Univeristy of Florida leads FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship on Lake Monroe - Major League Fishing
Univeristy of Florida leads FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship on Lake Monroe
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Univeristy of Florida leads FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship on Lake Monroe

October 21, 2010 • MLF • Abu Garcia College Fishing


ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 21, 2010) – The defending FLW College Fishing National Champions from the University of Florida, Jake Gipson and Matthew Wercinski, both of Niceville, Fla., hold the lead after day one at the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship on Lake Monroe with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 5 ounces. The team has a commanding 6 pound, 1 ounce lead over their own school club mates, Dennis Croyle and Travis Gates, going into day two of competition where they are competing for a top prize of $50,000 and qualifying for a shot at the National Championship.

“We’re swinging for the fences,” said Jake Gipson, a senior in Industrial and Systems Engineering. “We really want to repeat as Southeast Regional Champions and want a second shot at nationals. We struggled today, all we caught were five fish and I have no idea if we can do it again tomorrow.”

The team from the University of Florida covered a lot of water fishing in both the river and the lake having equal success both places. Tomorrow they are hoping to narrow down the 12 to 15 spots they fished today to a more manageable area so they can really concentrate on the kicker fish they found late today. Gipson and Wercinski were using reaction baits and also did some finesse fishing, no one pattern emerged for the Gator duo.

“I caught the first fish and the last fish,” said Matthew Wercinski, a senior in Business. “My seven pound hawg came on the last cast of the day. We were very fortunate today and were able to bring in some quality fish. We know they are out there and hopefully we can bring them in again tomorrow. This is my last rodeo, so tomorrow we’re just going to go out there and do some fishing!”

Rounding out the top five teams are:

2nd: University of Florida – Dennis Croyle, Sarasota, Fla., and Travis Gates, Gainesville, Fla., six bass, 15-4

3rd: Kennesaw State University – Jake Akin, Powder Springs, Ga., and Thomas Frink, Kennesaw, Ga., six bass, 14-6

4th: University of Florida – Travis Fledderman, Gainesville, Fla., and Rhett Rampi, Orlando, Fla., five bass, 13-3

5th: University of South Carolina, Upstate – Michael Smith, Piedmont, S.C., and David Scruggs, Spartanburg, S.C. four bass, 11-8

Each school team represented in the televised regional championship 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 extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.

Anglers will take off from Monroe Harbour located at 531 North Palmetto Ave. in Sanford, Fla., at 7:30 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at UCF – IOA Plaza: Bright House Networks Stadium beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday and approximately 6:30 p.m. Saturday (following the football game). Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

The University of Central Florida also is hosting the College Fishing Festival throughout the three day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to live music, the National Guard Warrior Challenge, a Ranger Boat simulator, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize give-aways. The festival will take place at UCF – IOA Plaza: Bright House Networks Stadium from 2 – 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The remaining qualified teams in the Southeast Regional Championship include:

Auburn University – Caleb Rodgers, Center, Ala., and Kyron Browning, Auburn, Ala.

Auburn University – Shaye Baker, Reeltown, Ala., and Jordan Lee, Vinemont, Ala.

Austin Peay – Chase Hunnell, Ashland City, Tenn., and Ethan Ingle, Burlington, N.C.

Florida Gulf Coast University – Drew Underwood, Fort Myers, Fla., and Garrett Farmer, Estero, Fla.

Freed-Hardeman University – Nathan Pirtle, Counce, Tenn., and Brad Martin, Henderson, Tenn.

Georgia College – Jared Kutil, Milledgeville, Ga., and Josh Futch, Milledgeville, Ga.

Georgia Southern – Jed Thigpen, Waycross, Ga., and Wesley Maples, Statesboro, Ga.

LaGrange College – Torre Pike, Lagrange, Ga., and Ryan Wakenigg, Cataula, Ga.

Lipscomb University – James Crague, Hendersonville, Tenn., and Bobby Blackwell, Nashville, Tenn.

Middle Tennessee State – Nolen Spencer, Bell Buckle, Tenn., and Tyler Barnes, Madison, Tenn.

Southern Polytechnic State University – Dustin Holland, Ellijay, Ga., and Zachary Dixon, Kennesaw, Ga.

Tennessee Tech – Cody Gass, Lynchburg, Tenn., and Adam Goodwin, Hendersonville, Tenn.

Troy University – Jeremy Knight, Titus, Ala., and Connor Bedsole, Arab, Ala.

University of Central Florida – Leonard Gordon, Baker, Fla., and Miles Burghoff, Orlando, Fla.

University of Tennessee – Hunter Shults, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and Bradley Cooper, Knoxville, Tenn.

The top five teams from each regional championship, 25 teams total, will advance to the 2011 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship that will be hosted by Murray State University on Kentucky Lake, April 7-9. The National Championship is a three-day televised event. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The first-place team will win $100,000 with $50,000 of that for their school and $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat for their fishing club along with a berth in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.

FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.

Coverage of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship tournament on Lake Monroe will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors”, and will air Nov. 21 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” is hosted by Jason Harper, and is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.

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.

FLWOutdoors.com