The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We put a lot of time in practicing for this tournament, and I truly believe that’s why we did so well,” says Carrollton, a sophomore majoring in marketing. “We spent two weekends here, plus the whole week before the tournament on the water checking the grass and we were able to find a couple of really good places. We spent our day rotating through three specific spots, just holes and cuts off the grass in Spring Creek.”
The duo estimates that they caught at least 30 fish throughout the day, all between 3 and 5 pounds. All of their fish came on vibrating jigs, with either a Big Bite Baits Cane Thumper (clear) or a Big Bite Baits Swimming Craw (black and blue) as a trailer.
“The fish were really grouped up in the hydrilla,” says Barnes, a junior also majoring in marketing. “We were both using 7’1” FX Xtreme Anglers Series medium-heavy rods, and that was crucial. It had the perfect amount of tip to feel the bite but was still able to rip them out of the grass. We caught 30 keepers – all good ones – and we never lost one fish, all day long.”
Top 10 teams
1st: University of Montevallo – Justin Barnes, Monroeville, Ala., and Adam Carroll, Carrollton, Ga., five bass, 23-1, $2,000
2nd: Shelton State Community College – Will Delaney, Duncanville, Ala., and Hunter Porter, Tuscaloosa, Ala., five bass, 21-5, $1,000
3rd: Florida State University – Garret Sanders, Woodstock, Ga., and Owen Kuhn, Tallahassee, Fla., five bass, 20-8, $500
4th: Snead State Community College – John-Dalton Miller, Albertville, Ala., and Jackson Gillaspie, Boaz, Ala., four bass, 19-13, $500
5th: Bethel University – Garrett Enders, Mifflinburg, Pa., and Cody Huff, Ava, Mo., five bass, 19-11, $900
6th: Bryan College – Conner DiMauro, Longwood, Fla., and Cole Sands, Calhoun, Tenn., five bass, 19-2, $200
7th: University of Montevallo – Kade Holcomb and Kopeland Rosser, Helena, Ala., five bass, 19-0
8th: Mississippi State University – Boone Faulkner, New Albany, Miss., and Nikolas Beckstein, Vancleave, Miss., five bass, 18-13
9th: University of North Alabama – Hunter McCarty, Dora, Ala., and Sloan Pennington, Childersburg, Ala., five bass, 18-8
10th: Brewton-Parker College – Noah Ziadie, Covington, Ga., and Reese Kingston, Villa Rica, Ga., five bass, 18-6, $200
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole was hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was the first of three regular-season qualifying tournament for Southeastern Conference anglers and the first YETI FLW College Fishing event of 2019. The next event for FLW College Fishing anglers will be the Southern Conference opener, Feb. 22 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Zavalla, Texas.
YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. 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. The top 10 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 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats. The Potomac River and Marbury, Maryland, will play host to the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, June 4-6, 2019.