West Virginia University Grabs Day One Lead at YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance - Major League Fishing
West Virginia University Grabs Day One Lead at YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance
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West Virginia University Grabs Day One Lead at YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance

Image for West Virginia University Grabs Day One Lead at YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Potomac River presented by Lowrance
Nolan Minor, Thomas Raines Photo by Charles Waldorf.
June 4, 2019 • FLW Communications • Abu Garcia College Fishing

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. – The University of West Virginia duo of Nolan Minor of Charlottesville, West Virginia, and Thomas Raines of Oxon Hill, Maryland, grabbed the early lead Tuesday after Day One of the 2019 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Potomac River presented by Lowrance. The Mountaineers team brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces, giving them a 9-ounce cushion over the second place team of Jarrett Martin and Nickolas Marsh from Michigan’s Adrian College.

“We fished north of takeoff, mainly fishing around the bridge area and just looking for docks, grass – anything that looked good,” said Raines, a senior majoring in landscape architecture. “We hit about seven different areas and it was all new water, nothing we practiced.”

“We caught around 12 keepers,” added Minor, a junior majoring in marketing. “We didn’t have a good practice, so it kind of allowed us to just fish free. If something looked good, we fished it. I wouldn’t call it junk fishing, but it was pretty close to it. We caught several 2½-pound fish today and on one spot we pulled up and caught four between 2½ to 3 pounds in 10 minutes. We hadn’t practiced there, and we left them biting hoping that they might help us later.”

Although the duo was tight-lipped about specific presentations, they did mention that they caught their fish using just two different baits. Their limit was anchored by a big largemouth estimated to weigh between 5 to 6 pounds.

“We feel good about where we are at,” Minor said. “I’d like to figure out that big bite again, because that fish was not doing what the others were.”

“We definitely laid off on some spots, so I’m hoping that we can have another good day tomorrow,” Raines went on to say. “We’re going to fish everything that we fished today and our backup plan is to hit our practice holes if we have to.”

The three-day event features the top college bass fishing teams from across the nation competing in an internationally-televised no-entry fee tournament for the top prize of up to $50,000, including a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 115-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2019 FLW Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, held August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The full field of 148 teams compete on Tuesday and Wednesday, with only the top-10 – based on two-day cumulative weight – advancing to Championship Thursday. The National Champions will be crowned Thursday based on the cumulative three-day weight total.

The top 10 teams after Day One on the Potomac River are:

 1st:  West Virginia University – Nolan Minor, Charlottesville, Va., and Thomas Raines, Oxon Hill, Md., five bass, 18-5
 2nd:  Adrian College – Jarrett Martin, Gallipolis, Ohio, and Nickolas Marsh, Walled Lake, Mich., five bass, 17-12
 3rd:  Bethel University – Tristan McCormick, Burns, Tenn., and Dakota Pierce, Ava,  Mo., five bass, 17-7
 4th:  SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry – Patrick Durand, Cherry Hill, N.J., and Benjamin Schultes, Ontario, N.Y., five bass, 17-2
 5th:  University of Tennessee – Jordan Burdette, Knoxville, Tenn., and Saxton Long, Pulaski, Tenn., five bass, 16-15
 6th:  Sam Houston State University – Dillon Harrell, New Caney, Texas, and Taylor Harp, Porter, Texas, five bass, 16-15
 7th:  Murray State University – Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson, both of Bloomington, Ind., five bass, 16-13
 8th:  University of Montevallo – J.T. Russell, McCalla, Ala., five bass, 16-7
 9th:  Bethel University – Brian Pahl, Eureka, Mo., and John Coble Garrett, Union City, Tenn., five bass, 16-5
 10th:  University of Pittsburgh – Dominic Vitale, Shickshinny, Pa., and Henry Colberg, Pittsburgh, Pa., five bass, 16-0

For a full list of results, visit FLWFishing.com.

Overall there were 575 bass weighing 1,472 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 141 college teams Tuesday. The catch included 86 five-bass limits.

The FLW College Fishing National Championship anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park, located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury, at 7 a.m. EDT each morning, June 4 to June 6. All weigh-ins will be held at the State Park, beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Television coverage of both events will premiere in the fall of 2019. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs each Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST and is broadcast to more than 63 million cable, satellite and telecommunications households in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean on the World Fishing Network (WFN), the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.

The popular FLW Live on-the-water program will air on Days Three and Four– Wednesday, June 5, and Thursday, June 6, for the College Fishing National Championship. FLW Live features live action from the boats of the tournament’s top anglers each day. Host Travis Moran will be joined by FLW Tour pro Miles Burghoff and FLW emcee Chris Jones to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.

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 advance to the FLW College Fishing National Championship. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats.

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 FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

About FLW
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, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe. 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 FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

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