The Sacramento State University duo of Ilya Guryanov of West Sacramento and Will Karnthong, of Antioch, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the Hornets’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“I’m a local, so I’ve spent a lot of time on the Delta and we definitely put in our practice time for this one,” says Karnthong, a freshman majoring in construction management. “We mainly stayed around the Central Delta – I had 10 to 15 spots where I knew we could catch fish. The name of the game for us was just covering a lot of water, then slowing down in the high-percentage areas.”
“We tried our best to find the big fish punching the grass – and we caught six – but those were all little guys,” says Guryanov, a sophomore majoring in nursing. “Our big fish came on a ChatterBait. We caught around 20 fish, but it was a slow day and we had to just grind it out.”
The duo’s main bait of choice was a green-pumpkin-colored Z-Man ChatterBait Jack Hammer – Karnthong with a Z-Man Razor ShadZ trailer and Guryanov with a Yamamoto Zako trailer. They used a big Texan-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver when punching.
“Being a local was a huge advantage for us, because we had more water to fish,” Karnthong adds. “A lot of teams were covering water and running and gunning, but I had pre-fished a lot and was able to go from spot to spot knowing that the fish were there, instead of looking for them.”
The top 10 teams
1st: Sacramento State University – Ilya Guryanov, West Sacramento, Calif., and Will Karnthong, Antioch, Calif., five bass, 15-7, $2,000
2nd: Sacramento State University – Aaron Nguyen, Discovery Bay, Calif., and Christopher Orgon, Sacramento, Calif., five bass, 13-2, $1,000
3rd: New Mexico State University – Ty Faulconer, Santa Clarita, Calif., and Daylon Smith, Frazier Park, Calif., five bass, 12-4, $900
4th: Chico State University – Tyler Bounds, Chico, Calif., and Miles Kaneko, Berkeley, Calif., five bass, 11-12, $700
5th: Oregon State University – Biagio Capp, Discovery Bay, Calif., and Thomas Robinson, Blythe, Calif., five bass, 10-6, $750
6th: University of California-Merced – Kalib Caples, Sebastopol, Calif., and Herbie LeBlanc, Merced, Calif., five bass, 10-4
7th: Washington State University – Madden Tobeck, Eatonville, Wash., and Nathan Baespflug, Sumner, Wash., five bass, 10-2
8th: Chico State University – Joshua Cutler, Hollister, Calif., and Chad Sweitzer, Sonora, Calif., five bass, 10-1
9th: California State University-East Bay – Yuan Liu, Fremont, Calif., and Zane Kazaka, Clearlake, Calif., five bass, 9-9
10th: Simpson University – Ryan Beaty, Martinez, Calif., and Nathan Phillips, Kelseyville, Calif., five bass, 9-5
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Bass Pro Shops was hosted by Russo’s Marina and the Sugar Barge RV Resort. It was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament for Western Conference anglers. The next event for FLW College Fishing anglers will be a Central conference event – the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops, Oct. 18 in Osage Beach, Missouri.
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, scheduled for Feb. 26-28 on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats.