The University of Oregon team of Ryan Habenicht of Creswell, Oregon, and Daniel Marshall of Eugene, Oregon, won the FLW College Fishing Western Conference event on Clear Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 28 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
The huge 28-8 limit brought to the scale by the Oregon duo is the second-heaviest FLW College Fishing one-day catch of all time. The record for largest one-day catch is 29-5, and is held by the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
“This is a huge accomplishment for our program,” says Habenicht, a senior majoring in business. “It’s tough to raise money for club sports, so this prize will definitely help us down the road.”
“To be honest, I didn’t know we had the win until our weight was called,” says Marshall, a senior majoring in business. “To win this event makes a statement about the University of Oregon bass fishing team. It feels absolutely awesome.”
The duo says they spent the majority of their day in a creek channel near the takeoff ramp. Habenicht says they each used a green-pumpkin Yamamoto Senko and fan-casted their way along the edges of cover.
“There was a lot of vegetation, and the bass were up on the edges of it because it’s been so warm,” explains Habenicht. “Once the midday sun came out, it was like the bass came in waves. I bet we hit flurries every few minutes or so. Most of our biggest fish came between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.”
Habenicht says the team hit about a dozen spots in the channel and caught between 30 and 40 keepers.
“I fished a tournament here in late March and ended up doing really well,” recalls Habenicht. “The warm temperatures over the last few days pushed the fish out to where I was catching them in March, so that was a huge advantage for us.”
Marshall adds that the two finished out their day on the north end of the lake running docks and seawalls using Senkos. Around 1 pm., they boated a 7-pounder – their biggest catch of the day.
“The big ones were up shallow on the seawalls and near the docks,” says Marshall. “With Ryan’s (Habenicht) knowledge of those key spots, we were really able to clean up. It was a great day.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2017 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University of Oregon – Ryan Habenicht, Creswell, Ore. and Daniel Marshall, Eugene, Ore., five bass, 28-8, $2,000
2nd: Oregon State University – Zach MacDonald, Willits, Calif., and Zach Martinez, Linden, Calif., five bass, 21-6, $1,000
3rd: California State University-Chico – Andrew Loberg, Rocklin, Calif., and Travis Bounds, Roseville, Calif., five bass, 19-7, $500
4th: California State University – Cole Thomas, Lakewood, Calif., and Via Thao, Long Beach, Calif., five bass, 18-12, $500
5th: San Jose State University – Patrick Friedman, San Jose, Calif., and Manuel Munoz, Hollister, Calif., five bass, 17-12, $500
6th: California State University-Chico – Carson Leber, Dixon, Calif., and Lucas Boxwell, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 16-7
7th: Humboldt State University – Tristan Merlaud, Sebastopol, Calif., and Rudy Directo, Alpine, Calif., five bass, 15-1
8th: University of Idaho – Tanner Mort, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and Austin Turpin, Moscow, Idaho, five bass, 14-5
9th: California State University-Chico – Travis Strain and Sean Huber, both of Chico, Calif., five bass, 13-2
10th: California State University-Chico – Kevin Chen and Koulton Westbrook, both of Vacaville, Calif., five bass, 12-12
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
This FLW College Fishing Western Conference event on Clear Lake was the second regular-season qualifying tournament in the Western conference. The next event for Western Conference anglers is scheduled for May 21 on the California Delta in Bethel Island, California.
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.