LUFKIN, Texas. – YETI FLW College Fishing will kick off the 2018 tournament season with an event Jan. 13 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. The tournament, which is hosted by the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the first of three regular-season events for anglers in the Southern Division, and will feature a top prize of a $2,000 club scholarship and an invitation to compete in the 2019 College Fishing National Championship.
“Sam Rayburn is fishing great right now,” said FLW Tour pro Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, a two-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “I think a lot of good limits will cross the stage at this event.”
Sprague said the reservoir is full of quality hydrilla right now, which means teams will have a lot to work with come tournament time.
“A lot of the anglers will be able to find wads of fish in the grass,” said Sprague. “Those little pods of fish are relating to creek channels and steeper drop-offs. This time of year they stay close to deep water and head out when a cold front moves through. It’s still a wintertime pattern – we’ve got a good two months before we see bass on the bank.
“You could also see teams catching them offshore around ledges and humps, in anywhere from 18 to 35 feet of water,” Sprague continued. “There are a lot of options out there.”
Sprague said lipless crankbaits and jigs will be popular in grassy areas, while Carolina rigs and umbrella rigs will be favored out deep.
“The fish are looking to eat, but not multiple times,” said Sprague. “If the reaction bite isn’t firing out deep, I see teams upgrading to something that’s bulky and slow like larger jigs and creature baits.”
The Texas pro predicted that a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds will be needed to win the one-day tournament.
Competitors will take off from Cassels-Boykin Park, located at 875 Farm-to-Market (FM) Road 3123 in Zavalla, Texas, at 7:30 a.m. CST Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the park 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 expected to compete in the Sam Rayburn Reservoir tournament include:
Angelo State University – Sterlyn Wood, Christoval, Texas, and Zachary Kuehler, Seymour, Texas
Angelo State University – Steven Armstrong, Brownwood, Texas, and Nathan Ahle, Plano, Texas
Angelo State University – Will Curlee, Round Rock, Texas, and Lance Culak, San Angelo, Texas
Arkansas Tech University – Hampton Hasek, Maumelle, Ark., and Bennett Pierce, Fort Smith, Ark.
Colorado State University – Alec Sloan, Carbondale, Colo., and Adam Deakin, Broomfield, Colo.
Colorado State University-Pueblo – Brian Nichols, Strasburg, Colo., and Austin Miles, Durango, Colo.
East Texas Baptist University – Mason Beatty, Hallsville, Texas, and Jacob Keith, Jefferson, Texas
Lone Star College-Montgomery – Chris Oakes, Conroe, Texas, and Joe Beebee, The Woodlands, Texas
Louisiana State University – James Kimbrough and Ryan Antee, both of Bossier City, La.
Louisiana State University – Jordan Gantt, Haunghton, La., and Garrett Brown, Stonewall, La.
McMurry University – Vic Hudman, Abilene, Texas, and Chad Moore, Mesquite, Texas
Northwestern State University – Tanner Mizell, Many, La., and Hutton Leppert, Minden, La.
Oklahoma State University – Bates Enmeier, Enid, Okla., and Dexter Flick, Olathe, Colo.
Oklahoma State University – Rhett Meyer, Stillwater, Okla., and Jake Biram, Tulsa, Okla.
Saint Philip’s College – Chase Hux, New Braunfels, Texas, and Donald Bradshaw, San Antonio, Texas
Sam Houston State University – Aaron Carley, Splendora, Texas, and Austin Pierce, Huntsville, Texas
Sam Houston State University – Bryton Kurtz, The Woodlands, Texas, and Justin Deborde, Buffalo, Texas
Sam Houston State University – Jackson Carrell, Anderson, Texas, and Kyle Pasket, Tomball, Texas
Stephen F. Austin State University – Robert Howard, Cypress, Texas, and Justin Noe, Spring, Texas
Stephen F. Austin State University – Will Hughes, Tyler, Texas, and Chandler Hayes, Sugarland, Texas
Texas A&M University-Commerce – Mason Ray and Michael Wallace, both of Plano, Texas
Texas A&M University – John Moore, Granbury, Texas, and Clark Mannas, Austin, Texas
Texas A&M University – Robert White, Bryan, Texas, and Colson Ginger, Roundrock, Texas
Texas A&M University-Galveston – Mathew Dove, Deer Park, Texas, and Aaron Batten, Houston, Texas
University of Arkansas-Monticello – Trey Rainwater III, Bastrop, La., and Hunter Fluitt, Sterlington, La.
University of Arkansas-Monticello – Gavin Watts, Bastrop, La., and Joseph Cheek, Downsville, Texas
University of Oklahoma – Andrew Fazzino and Grant Davis, both of The Woodlands, Texas
University of Oklahoma – Peyton Berkley, Norman, Okla., and Colton Risley, Yukon, Okla.
University of Texas-Tyler – Riley Henson and Jacob Honza, both of, Ennis, Texas
YETI 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 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats. The 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship will take place May 30-June 1 on the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission & Red River Waterway Commission.
YETI FLW 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 complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow YETI FLW College Fishing on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, and South Africa. 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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