The Bethel University duo of Brad Ableman of Latham, New York, and Wilson Smith of Southaven, Mississippi, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event at Lake Seminole Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Wildcats’ bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
It was an impressive event for the Bethel University fishing club, as the school placed three teams in the top three spots – and were the only three teams to catch a limit weighing more than 15 pounds. The tournament launched from the Earle May Boat Bain in Bainbridge, Georgia.
The top 10 teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments advance to the 2021 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College Championship presented by Lowrance. Per FLW rules, additional teams qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats. A field of 140 teams competed at Lake Seminole, so 14 teams now advance to the Championship.
The top 14 teams advanced to the 2021 College Fishing National Championship:
1st: Bethel University – Brad Ableman, Latham, N.Y., and Wilson Smith, Southaven, Miss., five bass, 19-1, $2,000
2nd: Bethel University – Dax Ewart, Humboldt, Tenn., and Kyle Palmer, Estill Springs, Tenn., five bass, 16-13, $1,000
3rd: Bethel University – Dakota Pierce and Cody Huff, both of Ava, Mo., five bass, 15-1, $500
4th: Pearl River Community College – Dylan Herrington and Tanner Gregory, both of Picayune, Miss., five bass, 13-15, $500
5th: Troy University – Evan Rice and Dillon Butcher, both of Troy, Ala., five bass, 12-15, $500
6th: Georgetown College – Blake Quinn, Danville, Ky., and Dillon Sizemore, Georgetown, Ky., five bass, 12-12
7th: University of Montevallo – Hunter Ward, Rockford, Ala., and Solomon Glenn, Lakeville, Minn., five bass, 12-9
8th: Bryan College – Thaddeus Simerly, Talbot, Tenn., and Ethan Shaw, Carmel, Ind., three bass, 12-9
9th: Florida State University – Loc Cassida and Nick Whibbs, both of Pensacola, Fla., five bass, 12-8
10th: University of Montevallo – Weston Hollar, Dadeville, Ala., and Wesley Gore, Clanton, Ala., five bass, 11-4
11th: Kennesaw State University – Garrett Guinan, Marietta, Ga., and Jake Haggerty, Woodstock, Ga., five bass, 11-3
12th: University of Montevallo – Bradley Martin, Chelsea, Ala., and Jack Baron, Montevallo, Ala., five bass, 11-3
13th: Bryan College – Conner DiMauro, Dayton, Tenn., and Cole Sands, Calhoun, Tenn., four bass, 11-1
14th: Polk State College – Justin Bun, Lake Alfred, Fla., and Kyle Brewer, Dundee, Fla., five bass, 10-14
The Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI 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 College Fishing event of 2020. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship on the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Lowrance in Leesburg, Florida, Feb. 26-28, which will showcase college teams that qualified from the 2019 regular season.
Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI teams compete in 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 Abu Garcia College Fishing Open advance to the following year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship.
Both members of the winning team at the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing National Championship will advance to the 2020 Toyota Series Championship where they will compete for a top prize of $200,000. Both members of the second, third and fourth-place teams will advance to the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American to compete as boaters where they are guaranteed $1,500 plus a shot at winning the top prize of $100,000. Both members of the fifth and sixth-place teams advance to the 2020 All-American to compete as co-anglers where they are guaranteed $750 plus a shot at winning $50,000.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.