HARTWELL, Ga. – The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts, and Grant Tattersall, of Sterling, Virginia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We were able to get out on the water on Wednesday and Thursday for some practice time, and we spent 99% of that time side-scanning with our electronics and looking for points that had a lot of baitfish,” said McQuaide, a senior majoring in Marketing. “We had found seven or eight solid points that held fish, and we planned to just cycle through them and dial in the fish during the tournament.
“On tournament day, we drew boat No. 7 and were able to get to our best spot – a big flat alongside a point that was close to the main-river channel,” McQuaide continued. “We caught a couple of fish on the first spot, but then when we went to leave the outboard wouldn’t start. It ended up being a fuse in the engine, and was not something that we could fix on the water.
“As I was trying to diagnose the problem, Grant was on the trolling motor fishing off of the front of the boat and had caught a 3-pounder and a 2½-pounder, so we decided that the only thing that we could do was to just slow down and milk the area. We ended up winning the tournament on that one spot.”
The duo said that their key baits were a Lucky Craft spybait, a Strike King jerkbait, a swimbait and a green-pumpkin-colored football jig with a watermelon-colored Strike King Rage Twin Tail Menace Grub.
“I think we ended up catching around 12 keepers throughout the day,” said Tattersall, a senior majoring in Marine Science. “We fished shallow in the morning with the spybait and the jerkbait, then we moved offshore in the afternoon and threw the football jig and the swimbait and started getting some bigger bites.”
The duo credited their Lowrance electronics and their Navionics lake charts as being the key to their tournament win.
“To get the win after being forced to fish in one spot really makes it seem like this was meant to be,” said Tattersall. “The key was really our electronics. We had located a couple of deep boulders at the end of the point that the fish were really keyed on. Every time we’d bounce our bait off the boulders, we’d get a reaction bite. We never would have even seen them without our Lowrance graphs.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2020 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Coastal Carolina University – Max McQuaide, Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, Sterling, Va., five bass, 13-11, $2,000
2nd: Carson-Newman University – Lee Rose Koza, Marietta, Ga., and Maddux Walters, Canton, Ga., five bass, 13-3, $1,000
3rd: Lander University – Evan Slentz, Abbeville, S.C., and Colin Slentz, Iva, S.C., five bass, 12-14, $500
4th: University of Montevallo – Trey Dickert, Greer, S.C., and Miller Spivey, Tyler, Ala., five bass, 12-10, $500
5th: Bryan College – Griffin Heffington, Coal Mountain, Ga., and Justin Botts, Bluff City, Tenn., five bass, 12-7, $500
6th: University of North Georgia – Hunter Stewart, Ballground, Ga., and Justin Padgett, Cumming, Ga., five bass, 12-5
7th: Blue Mountain College – Fisher Overton, Jackson, Tenn., and Fisher Young, Smithville, Miss., five bass, 12-2, $400
8th: Calhoun Community College – Landon Nelson, Falkville, Ala., and Michael Childers, Union Grove, Ala., five bass, 12-1
9th: University of North Alabama – Josh Wadkins and Ty James, both of Iuka, Miss., five bass, 12-1
10th: University of Central Florida – Dawson McGovern, Ashburn, Va., and William Thomas, Clermont, Fla., five bass, 11-13
Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
The YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Hartwell presented by Costa was hosted by the Hart County Chamber of Commerce. It was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament for Southeastern Conference anglers and the final FLW College Fishing event of the 2019 season.
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, scheduled for Feb. 26-28 on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Leesburg, Florida. 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 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, 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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