The Chico State University duo of Sean Huber and Travis Strain, both of Chico, California, won the FLW College Fishing Western Conference event on the California Delta Saturday with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We had already qualified for the National Championship earlier this season at Clear Lake, so we came into this event just fishing for fun,” says Huber, a junior majoring in construction management. “To win is a really pleasant surprise. Even when Travis and I were standing in the weigh-in line we had no idea that we had enough to win.”
“This is our first season fishing FLW College Fishing and it has been a blast,” relays Strain, also a junior majoring in construction management. “We had some trolling motor problems earlier this week and we weren’t really able to get in any time to practice so we decided to just go out and fish anything that looked good.”
The Chico State duo says they managed 8 keeper bass throughout the day, throwing weedless soft-plastics near tules in the Piper Slough area. They caught fish on three baits – an unnamed 7-inch green-pumpkin stick bait, a Missile Baits D Bomb and a green-pumpkin Z-Man ChatterBait paired with a 3-inch Keitech swimbait.
“We tried to keep it pretty simple today,” Strain explains. “A lot of other teams were trying to punch, but we knew that we could catch a solid limit with the soft plastics. We were not around many other boats at all, and I think doing something a little different was the key.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2017 College Fishing National Championship
1st: California State University-Chico – Sean Huber and Travis Strain, both of Chico, Calif., five bass, 16-3, $2,000
2nd: California Polytechnic State University – Christopher LeClair, Santa Clarita, Calif., and Clayton Lauchland, Lodi, Calif., five bass, 16-3, $1,000
3rd: University of California-Merced – Gregory Dooman, Merced, Calif., and Adan Arroyo, Napa, Calif., five bass, 15-7, $500
4th: California State University-East Bay – Junjie Wang, Castro Valley, Calif., and Yuan Liu, Hayward, Calif, five bass, 14-3, $500
5th: Oregon State University – Zach MacDonald, Willits, Calif., and Zach Martinez, Linden, Calif., five bass, 13-12, $500
6th: Humboldt State University – Tristan Merlaud, Arcata, Calif., and Rudy Directo, Alpine, Calif., five bass, 13-12
7th: Southwestern Oregon Community College – Christian Somerville, Allegany, Ore., and Shawn Cook, North Bend, Ore., five bass, 13-6
8th: Sonoma State University – Tyler Owens, Orange, Calif., and Jake Davidson, Sebastopol, Calif., five bass, 13-3
9th: Northern Arizona University – Gunnar Stanton, Boulder City, Nev., and Gunner Campbell, Winchester, Calif., five bass, 12-8
10th: University of Oregon – Jacob Wall, Jacksonville, Ore., and Dalton Taylor, Eugene, Ore., five bass, 11-15
This FLW College Fishing Western Conference event was hosted by Russo’s Marina and Sugar Barge RV Resort and was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament in the Western conference. The next event for Western Conference anglers will be the FLW College Fishing National Championship, held early next spring on a lake yet to be announced.
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.