FLORECNE, Ala. – The University of Tennessee team of Hunter Shults and Bradley Cooper, won the final qualifying National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division event on Pickwick Lake Saturday with a six bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces.
The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the university and the university’s bass-fishing club. The win also helped them advance to the Southeast Division Regional Championship where they could ultimately win a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine wrapped in school colors for their school’s bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent.
“I am so pumped,” said Hunter Shults, an undecided freshman. “This was my first FLW Outdoors tournament and to qualify for the regional championship is so exciting.
“We caught both our big fish using a spinnerbait; Bradley and I used the exact same baits and I caught all largemouth and he caught all smallmouth, it was kind of amazing,” Shults added. “We tried some topwater baits early; we had the numbers but not the size so we adjusted pretty quickly and were able to bring in a limit.”
Temperatures dropped from the high 90s to mid to low 80s over the course of a week and Cooper believes that plus the pros fishing the lake all week added to the tough fishing conditions.
“I was pretty surprised by how slow the fishing was today,” said Bradley Cooper a junior in Logistics. “I was here fishing another tournament last weekend and we had a ton of bites, today we caught only eight keepers.”
Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the Southeast Regional Championship are:
2nd: Austin Peay – Chase Hunnell and Ethan Ingle, six bass, 13-14, $5,000
3rd: University of Florida, Travis Fledderman and Rhett Rampi, six bass, 13-10, $4,000
4th: Auburn University – Caleb Rodgers and Kyron Browning, six bass, 12-3, $3,000
5th: Lipscomb University – James Crague and Bobby Blackwell, six bass, 11-8, $2,000
The National Guard FLW College Southeast Regional Championship is scheduled for Oct. 21-23, at Monroe Lake in Orlando, Fla. The three day tournament will be hosted by University of Central Florida and will be televised on VERSUS Nov. 21 from 12:30 to 1:30 EST.
Also qualifying for the Southeast Regional were:
Auburn University – Shaye Baker and Jordan Lee
Florida Gulf Coast – Dew Underwood and Garrett Farmer
Freed-Hardeman University – Nathan Pirtle and Brad Martin
Georgia College – Jared Kutil and Josh Futch
Georgia Southern – Jed Thigpen and Wesley Maples
Kennesaw State University – Jake Akin and Thomas Frink
Lagrange College – Torre Pike and Ryan Wakenigg
Middle Tennessee State – Nolen Spencer and Tyler Barnes
Southern Polytechnic State University – Dustin Holland and Zachary Dixon
Tennessee Tech – Jonathan Cody Gass and Adam Goodwin
Troy University – Jeremy Knight and Connor Bedsole
University of Central Florida – Leonard Gordon and Miles (Sonar) Burghoff
University of Florida – Dennis Croyle and Travis Gates
University of Florida – Jake Gipson and Matthew Wercinski
University of South Carolina, Upstate – Michael Smith and David Scruggs
The top five teams from each regional championship will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. The National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition.
College Fishing is free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW Outdoors and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. For a complete list of tournament results visit collegefishing.com
About FLW Outdoors
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.