The California Polytechnic State University duo of Sam Morita of Sebastopol, California, and Aren Abrahamian of Glendale, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Costa Saturday with five bass weighing 20 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Mustang’s bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, scheduled for June 4-6, 2019 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland.
“We started our day fishing on the south-southeast side, near Mandeville Island,” says Abrahamian, a senior majoring in environmental science. “We were fishing riprap banks with squarebill crankbaits. We had figured out the squarebill deal in practice and we knew we could put together a quick 6- or 7-pound limit and then go looking for upgrades, so that’s what we did.”
The duo threw unnamed craw-pattern, light red squarebill crankbaits to put together an estimated 7-pound limit by 10 a.m., then moved to another pattern, fishing old dock pilings with Yamamoto Senkos.
“We moved to another spot that had a bunch of pilings – probably around 100 – and caught three big ones flipping Senkos,” Abrahamian says. “Sam was fishing a green-pumpkin and red flake color, Texas-rigged; I was fishing just a green Senko and had mine wacky-rigged. We only had three bites doing that, but they were 4-, 5- and 6-pounders.”
The Mustangs estimated that they caught around 20 keeper fish throughout the day – 40 total. They said that 95% of their bass came on the squarebill.
“We got lucky with the Senkos, but if we wouldn’t have thrown the squarebills early than we wouldn’t have had a limit,” Abrahamian says. “We usually don’t throw that here, but it was a random call that Sam made in practice and it ended up working out – even better than we thought it would.”
Top 10 teams
1st: California Polytechnic State University – Sam Morita, Sebastopol, Calif., and Aren Abrahamian, Glendale, Calif., five bass, 20-1, $2,650
2nd: Oregon State University – Biagio Capp, Discovery Bay, Calif., and Brandon Peeler, Lake Oswego, Ore., five bass, 14-7, $1,210
3rd: California State University-Chico – Jack Geist, Davis, Calif., and Austin Crane, Oroville, Calif., five bass, 13-4, $500
4th: Sonoma State University – Josh Hanna, Danville, Calif., and Tyler Owens, Santa Rosa, Calif., five bass, 11-9, $510
5th: University of California-Merced – Herbie LeBlanc and Tshu Xiong, both of Merced, Calif., five bass, 10-12, $500
6th: California State University-Chico – Matthew Pusateri, Grand Terrace, Calif., and Chad Sweitzer, Chico, Calif., five bass, 10-12
7th: Arizona State University – Ryan Slivkoff, Tempe, Ariz., and Hayden Frey, San Tan Valley, Ariz., five bass, 9-15
8th: Utah Valley University – Nick Forbush, Heber City, Utah, and Ben Levie, Salem, Utah, five bass, 9-15
9th: Sonoma State University – B.J. Kendrick, Morgan Hill, Calif., and Brock Trudeau, Lancaster, Calif., five bass, 9-5
10th: California State University-Chico – Frank Tomasello and Jakob Conlan, both of Chico, Calif., five bass, 8-10
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Costa was hosted by Russo’s Marina & Sugar Barge RV Resort. It was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament for Western Conference anglers in 2018. The next YETI FLW College Fishing event takes place Nov. 3, when Southern Conference anglers compete at the final YETI FLW College Fishing event of the season on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Bass Pro Shops, in Many, Louisiana.
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.