The Southeast Missouri State University duo of Jacob Harris of Bonne Terre, Missouri, and Nick Moore of De Soto, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the Mississippi River presented by Costa Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the Redhawks’ bass club $2,400 and a slot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
Moore says that he and Harris, a junior majoring in business, spent their day fishing a 100-yard stretch on the lower end of Pool No. 4 between the main-river channel and Peterson Lake.
“We found the spot within the last hour of practice,” says Moore, a junior majoring in agribusiness and plant and soil science. “I had made a cast on the stretch and missed a fish, but when Jake fired out there, he hooked one. As he brought it to the boat, there were nine or 10 bass with it and they were all quality-sized largemouth.
“Saturday morning started off slow. We probably caught around a half-dozen short fish and a few pike before getting our first keeper bass around 8 (a.m.),” Moore continues. “From there, we figured out our cadence and everything kind of came together. Our first five fish had us up to 16 or 17 pounds, and we culled twice. We had everything we weighed by 10 (a.m.) – it was a crazy two hours.”
Moore says that a couple of 4-pound bites were likely what sealed the deal for the team.
“The area had duckweed mixed with some hydrilla and there were lilypads spread throughout it,” says Moore. “It wasn’t a lilypad field, but there were little groups here and there. The matted duckweed rerouted the current, which was definitely the reason there was more bait there. We could see bait around the edges of the duckweed and the groups of pads seemed to hold the better quality fish.”
The duo used Spro Dean Rojas Bronzeye 65 frogs in green-pumpkin and Rainforest Black colors on PowerPro 65-pound-test braided line. Moore used a high-speed Abu Garcia REVO ALX reel and a 7-foot, 4-inch heavy Duckett Triad Series rod, while Harris used a Lew’s Tournament Speed Spool LFS Series reel and a 7-foot heavy Denali Lithium Series rod. Moore noted that their Minn Kota Fortrex was also crucial in helping them handle the vegetation.
“It was our first win as a college club in a major event. We were quick to be congratulated by our teammates, alumni and even anglers from other schools. It was an awesome experience,” Moore went on to say.
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2019 College Fishing National Championship:
1st: Southeast Missouri State University – Jacob Harris, Bonne Terre, Mo., and Nick Moore, De Soto, Mo., five bass, 18-2, $2,400
2nd: McKendree University – Shane Campbell, Highland, Ill., and Ethan Jones, Worden, Ill., five bass, 16-10, $1,000
3rd: Missouri State University – Reece Crabtree, Holden, Mo., and Crosley Welch, Branson, Mo., five bass, 15-2, $500
4th: Iowa State University – Pat Morrison, Omaha, Neb., and Matt Blair, Ames, Iowa, five bass, 15-1, $500
5th: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater – Mitch Van Ert and Steven Sellnow, both of Watertown, Wis., five bass, 15-1, $500
6th: Bemidji State University – Lincoln Horsman, Wabasha, Minn., and Travis Rotzien, Bemidji, Minn., five bass, 14-15
7th: Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne – Reiley Pugh, Auburn, Ind., and Blake Spurgeon, Fort Wayne, Ind., five bass, 14-15
8th: Bemidji State University – Benjamin Saba, Ramsey, Minn., and Robert Troje, Hastings, Minn., five bass, 14-14
9th: University of Minnesota-Duluth – Dylan Sande, Long Lake, Minn., and Justin Sande, Orono, Minn., five bass, 14-11
10th: University of Wisconsin – Andrew Wolfe, Wausau, Wis., and Colin Steck, Waunakee, Wis., five bass, 14-7, $200
Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on the Mississippi River at Wabasha was presented by Costa and was hosted by the Wabasha-Kellogg Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was the second of three regular-season qualifying tournaments for Central Conference anglers in 2018. The next YETI FLW College Fishing event takes place Sept. 8, when Northern Conference anglers compete at the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie presented by Berkley, in Sandusky, Ohio.