th: Rochester Institute of Technology – Jason Karol and John Henderson, both of Rochester, N.Y., five bass, 13-2, $500
5th: Mansfield University – Tyler Grabowski, Fairless Hills, Pa., and Ryan Fluharty, Perkiomenville, Pa., five bass, 13-2
7th: Virginia Tech – Elliott Roberson, Claudville, Va., and Ross Adams, Stuart, Va., five bass, 13-1
8th: Ramapo College – Zachary Orsino, Westville, N.J., and Andrew Annuzzi, Old Bridge, N.J., five bass, 12-11
9th: Virginia Tech – Andrew Davis, Penhook, Va., and Ethan Morrison, Gordonsville, Va., five bass, 12-8
10th: Marshall University – Drew Sallada, Hurricane, W. Va., and Jonathan Williams, Glade Spring, W. Va., five bass, 12-1
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
This FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event on Smith Mountain Lake was the first regular-season qualifying tournament in the Northern conference. The next event for Northern Conference anglers is scheduled for June 4 on the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 15 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2017 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 college fishing club.