FORT MADISON, Iowa – The Western Kentucky University team of David Stephens of Louisville, Ky., and Adam Hock of Cincinnati won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Division event on the Mississippi River Saturday with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the University and the University’s bass-fishing club.
“I am so pumped up,” said David Stephens. “I’m speechless, this hasn’t sunk in yet. Adam and I have been so close so many times and to finally crack one and get a win is a dream come true. The FLW college tour has the best tournament setup, and to win this tournament is a dream come true for a college angler.”
After weigh-in, the Western Kentucky team actually tied with the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, but was declared the ultimate winner based on having the two heavier individual bags. The two tying teams fished the same 100-yard stretch in the main river and watched each other all day long. Fishing was tough in the river; Stephens lost a fish late in the tournament and told Hock that was a $10,000 fish. Hock, who had caught his bag early, told Stephens to keep his head down and keep fishing.
Hock and Stephens have been fishing together for three years and believe their fishing styles and experience complement each other well. Hock who grew up fishing on the Ohio River is used to fishing in shallow, muddy water. Stephens grew up fishing in lakes and was not used to the river currents so relied heavily on Hock’s advice and encouragement today.
Rounding out the top five teams were University of Wisconsin Stevens Point – Casey Kmiecik and Joseph Marty, (four bass, 8-5, $5,000); Truman State University – Mike McCarthy Jr. and Spencer Clark (four bass, 7-4, $4,000); Kansas State University – Ben Fuchs and Jared Fish (four bass, 7-1, $3,000); University of Missouri – Scott Dooley and Andrew Bornholdt (three bass, 5-5, $2,000).
FLW Outdoors announced the College Fishing trail in May 2008. The entire schedule, which is organized around the five Stren Series Divisions, can be found by visiting CollegeFishing.com along with rules, requirements and information on how to create a bass club.
Full-time students enrolled in four year colleges or universities are eligible to participate in the events. Schools can send two-person teams to each of the four qualifying events in their division, with each event limited to a maximum of 40 teams. Each team has the opportunity to win $10,000 for first and $2,000 through fifth place. Prize money is split evenly between the winning team’s club and the school they represent. The tournaments are free to enter, boats and drivers are provided and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each qualifying event advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championships.
Each school represented in a televised Regional Championship will have team shirts and boats provided by Ranger. The purse for each Regional Championship includes a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $25,000 for the school they represent. Awards of $6,000 also extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.
The National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided shirts and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The purse for the championship ranges from $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $50,000 for the school they represent to $15,000 for fifth, split between the club and school.
The winning team will be declared the National Guard FLW Collegiate National Champion and will qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol in 2010. The winners will also receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for the Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.