BETHEL ISLAND, Calif. – The Simpson University duo of Jayden Nezy of Page, Arizona, and Nathan Phillips of Kelseyville, California, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the California Delta Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 24 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the Red Hawks’ bass club a slot in the 2023 MLF College Fishing National Championship.
“We just fished the marina all day,” Phillips said. “The game plan was to start there and get maybe a 15-pound limit, then run around that general area the rest of the day and try to cull.
“We got in there and our first fish was the big one – the 6-15 – and the next was 5½ pounds,” Phillips said. “We had four fish at 9 o’clock that weighed about 18 pounds.”
Phillips said he gave those fish a break and moved the team south to chase the tide. After an hour, Phillips returned to their starting spot to fish the outgoing tide and stayed there the rest of the day. Their last fish came at 12:30 p.m.
Phillips said the team relied on a vibrating jig fished in grass and wood on one side of the marina and pilings on the other side. Phillips said Nezy was finesse fishing out of the back of the boat while Phillips focused on parallel casts to targets. Phillips said they caught 15 fish throughout the day – 10 of which were keepers.
“The biggest thing was getting the bait deep enough to the fish,” Phillips said. “I threw a half-ounce bait and fished it pretty slow just trying to get it down to them.”
The Top 10 teams that advanced to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:
Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the California Delta was the final of three regular-season tournaments for Western Conference anglers. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the Mississippi River, July 29 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
MLF College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The Top 10 teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the Top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open will advance to the following season’s National Championship. The 2022 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI National Championship Presented by Lowrance will be held on Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma, March 29-31, 2023, and is hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular College Fishing updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.