UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Ohio River

Gators win it all

The University of Florida team of Jake Gipson and Matt Wercinski hoist their first-place check after winning the 2010 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship on Fort Loudoun Lake. For their efforts, the team won $100,000 in cash and prizes after recording a three-day stringer weighing 29 pounds, 10 ounces.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - It took more than a year for the first-ever National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship to finally unfold. But in the end it was clearly worth the wait. During a tense and nerve-wracking weigh-in on the final day, the University of Florida eked out a dramatic 9-ounce victory over rival Texas State University. With both teams standing onstage, Texas State University needed only 6 pounds, 13 ounces to walk away with the tournament title. As the University of Florida team of Jake Gipson and Matthew Wercinski looked on, the Texas State University team of David Cosner and Jay McCollum, who entered the day as the top qualifiers, weighed in their three-fish catch and awaited the official announcement. "Do you know CPR?" joked Cosner during the weigh-in's finals moments. Finally, the announcement came on the big electronic board - 6 pounds, 4 ounces. The Texas State University team had fallen short by a mere 9 ounces, handing the University of Florida Gators the inaugural FLW College Fishing National Championship title. "It's exactly what we dreamed of," said Wercinski. "It's awesome. I'm speechless. It's truly beyond words." University of Florida team member Jake Gipson shows off part of his team"I can't believe it," said Gipson, shortly after victory was announced. "I honestly thought (Texas State) had us. Usually three fish on this lake will weigh over 6 pounds. I don't even have words to describe how great this experience has been. Coming back to weigh-in, we're pretty depressed. We had a couple of opportunities, and we missed some fish. So to come out on top is just unreal." To be sure, the Florida Gators didn't take the easy road to the title. "We're in 11th place after day one, and we were really struggling," said Gipson. "So we knew we had to change things up. We decided to start fishing jerkbaits on main-lake points and throw jigs along riprap banks in backwater areas. That's what we did the last two days, and that really made a difference." "After day one, we didn't think we'd have a chance to even fish on Monday," said Wercinski, whose team ultimately recorded a three-day catch of 29 pounds, 10 ounces. "But we fished hard and we fished as a team - it was truly a team effort. When I struggled, Jake caught them. And when he struggled, I was able to catch them. We've been fishing together for four years, and now we've won the championship. It's just amazing - it's so amazing." For their efforts, Gipson and Wercinski walked away with a $100,000 total prize package - $50,000 for their university, $25,000 for their bass club and a brand-new, fully rigged Ranger 177TR bass boat wrapped in their school colors. The University of Florida team of Jake Gipson and Matt Wercinski proudly display their first-place trophy after winning the 2010 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship on Fort Loudoun Lake. For their efforts, the team won $100,000 in cash and prizes after recording a three-day stringer weighing 29 pounds, 10 ounces."We're going to look really good rolling around campus with a boat and truck in our school colors," said Wercinski. "That's pretty cool." In addition to the cash and prizes, Gipson also received an automatic invite to the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup for a chance to fish against the nation's top pros - as well as a chance to win the first-place prize of $600,000. Wercinski also locked up a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup as a co-angler, with a chance to net an additional $50,000. "That's just unreal," said Gipson of winning a place in the prestigious Forrest Wood Cup. "It's a dream come true to fish with the best bass fishermen. I don't even know what to say." "Me and my partner, Jake, will remember this day for the rest of our lives," said Wercinski. Of that, there is little doubt. Texas State University finishes in runner-up position In any tournament, there is jubilation and there is also heartache. For the Texas State University team of David Cosner and Jay McCollum, Monday's events were nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. Heading into the finals, Texas State University held the top qualifying position. But in the end, the team fell a mere 9 ounces short of their dream, finishing second overall after three days of grueling fishing and tremendous pressure. Texas State University team member David Cosner proudly displays his team's second-place catch during the finals of the 2010 FLW College Fishing National Championship."Wow," said Cosner, shortly after learning that his team had come so close to the title only to come up short at the very end. "It's crazy. I knew it was going to be close. We got a big bite again today, but it just wasn't big enough. But we'll take second place any day." McCollum also said he had mixed feelings about the final outcome. "To lose by 10 ounces is just crazy," said McCollum, whose team posted a three-day total of 29 pounds, 1 ounce. "It's a little sad. I wish we would have taken it. But it was an awesome experience. And, hey, we finished second in the nation." Cosner said that the team targeted bass most of the week by flipping a Jewel jig at docks, riprap and lay-downs. "I actually caught my last fish five minutes before we came in," he said. "It came unhooked and bounced around, but we managed to keep it in the boat. I thought that might have been the difference." But in the end, it was not to be. However, Texas State put up a valiant effort, especially since the team only started up their bass club this year - an amazing accomplishment to say the least. "I'm only a freshman, so I'll be around for a while," said Cosner. "Who knows? Hopefully I'll be back." For their efforts, the team won $25,000 for their bass club and another $25,000 for their university. Auburn lands in third place On the strength of a three-day catch of 28 pounds, 10 ounces, day-one leaders Shaye Baker and Dennis Parker propelled Auburn University to third place in the nation after the final championship weigh-in. While the team appeared to be close to unstoppable after the first day of competition, the duo stumbled on day two - opening the door for the rest of the competition. However, the team rebounded strongly on the third and final day of competition, bringing in the biggest stringer of the day at 10 pounds, 14 ounces to briefly take over the top spot on the leaderboard. "After yesterday, we didn't even think we'd make the cut," said Baker. "But now we're one of the top five teams in the nation. We went out there and did some different stuff today. And our decisions paid off big time. And that's all you can hope for. Taking a step back from everything, it was an awesome experience." "I dreamt of this day since I was a kid," said Parker. "We were on the right fish, but we just didn't get to them soon enough today. It took us until 12:30 to get our first fish in the boat, and then we finally realized what we needed to be doing. We saw two 3-pounders and another 4-pounder, but we didn't get them in the boat. Heading into today, we were just excited to be here. But then everything came into perspective for me this morning, and we really decided to go for it. In the end, we just came up a little short." Auburn University targeted bass by fishing a soft-plastic Net Bait Mini B Bug on main-lake points. They also chased bass in shallow, muddy water fishing a Net Bait B Bug. "It was definitely a chess game out there," said Baker. "We did great on the first day, and yesterday we bombed. Today we went back to fishing simple, the way we know how to fish, and it worked out. We did miss two fish today, but we finished as one of the top five teams in the nation. And we had a lot of fun." In the end, the team walked away with $25,000 in winnings, split between their bass club and university. Murray State nets fourth place After blanking on the second day of competition, Murray State University teammates Kalem Tippett and Steve Miller rebounded for a total three-day catch of 21 pounds, 8 ounces and a fourth-place finish. "It's been an awesome ride," said Tippett. "To be in contention for a title is all you can ask for going into the final day. Overall, it was a great opportunity." The Murray State University team took home $20,000 in cash, to be split evenly with their bass club and university. Texas A&M grabs fifth place Rounding out the top five teams at the 2010 FLW College National Championship was Texas A&M. Led by teammates Paul Manley and Andrew Shafer, the duo recorded a total three-day catch of 21 pounds, 7 ounces - finishing just 1 ounce out of fourth place. "It was tough out there today," said Manley. "The fish were there, but the size wasn't." While the team would have liked to have finished higher in the standings, they said fans should expect to see them again in the not-to-distant future. "We've already qualified for the (2010 FLW College Fishing) regionals, so hopefully we'll be back in the championship next April," said Shafer. For their efforts, the team walked away with $15,000 in winnings. 2010 CF Regional Championship schedule In conjunction with the National Championship, FLW Outdoors also announced the 2010 National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championship schedule. The top five teams from each of the regional championships will qualify for the 2011 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. The scheduled events include: • West Regional Championship Oct. 7-9, 2010 Folsom Lake, Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento State University • Southeast Regional Championship Oct. 21-23, 2010 Lake Monroe, Orlando, Fla. University of Central Florida • Northern Regional Championship Oct. 28-30, 2010 Jordan Lake, Raleigh, N.C. North Carolina State University • Central Regional Championship Nov. 4-6, 2010 Lake Monroe, Bloomington, Ind. Indiana University • Texas Regional Championship Nov. 11-13, 2010 Sam Rayburn, Nacogdoches, Texas Stephen F. Austin State University University of Florida team members receive congratulatory hugs from Texas State University after winning the 2010 FLW College Fishing National Championship.Related links Day-three results Meet the 2010 FLW College Fishing National Championship teams

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-08-31-top-10-patterns-from-lake-erie

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Erie

Most of the other top top-10 finishers found their fish over rocky bottom structure around the Pelee area. Drop-shots and crankbaits dominated the catches. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-matual-masters-erie

Matual Masters Erie

David Matual of Chicago, Ill., leaned on his spot hard and sacked up the biggest bag of day three weighing 22 pounds, 6 ounces. For his final-day rally he claimed the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division victory on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, fending off Jared Rhode by a mere 7 ounces. Drop-shotting over shallow reefs delivered all of Matual’s fish and earned him a check worth more than $31,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-webster-runs-and-guns-for-win

Webster Runs and Guns for Win

Michael Webster of Gastonia, North Carolina, brought a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 9 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division Super Tournament on Lake Wylie with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Webster earned $4,476. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-experience-pays-for-boggs

Experience Pays for Boggs

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought five bass totaling 13 pounds, 12 ounces to the scale Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division Super Tournament on Old Hickory Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 2 ounces. For his victory, Boggs earned $4,257. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-jig-crankbait-carry-gray-to-victory

Jig, Crankbait Carry Gray to Victory

Brandon Gray of Bullock, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 3 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division Super Tournament on Kerr Lake with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces. For his victory, Gray earned $5,886. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-hemken-searched-deep-for-bigger-bites

Hemken Searched Deep for Bigger Bites

Shawn Hemken of Walshville, Illinois, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 11 pounds, 6 ounces to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division Super Tournament on Lake Shelbyville with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 1 ounce. For his victory, Hemken earned $6,882. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-topwater-lifts-ragan-to-top

Topwater Lifts Ragan to Top

Thadeus Ragan of West Park, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 26 pounds, 8 ounces Sunday to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Gator Division Super Tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 47 pounds, 10 ounces. For his victory, Ragan earned $6,922. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-martinkovic-runs-away-with-title

Martinkovic Runs Away with Title

Chris Martinkovic of Hamilton, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Hoosier Division tournament on the Ohio River. For his victory, Martinkovic earned $6,244. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-29-lake-erie-day-3-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 3 Midday Update

Lake Erie put on a different face for day three of the final Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event. After a rough day one, yesterday’s calm and mostly sunny conditions offered comfortable running and fishing conditions. Today was still a far cry from the brutal waves of day one - and prior practice days - but windier conditions and overcast skies seemed to present a more challenging scenario. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-2

Top 5 Patterns From Lake Erie Day 2

Pennsylvania pro Dave Lefebre and Ohio pro Jared Rhode tied for the day-two lead in Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division action on Lake Erie with 43 pounds, 9 ounces. Both pros caught their fish on drop-shots. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lefebre-rhode-tied-at-the-top

Lefebre, Rhode Tied at the Top

Notching his second day of 20-plus pounds, FLW Tour pro Dave Lefebre tallied 43 pounds, 9 ounces and tied day-one leader Jared Rhode for the day-two top spot at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie. Lefebre caught his 22-3 limit on Rapala DT-10 crankbaits, while Rhodes tempted his 19-15 catch with drop-shots. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-28-lake-erie-day-2-midday-update

Lake Erie Day 2 Midday Update

With winds shifting from yesterday’s northerly blow to a warmer southerly direction, day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie brought calmer conditions with greater ability to methodically work key spots. Offshore, waves ran 1 to 2 feet, with leeward areas behind the Lake Erie Islands nearly flat. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-rhode-cracks-23-10-for-erie-lead

Rhode Cracks 23-10 for Erie Lead

Jared Rhode played his cards and the gamble paid off better than expected, as the pro from Port Clinton, Ohio, took the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event on Lake Erie with a limit catch weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-top-5-patterns-from-lake-erie-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake Erie Day 1

Taking off this morning, the FLW Tour pro from Erie, Pa., knew the day’s north wind would keep him from making a long run to a big-fish spot close to his home. However, keeping it local and fishing a little past Pelee Island to the west delivered a solid second-place catch. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-27-lake-erie-day-1-midday-report

Lake Erie Day 1 Midday Report

Winds have subsided considerably since practice, but Lake Erie’s still showing her temperamental side to Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division anglers fishing the last divisional event out of Sandusky, Ohio. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-25-top-10-patterns-from-the-forrest-wood-cup

Top 10 Patterns from the Forrest Wood Cup

If you don’t believe that summertime bass fishing in the dog days of August is all over the map, just take a look at the top 10 patterns from the best bass pros on earth at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Brad Knight captured the Cup by mining one small creek end for four days. But beyond that, the rest of the top 10 patterns ran the gamut, from targeting schoolers over 40 feet to wolf packs of bass on the bank to brush piles to grass to mud flats and everywhere in between. Here’s a rundown. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-knight-slays-ouachita

Knight Slays Ouachita

Lancing, Tenn., pro Brad Knight won the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart on Lake Ouachita with a four-day total of 51 pounds, 12 ounces. In front of a standing-room-only crowd at Bank of the Ozarks Arena in Hot Springs, Ark., Knight weighed in 11-07 on day four to surpass Jacob Wheeler, who started the day with a 12-ounce lead. Fishing in just one area all four days, Knight locked up the first win of his FLW career. He earned $500,000 for his victory and pushed his career earnings total to more than $688,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-23-forrest-wood-cup-day-4-coverage

Forrest Wood Cup Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-wheeler-back-in-front

Wheeler Back in Front

Jacob Wheeler loves Lake Ouachita. It’s where he fished his first Forrest Wood Cup in 2011, and it’s where he’ll take the tournament lead into the final day of competition at the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Wheeler, the 2011 Cup champion, led this tournament on day one and slipped a couple spots on day two. He now has a very slim 12-ounce lead over Tennessean Brad Knight. The anglers will square off tomorrow on Ouachita starting at 7 a.m. against the rest of the top 10 pros for the top prize of $500,000. READ MORE »

/news/2015-08-22-top-5-patterns-from-the-cup-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from the Cup Day 3

Jacob Wheeler may have regained his lead in the Forrest Wood Cup on day three, but Brad Knight is right on his heels. Going into the final day, the two pros are separated by just 12 ounces. The margin is tight, and what’s going to make the final day fun to watch is the difference in the two anglers’ strategies. Wheeler is running a topwater pattern on the main lake, and fishing new water is part of his plan. Knight, however, has caught almost all of his weight from one 250-yard stretch of bass-rich creek channel. He literally knows every target he is fishing by heart. On the surface, Knight’s area looks to be the better bet. But he has shared the general area with Brandon Cobb and Mark Daniels Jr. for three solid days. And the bad news, at least for Knight, is that both Cobb and Daniels will be sharing the water with him again on the final day as both made the top-10 cut. READ MORE »