GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama duo of Houston Calvert of Hayden, Alabama, and Justin Lane of Florence, Alabama, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Guntersville presented by Bass Pro Shops Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the Lion’s bass club $2,400 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We had three or four days of sunshine where it was 60 to 72 degrees, and I think a big wave was pushing up,” said Calvert, a senior majoring in marketing. “As you can tell, everybody found that. That’s the biggest weights I’ve seen in a college tournament. I really wanted it to be 30 pounds. I really thought we had 30. It was close, but maybe another time.”
“It’s just left me speechless, to be honest with you,” added Lane, a junior business management major. “It was one of those days you dream about. It’s just incredible that it happened in a tournament for us. That’s the biggest bag I’ve ever caught in my life.”
The warm spell Calvert described sort of fizzled by the tournament as a cold front brought lower temps and rain, which the team thinks caused some of the fish that were headed for the bank in practice to slide back out into hydrilla beds.
That’s where the Lions found their winning fish, targeting a single pocket all day long.
“We started out throwing a ChatterBait in grass in 6 to 8 feet,” Calvert said. “We probably had, I want to say, 12 pounds within 30 to 45 minutes of blast off. It rained there for two to three hours, and we just moved up on the bank with it raining. He [Lane] threw a Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm, and I threw the NetBait Big Bopper. We were swimming them around hydrilla.”
The shallower shift mostly produced smaller bass due to all the bucks up on the bank, so once the rain quit, Lane and Calvert slid back out. Lane added a solid 4-plus keeper with a Rat-L-Trap, and gradually the team chipped away at a nice limit.
What sealed the deal was a pair of kickers late in the afternoon that left Calvert and Lane with a limit comprised of one keeper close to 7 pounds, three 6-pounders and one about 4.
“We saw some shad running in the grass,” Calvert recalled. “We sat down and cut off our green pumpkin and black and blue ChatterBaits and tied on a white ChatterBait with a Keitech FAT on the back of it. Once we changed to white, right before weigh-in we culled two – big time. I know we culled at 2:15, and once we made that last cull we put everything up and went to the ramp.
“I think if the weather was going to be warm next week they would be spawning,” Calvert went on to say. “They want to spawn so bad. There are a lot of bucks up shallow. We probably caught, I would say, 30 fish. Probably 20 of those were 2-pounders. The other 10 were anywhere from 3 to 6 pounds. Pretty much everybody I talked to caught 30 to 40 fish.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2020 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University of North Alabama – Houston Calvert, Hayden, Ala., and Justin Lane, Florence, Ala., five bass, 29-3, $2,400
2nd: Bethel University – Dax Ewart, Humboldt, Tenn., and Kristopher Queen, Catawba, N.C., five bass, 28-5, $1,200
3rd: Bethel University – Nathon Portch and Cully Scroggins, both of McKenzie, Tenn., five bass, 27-15, $500
4th: Calhoun Community College – Jordan Thompson, Hartselle, Ala., and Landon Smith, Decatur, Ala., five bass, 25-3, $500
5th: University of Montevallo – Justin Barnes, Monroeville, Ala., and Adam Carroll, Carrollton, Ga., five bass, 25-3, $500
6th: Lipscomb University – Wesley Culpepper and Scout Monteith, both of Nashville, Tenn., five bass, 24-9
7th: Lander University – Chasten Beck and Andrew Pridgen, both of Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 24-8
8th: Savannah College of Art & Design – Adam White, Savannah, Ga., and Cody Stahl, Griffin, Ga., five bass, 24-8
9th: University of South Carolina – Tyler Turnage, Lexington, S.C., and John Malone-Grippe, Simpsonville, S.C., five bass, 23-8
10th: Blue Mountain College – Isaac Duncan, Summit, Miss., five bass, 23-8
FLW also advances one additional team to the National Championship for every 10 teams over 100 that compete. A total of 208 teams participated in this event, so also advancing to the 2020 College Fishing National Championship are:
11th: University of West Georgia – Jake Buchanan, Carrollton, Ga., and Ty Mossberg, Brooks, Ga., five bass, 23-2
12th: University of North Alabama – Triston Crowder, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and Lake Blasingame, Killen, Ala., five bass, 22-10
13th: Polk State College – Evan Wieber, Lakeland, Fla., and Jacob Eaton, Fort Myers, Fla., five bass, 22-2
14th: Georgia College – Bryan Kanaskie, Newnan, Ga., and Michael Strickland, Peachtree City, Ga., five bass, 22-1
15th: Blue Mountain College – Chandler Boman, New Albany, Miss., and Ty Cox, Guntown, Miss., five bass, 21-10
16th: University of North Alabama – Hunter McCarty, Dora, Ala., and Sloan Pennington, Childersburg, Ala., five bass, 21-7
17th: University of North Alabama – Garett Marler, Olive Branch, Miss., and Benson Dowler, Pell City, Ala., five bass, 21-6
18th: Bryan College – Conner DiMauro, Longwood, Fla., and Cole Sands, Calhoun, Tenn., five bass, 21-2
19th: Bethel University – Kyle Palmer, Estill Springs, Tenn., and John Coble Garrett, Union City, Tenn., five bass, 21-1
20th: Calhoun Community College – Tanner Eaves and Nathan Wight, both of Elkmont, Ala., five bass, 20-12
Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Guntersville presented by Bass Pro Shops was hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was the second of three regular-season qualifying tournaments for Southeastern Conference anglers. The next event for FLW College Fishing anglers will be the 2019 FLW College Fishing Open, March 12-13 at Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky.
YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. 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. The top 10 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 2020 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 Potomac River and Marbury, Maryland, will play host to the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, June 4-6, 2019.
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, and YouTube.
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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 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 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, and YouTube.
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