ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 22, 2010) – The defending FLW College Fishing National Champions and Southeast Regional Champions from the University of Florida, Jake Gipson and Matthew Wercinski, both of Niceville, Fla., continue to dominate the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship on Lake Monroe. Yesterday they “struggled” to bring five bass weighing 21-5 to the scales and today they got “lucky” with four bass weighing 11-6 for a two day total of nine bass weighing 32-11. The team continues its rampage through the Southeast region with a 12 pound, 1 ounce lead over UF club mates, Dennis Croyle, Sarasota, Fla., and Travis Gates, Gainesville, Fla., who now sit in second place with nine bass weighing 20-10 going into the final day of competition. Teams are competing for a top prize of $50,000, which includes a Ranger boat and outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $25,000 for the school they represent. Top five teams will also qualify for the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We really did struggle today; the way we are fishing is very high risk,” said Jake Gipson, a senior in Industrial and Systems Engineering. “But the rewards are also very high. I will tell you that we are fishing heavy cover with big sticks and braided line; the line we are using is good for topwater, flipping, and big worms.”
Feeling the pressure the Gator duo anchored today’s sack with a 7-pound lunker that Gipson said he caught mid-day. The two from Niceville, Fla., are not confident with a 12 pound lead and will not rest on their laurels tomorrow. They know and have shown that 15-20 pound sacks are possible on Lake Monroe and a second title is not just a give-me.
We’ll bring a few extra drinks and sandwiches tomorrow,” joked Matthew Wercinski, a senior in Business. “But we still have a few more nice fish to catch and we know they are out there.”
Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for nationals are:
3rd: Auburn University-Shaye Baker, Reeltown, Ala., and Jordan Lee, Vinemont, Ala., 12 bass, 18-6
4th: Kennesaw State University-Jake Akin, Powder Springs, Ga., and Thomas Frink, Kennesaw, Ga., nine bass, 18-5
5th: University of Central Florida-Len Gordon, Baker, Fla., and Miles Burghoff, Orlando, Fla., 10 bass, 16-3
A complete list of results can be found at www.CollegeFishing.com.
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.
The top five teams will take off from Monroe Harbour located at 531 North Palmetto Ave. in Sanford, Fla., at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Final weigh-in will be held at UCF – IOA Plaza: Bright House Networks Stadium following the UCF football game, at approximately 6:30 p.m. 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 are being 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 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday.
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.