Grand Valley State Flips in the Bay - Major League Fishing
Grand Valley State Flips in the Bay
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Grand Valley State Flips in the Bay

Wind prevents a smallmouth slugfest on Erie
Image for Grand Valley State Flips in the Bay
Lucas Murphy and Nolan Hitt Anglers: Lucas Murphy, Nolan Hitt.
September 10, 2018 • MLF • Abu Garcia College Fishing

The Grand Valley State University duo of Lucas Murphy of Walker, Michigan, and Nolan Hitt of Midland, Michigan, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie presented by Berkley Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the Lakers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, scheduled for June 4-6, 2019 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland.

“Due to the wind, we were confined to fishing in just Sandusky Bay,” says Hitt, a recent Marketing graduate at Grand Valley State. “We found one large area in the northeast corner that had a lot of grass in it and decided to stick with what we’re good at – fishing grass for largemouth. We focused on areas near lily pads that had vegetation and eel grass blown into them.”

“We stuck with the largemouth because we figured that we could catch around 12 to 13 pounds, sneak into the top-10 cut and qualify for the National Championship,” says Murphy, a senior double-majoring in Marketing and Accounting. “We missed a lot of bites, but we ended up catching around 8 keepers throughout the day and brought five largemouth to the scale that were big enough to win.”

The duo says they spent their day flipping – a green-pumpkin Strike King Rodent in cleaner water and a black and blue-colored Strike King Rage Bug in dirty water.

“It was weird because there were pockets of super clear water, but they were surrounded by dirty water,” Hitt says. “We caught fish out of both, but we did have to adjust the baits that we were throwing.

“I would credit our rods as being one of the keys to us getting the win,” Hitt continues. “We were using a 7’11” extra heavy Denali Lithium flipping stick. It is by far the most sensitive rod I’ve ever used. The fish were biting very lightly, so you needed a sensitive rod to feel the bite but also enough juice to horse them out.”

“I think the key was just fishing our strengths,” Murphy adds. “We really thought that someone would catch them in the middle of the bay cranking to win. We were just trying to sneak into the top-10 cut so it was great that we got the right bites to get it done.”

 

Top 10 teams

1st:          Grand Valley State University – Lucas Murphy, Walker, Mich., and Nolan Hitt, Midland, Mich., five bass, 19-2, $2,000

2nd:         Adrian College – Jack Hippe III, Davison, Mich., and Nickolas Marsh, Walled Lake, Mich., five bass, 15-8, $1,650

3rd:         University of Michigan-Dearborn – Zach Nelson, Northville, Mich., and Austin Klotz, Westland, Mich., five bass, 15-7, $500

4th:         Gannon University – Nolan Pyle, Eastlake, Ohio, and Aaron Bunting, Champion, Penn., five bass, 15-2, $500

5th:         Ohio State University – Jacob Miller, Thornville, Ohio, and Jaycen Newsome, Fairborn, Ohio, five bass, 14-7, $500

6th:         Slippery Rock University – Jason Frontino, Cranberry Township, Pa., and Cody Neal, Evans City, Pa., five bass, 14-6

7th:         State University of New York-ESF – Caleb Konrad, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Brandon Exner, Liverpool, N.Y., five bass, 14-6

8th:         University of Pittsburgh – Dominic Vitale, Shickshinny, Pa., and Henry Colberg, Pittsburgh, Pa., five bass, 14-2

9th:         Michigan State University – Kevin Lukens, Norton Shores, Mich., and Danny Sprague, Hastings, Mich., five bass, 13-3

10th:       Ramapo College – Ryan Worth, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and Alex Johnson, Milltown, N.J., five bass, 12-9

Complete results

 

The YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Erie presented by Costa was hosted by the City of Sandusky. It was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament for Northern Conference anglers in 2018. The next YETI FLW College Fishing events takes place Sept. 9, when Central Conference anglers compete at the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops, in Osage Beach, Missouri, and Western Conference anglers compete at the YETI FLW College Fishing event at the California Delta presented by Costa in Bethel Island, California.

YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three 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 20 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, June 4-6 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats.

YETI FLW 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 that is recognized by their school.