SHREVEPORT, La. – For the third time in YETI FLW College Fishing history, the National Championship winners Hunter Freeman and Thomas Soileau from the University of Louisiana-Monroe faced off Saturday in a one-day fish-off on the Red River to decide which team member would represent their school at the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.
After the scales settled and the final fish had been weighed, Freeman won the automatic entry into the Forrest Wood Cup after weighing a five-bass limit totaling 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Soileau weighed a five-bass limit totaling 6 pounds, 9 ounces, giving Freeman the win and advancing him to compete against the best anglers in the world August 10-12 on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, at the Forrest Wood Cup.
“This has been an incredible week,” said Freeman, a junior majoring in business administration who resides in Monroe, Louisiana. “I’ve been on the water so much over the past few weeks that I am mentally and physically exhausted, but winning the championship with Thomas and now getting to compete at the Forrest Wood Cup makes it all so worth it.”
Freeman is guaranteed at least a $10,000 paycheck, as that amount is awarded to the last-place finisher at the Forrest Wood Cup. The angler that wins the Forrest Wood Cup will earn $300,000 – professional bass fishing’s most lucrative prize.
“Every little boy’s dream is to fish in the biggest tournament there is, and that’s the Forrest Wood Cup,” Freeman said. “When they announced this tournament on the Red River, I said, ‘That’s my shot. If I’m ever going to make it, I have to do it.’
“I spent so much time and money up here practicing. To make it, it’s a dream come true. I’m not just going to show up at the Cup; I’m going to try to bring it and represent the whole College Fishing crowd.”
The final standings after the one-day fish-off on the Red River were:
1st: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Hunter Freeman, Monroe, La., five bass, 7-11, Entry into 2018 Forrest Wood Cup
2nd: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Thomas Soileau, Monroe, La., five bass, 6-9
Full results and standings for the 2018 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship can be found at FLWFishing.com.
The 2018 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance C-MAP Genesis on the Red River was hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission & Red River Waterway Commission and featured 168 of the top college bass fishing clubs from across the nation competing for the top prize of $30,000, including a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard.
Television coverage of the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance C-MAP Genesis on the Red River will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Aug. 15 from Noon -1 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
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 fishing club recognized by their college or university.
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, South Africa and Spain. 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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