PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. – YETI FLW College Fishing is headed to the Mississippi River Oct. 7 for the third and final regular-season event in the Central Conference. The tournament, presented by Bass Pro Shops, will feature college fishing teams casting for a $2,000 club scholarship and an invitation to compete in the 2018 College Fishing National Championship.
“The river is low and not as clear as you’d like it be, but the fishing will be good,” said FLW Tour pro Matthew Stefan, of Junction City, Wisconsin, who finished eighth when the Tour visited the Mississippi River in May. “Smallmouth will definitely be a player, but I think a mixed limit will win this event. This time of year you hope to get a couple of good smallmouth in the boat early and then target largemouth the rest of the day.”
Stefan said that unseasonably high water temperatures have affected bass’ fall migration patterns. Normally, he noted, teams could sit in one area and get plenty of bites but this year that may be more difficult to do.
“Water temperatures are in the low 70s which is very unusual,” said Stefan. “Usually largemouth are following shad into backwaters and smallmouths are in wing dams, but a lot of them aren’t – they’re scattered. Guys are going to have to bounce around from spot to spot until they find one that produces more than a few bites.”
Stefan said he expects many teams to reach for topwater baits. He also listed umbrella rigs, swimbaits and jigs as strong bets.
“Smallmouth will be relating to main-river wing dams, sand drops and current seams,” said Stefan. “Largemouth will be mixed in too, but they’ll also be in backwaters where shad are migrating. Deep water, near trees and weeds, make great ambush points and will likely hold fish.”
The Wisconsin veteran went on to predict that a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds will be needed to win the tournament.
Competitors will take off from the Washington Street Ramp, located at West Washington & North Main in Prairie du Chien, at 7 a.m. CDT Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the ramp beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Schools are allowed to register up until the morning of the tournament. Entries may be made either by phone or at CollegeFishing.com.
Schools currently registered to compete in the Mississippi River tournament, which is hosted by the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce, include:
Bellarmine University – James Kuhns, Louisville, Ky., and Joseph Allgeier, Bardstown, Ky.
Bellarmine University – Trevor Hulsey and Eric Shinkle, both of Louisville, Ky.
Bemidji State University – Austin Mau and Isaac Johnson, both of Bemidji, Minn.
Central College – Spencer Welch, Hubbard, Iowa, and Kyle Berst, Bettendorf, Iowa
Eastern Kentucky University – Blake Riley, Henderson, Ky., and Corey Elliott, London, Ky.
Georgetown College – Hunter Osborne, Irvine, Ky., and Jacob Locke, Dothan, Ala.
Georgetown College – Lucas Harrison, Stamping Ground, Ky., and Hans Mikelsoo, Cynthiana, Ky.
Illinois State University – Tyler Rocke, Peoria, Ill., and Justin Schick, Morton, Ill.
Kansas State University – Sheldon Rogge, St. George, Kan., and Adam Fuchs, Manhattan, Kan.
Marquette University – Mackenzie Nick, Fond Du Lac, Wis., and Michael Galeana, Livonia, Mich.
McKendree University – Austin Niggli, Highland, Ill., and Brock Wilke, Saint Rose, Ill.
McKendree University – Blake Jackson, Carterville, Ill., and Ethan Jones, Worden, Ill.
McKendree University – Brian McClanahan, Elkville, Ill., and Dailus Richardson, Benton, Ill.
McKendree University – Curtis Lilly, Sterling, Ill., and Austin Chapman, Blue Mound, Ill.
McKendree University – Nathan Doty, Decatur, Ill., and Joseph Bruener, Douglas, Texas
McKendree University – Seth Hornsby, Morris, Ill., and Chris Thompson, Sandwich, Ill.
Missouri State University – Crosley Welch, Branson, Mo., and Hayden Lee, Jefferson City, Mo.
Moraine Valley Community College – John Neubauer and Andrew Jensen, both of Oak Lawn, Ill.
Northwest Missouri State University – Krete Bullington, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Landon Paul, Fairmont, W. Va.
Northwest Missouri State University – Nathan Itao, Platte City, Mo., and Brett Neal, Conway, Mo.
Southern Illinois University – Kyle Schingoethe, Itasca, Ill., and Ryan Spencer, Tolono, Ill.
Southeast Missouri State University – Nick Moore, Desoto, Mo., and Jacob Harris, Bonne Terre, Mo.
St. Ambrose University – Cole Atkinson and Tanner Atkinson, both of Camanche, Iowa
University of Iowa – Jake Usher, Ionia, Iowa, and Bryan Mouser, Iowa City, Iowa
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse – Eric Ulry, Marshfield, Wis., and Colby Wolff, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh – Michael Anderson, Lake Tomahawk, Wis., and Johnny Moua, Eau Claire, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater – Ross Phelps, Edgerton, Wis., and Brett Yahnke, Janesville, Wis.
Western Illinois University – Wesley Lashmett, Winchester, Ill., and Matt Wolz, Joliet, Ill.
Winona State University – Luke Kerstetter, Brookfield, Minn., and Tyler Berg, Rushford, Minn.
Winona State University – Mason Garin, Spring Valley, Wis., and Aric Avestruz, River Falls, Wis.
Winona State University – Wyatt Stout, Sauk City, Wis., and Tayler Stolpa, Winona, Minn.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Red River, hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission & Red River Waterway Commission. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats.
College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.
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 FLWFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
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