BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Seminole April 6 for the third of four stops in the Southeastern Conference. Fifty college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Southeastern Conference Invitational tournament.
“I know that for a month the whole lake was chocolate milk and really high,” said Straight Talk pro JT Kenney of Palm Bay, Fla., who finished third in EverStart competition on Lake Seminole in 2012. “Down here in the Southeast, winter won’t let go. I’m in south Florida right now and it was 41 degrees this morning. It’s really cold. We are supposed to get a warming trend by the time the tournament starts, but I really don’t know what to expect.
“There’s some pretty big fish in the lake, but it doesn’t have a massive population of 2- to 4-pounders like a lot of lakes do,” Kenney continued. “When you take a limited number of fish and split them up in three different stages of the spawn, it could make for a tough tournament. There might be not a whole lot of limits caught.”
Kenney, who will be fishing the corresponding EverStart tournament on Seminole, concluded that practice would be especially critical for this tournament. “For Tour level events, I try to practice three days and for EverStarts, I usually only practice one or two,” said Kenney. “I’m going to be planning on four days of practice for this one just because I want to figure out what’s going on with the fish. It will be interesting to see how the tournament pans out. It’s not going to be one of those easy tournaments where you know what patterns will win beforehand.”
Kenney’s advice for the college anglers is to stick around the grassy areas of the lake. Any place on Seminole where you can find grass combined with cleaner water, tends to hold a good population of fish. Staying in those areas and cycling through different baits throughout the day could be the ticket to enticing the right bites on tournament day.
Anglers will take off from the Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin located at 100 Boat Basin Circle in Bainbridge, Ga., at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff site beginning at 1:30 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Schools competing in the Lake Seminole tournament, which is hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, include:
Auburn University – Timmy Ward, Childersburg, Ala., and Garrett Roberts, Cullman, Ala.
Auburn University of Montgomery – Tyler Strock, Slapout, Ala., and Corey Pierce, Prattville, Ala.
Bethel University – Jacob Hardy, Paris, Tenn., and Jake Lawrence, Union City, Tenn.
Clemson University – Matthew Garvin, York, S.C., and Hunter Cockram, York, S.C.
Coastal Carolina – Kristin Forquer, Hedgesville, W.V., and John Miller, Conway, S.C.
Columbus State University – Nathan Griffin, Midland, Ga., and Brad Davis, Winder, Ga.
Darton State College – Michael Crout , Leesburg, Ga., and Kyle Parks, Albany, Ga.
Daytona State College – Thomas Oltorik and Scott Heaberlin, both of Deland, Fla.
Elon University – Colin Oxnard, Savannah, Ga., and Michael Elefante, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Florida Atlantic – Chris Cardella, Delray Beach, Fla., and Vance Demartini, San Mateo, Calif.
Florida Gulf Coast – Hunter Bozeman, Ocala, Fla., and Ryan Duffey, Fort Myers, Fla.
Florida State University – Nicholas Harris, Marianna, Fla., and Brooks Woodward, Thomasville, Ga.
Freed-Hardeman University – Clint Horton, Selmer, Tenn., and Brad Martin, Murray, Ky.
Gardner-Webb University – Kyle Creed, Bessemer City, N.C., and Jessica Dowling, Granite Falls, N.C.
Georgia College – Clayton Faircloth, Swainsboro, Ga., and Chancey Gray, Milledgeville, Ga.
Georgia Southwestern State University – Chandler Ray, Arlington, Ga., and Carson Ray, Americus, Ga.
Jacksonville State University – Colby Smith and Justin Buckles, both of Jacksonville, Fla.
Kennesaw State University – Nicholas Friedrich, Acworth, Ga., and Kohl Lester, Taylorsville, Ga.
Lagrange College – Tyler Johnson, Marietta, Ga., and Torre Pike, Flat Rock, Ala.
Lander University – Roland Addy, Saluda, S.C., and Josh Bryan, Chappells, S.C.
Lincoln Memorial University – Chris Hunt, Loudon, Tenn., and Kyle Warwick, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Mississippi College – Josh Carver and Grant Phillips, both of Clinton, Ms.
Mississippi State – Taylor Odom, Meridian, Ms., and Josh Cameron, Starkville, Ms.
North Carolina State University – Tyler Mayhew, Lexington, N.C., and Josh Hooks, Raleigh, N.C.
Polk State College – Forrest Greenfield and Austin Bell, both of Winter Haven, Fla.
Santa Fe College – Cameron Petras, Gainesville, Fla., and Drew Cook, Quincy, Fla.
Seminole State College – Neal Combs, Osteen, Fla., and Kevin Lucas, Apopka, Fla.
Southern Polytechnic – Daniel Byrd, Fairburn, Ga., and Zachary Dixon, Rome, Ga.
Tennessee Tech – Adam Goodwin, Hendersonville, Tenn., and Cody Gass, Lynchburg, Tenn.
Tennessee Wesleyan College – John Higdon and Ben Graves, both of Athens, Tenn.
Troy University – Connor Bedsole, Arab, Ala., and Kevin Greene, Montgomery, Ala.
University of Alabama – Logan Johnson, Jasper, Ala., and Keith Kirkley, Northport, Ala.
University of Alabama-Birmingham – Matt Lipscomb, Springville, Ala., and Gregory Cain, Locust Fork, Ala.
University of Central Florida – Casey O’Donnell, Bradenton, Fla., and Chad Cook, Orlando, Fla.
University of Florida – Shelby Concon, Fruitland Park, Fla., and Kyle Smith, MacClenny, Fla.
University of Georgia – Byron Kenney, Griffin, Ga., and Bo Larkins, Watkinsville, Ga.
University of Mississippi – Costa Kell and Kevin Coan, both of Dallas, Texas
University of Montevallo – Joseph Handley, Hueytown, Ala., and Jonathan Suchey, Jasper, Ala.
University of North Alabama – Dawson Lenz, Peachtree City, Ga., and Evan Horne, Florence, Ala.
University of North Florida – Daniel Stephens, Middleburg, Fla., and C.K. Ryan, Orange Park, Fla.
University of North Georgia – Jonathan Sosebee, Clarksville, Ga., and Clint Coker, Demorest, Ga.
University of South Alabama – Jennings Earnest and Ethan Wages, both of Mobile, Ala.
University of South Carolina – Zack Davis, Rock Hill, S.C., and Hampton Anderson, Anderson, S.C.
University of South Florida – Nick Ahearn, Sebring, Fla., and Matthew Reeves, Hilliard, Fla.
University of Southern Mississippi – John Ladner, Kiln, Ms., and Christopher Warshauer, Picayune, Ms.
University of Tennessee – Hunter Shults, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and John Svancarek, Knoxville, Tenn.
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Parker Bacon, Nashville, Tenn., and Taylor Bolton, Chattanooga, Tenn.
University of Tennessee-Martin – Hayden Smith, Dickson, Tenn., and Alex Derry, Martin, Tenn.
Valdosta State University – Grant Colson and Michael Harbach, both of Valdosta, Ga.
Wake Forest University – Graham Rich, Lafayette, La., and Taylor Zacks, Winston Salem, N.C.
Three regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western. The top 15 teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five two-day FLW College Fishing Conference Invitational tournaments, where the first-place team wins $4,000 for their club. The top 10 teams from each Conference Invitational advance to the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
College Fishing is free to enter. 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.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water.” For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.