The Purdue University Fort Wayne duo of Connor Landis of Edgerton, Ohio, and Blake Spurgeon of Fort Wayne, Indiana, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the Mississippi River presented by Evinrude Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Mastodon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“Last year I had fished here with a different partner and we tied for sixth place, so I was excited to get up here again and I thought that we could earn another top-10 finish – I never thought we were going to win,” says Spurgeon, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering technology. “We weren’t catching huge fish during our practice, but on Friday the weather changed and the giants came out to eat.”
“We found them in heavy current, on current breaks like laydowns and overhanging trees,” says Landis, a junior majoring in business management. “We caught around 8 keepers throughout the day on Texas-rigged creature baits and tubes.”
Fishing the strong current, the Mastodon club relied on heavy ½- and ¾-ounce tungsten weights. They flipped both a Berkley Pit Boss and a Missile Baits D Bomb, and Landis also added a few fish on a tube. Their weigh-in limit consisted of four smallmouths and one largemouth.
“The key was just slowing down and remaining patient,” Spurgeon adds. “We lost a couple on the way to the boat, and we missed a few when we set the hook. We just remained calm and patient and our persistence really paid off.”
The top 10 teams
1. Purdue University Fort Wayne – Connor Landis, Edgerton, Ohio, and Blake Spurgeon, Fort Wayne, Ind., five bass, 17-9, $2,000
2. St. Cloud State University – Mitchell Evans, Albert Lea, Minn., and Aidan Hansen, St. Cloud, Minn., five bass, 16-7, $1,000
3. North Dakota State University – Matt Stearns, Scandia, Minn., and Charles McGivern, Rosemount, Minn., five bass, 16-6, $500
4. Murray State University – Hunter McKinley, Murray, Ky., and Brendan Bingham, Louisville, Ky., five bass, 16-6, $500
5. University of Wisconsin – Jack Risch, Nashotah, Wis., and Matthew Mikolajczak, Lakeville, Minn., five bass, 16-5, $900
6. Murray State University – Jordan Hartman, Murray, Ky., and Will Gentry, Utica, Ky., five bass, 16-4, $450
7. University of Wisconsin – Sam Medo, Stevens Point, Wis., and Colin Steck, Waunakee, Wis., five bass, 15-10
8. Northwest Missouri State University – Logan Newlin and Jacob Cacek, both of Maryville, Mo., five bass, 15-3
9. Winona State University – Colton Haney and Chase Pomeroy, both of Winona, Minn., five bass, 15-2
10. University of Evansville – Noah Whalen and Blake Knies, both of Jasper, Ind., five bass, 15-2
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on the Mississippi River in Wabasha presented by Evinrude was hosted by the Wabasha-Kellogg Area Chamber of Commerce & Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was the second of three regular-season qualifying tournaments for Central Conference anglers. The next event for FLW College Fishing anglers will be the YETI FLW College Fishing at Lake Erie, Sept. 6 in Sandusky, Ohio.