The East Texas Baptist University duo of Brett Clark of Center, Texas, and Cody Ross of Livingston, Texas, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Sam Rayburn Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces. The victory earned the Tiger’s bass club $2,400 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
The duo says that they fished north of the bridge on Sam Rayburn, catching their bass on Carolina rigs.
“Our fish were sitting on an old road bed,” says Clark, a junior majoring in business administration. “We had found it in practice. The bass were prespawn, sitting in 8 to 10 feet of water, and they were moving in as we were catching them.”
“Most of our fish came from that one spot – literally two casts, over and over,” says Ross, a freshman majoring in business. “We started out throwing moving baits, but only managed to get one bite. Once we switched to the Carolina rig and slowed down it was like someone turned on the switch. We probably caught 40 to 50 fish throughout the day.”
“I think the key for us was our Minn Kota Ultrex trolling motor,” says Clark. “The wind came up during the day, and the Ultrex kept us in one spot and allowed us to weed through the little fish and just keep upgrading.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2020 College Fishing National Championship:
1st: East Texas Baptist University – Brett Clark, Center, Texas, and Cody Ross, Livingston, Texas, five bass, 24-4, $2,400
2nd: East Texas Baptist University – Mason Beatty, Longview, Texas, and Jacob Keith, Jefferson, Texas, five bass, 22-0, $1,200
3rd: Stephen F. Austin State University – Christopher Harrison, Allen, Texas, and Ethan Legare, Lucas, Texas, five bass, 19-4, $500
4th: Sam Houston State University – Bryton Kurtz, Magnolia, Texas, and Jackson Carrell, Anderson, Texas, five bass, 18-11, $500
5th: Stephen F. Austin State University – Cooper Thor and Cade Rudiger, both of Mansfield, Texas, five bass, 18-11, $500
6th: Tarleton State University – Nick Prestwood, Stephenville, Texas, and Jacob David, Pilot Point, Texas, five bass, 18-2
7th: Oklahoma State University – Jake Swanson, Eufaula, Okla., and Garrett Brown, Broken Arrow, Okla., five bass, 18-0
8th: Sam Houston State University – Dillon Harrell, New Caney, Texas, and Colby Bryant, Houston, Texas, five bass, 17-8
9th: Texas A&M University – Garrison Thomas, Keller, Texas, and Tyler Anderson, Austin, Texas, five bass, 17-3
10th: Tarleton State University – Trent Stafford and Justin Tatum, both of Belton, Texas, five bass, 16-9
FLW also advances one additional team to the National Championship for every 10 teams over 100 that compete. A total of 122 teams participated in this event, so also advancing to the 2020 College Fishing National Championship are:
11th: Stephen F. Austin State University – Marc Ameringer, Cypress, Texas, and Cody Barchenger, Taylor, Texas, five bass, 16-1
12th: Sam Houston State University – Matthew Sewell, Tomball, Texas, and Joshua Perrin, Houston, Texas, five bass, 15-13
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir was hosted by the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was the first of three regular-season qualifying tournament for Southern Conference anglers. The next event for FLW College Fishing anglers will be the Western Conference opener, March 2 at Lake Mead in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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.