November 12, 2010 by David A. Brown
RALEIGH, N.C. - When NC State's Jeff Bumgarner and Will White came to the stage for day two of the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Northern Regional Championship on Lake Jordan, they brought a little less and a lot more. Apparently, both changes helped them take the lead by a huge margin.
Okay, first the obvious stuff. After placing fourth on day one with 9-13, Bumgarner and White more than doubled their productivity by sacking up the event's heaviest catch - a team limit that weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces. Anchored by Bumgarner's pair of 6-plus-pounders, the massive bag gave NC State 32-1 and a lead of 7-8 over day one leaders Joe Kinchen and Tyler Teer of UNC Charlotte.
Now, the less obvious. When asked about what his team changed for day two, White shared this little gem: "We made one big change and it was last night. I was lying in bed and I decided to call brother and I said `You want to give me a Mohawk?' He said `Absolutely.' So he came downstairs and gave me a Mohawk."
Lifting his hat, White showed off his new `do. Whatever it takes.
FLWOutdoors host Jason Harper inquired about the aerodynamic benefits of White's hair style. The response was perfect: "I'm not sure what it does but it obviously attracts 6-pounders."
White said he and Bumgarner caught most of their day one fish on plastics but they switched gears and caught their day two bass on reaction baits. Both days, the anglers fished what they called "unnatural rock" - rip rap, shoreline rubble and anything other than the lake's natural bedrock. The presence of baitfish indicated a promising area.
"Today they were still on rock; just a little shallower than yesterday," White said. "We were marking a lot of bait but there was not a lot of surface activity because it was so windy. I don't think this is what most people typically think of when they think of fall, but for me, this is definitely a fall pattern to find what we were fishing."
NC State impressive day was even more impressive given that mechanical problems forced them to come to the dock for a midday repair. Even with this disruption, they managed to keep the fires stoked.
"We caught them pretty much all morning but we had to come in around noon to get a trolling motor changed out," Bumgarner said. "After that we just said `We're going to go back out and have some fun.' We knew we had a good weight in the boat but we went back out and I caught another 6-pounder and then we came in about 30 minutes early. We caught seven fish and culled one. It was just one of those days when every bite counted."
Looking ahead to Saturday's final round, White said he's confident that his team has plenty of options remaining: "We didn't fish any of our day one spots today, so if (our day two) fish stop biting, we have a backup pattern. But I think this pattern will hold up so we should be okay."
UNC Charlotte slips to second
They took the top spot on day one with a solid limit of 15-3, but day two was less generous for Kinchen and Teer. In the second round of competition, the UNC Charlotte anglers caught five for 9-6 and moved to second place with 24-9.
"We had a tough time today," Kinchen said. "Everywhere we caught fish yesterday we couldn't catch them today, so we just had to adjust on the water. We actually had a very similar pattern as yesterday. We just adjusted by going to different spots. We didn't catch any keepers off our primary spots.
"I think it was the fishing pressure. A lot of teams that knew we were in first place we actually saw them stacked up in some of our spots. So right off the bat, all of our good spots were already being hit."
Kinchen and Teer held their cards low when discussing the types of spots they fished. Generally, they noted that a specific combination of factors has determined where they've been fishing. Kinchen said they fished moving baits and they also fished targeted presentations.
"We were using multiple lures, but the pattern is more about what they're on," Kinchen said.
Teer said he and Kinchen have some spots identified, but they're also actively looking for that ideal scenario that has delivered for them thus far. "We're just going down the lake and whatever we think is going to be good is what we fish."
Kinchen summarized it this way: "It's junk fishing with a pattern."
Christopher Newport remains at third
Statistically, Christopher Newport's Ryan Ingalls and Joe Wilkerson have been the tournament's most consistent team. They have bagged their 6-fish limits both days, they've had the smallest difference between their day one weight (11-8) and day two weight (10-5) and they've held the third place spot both days. Their two day tally is 21-13.
Wilkerson said he and Ingalls used finesse baits early and switched to moving baits later in the day. Things got off to an agonizingly slow start, but once the day's bright conditions influenced the lake, the game took a turn for the better.
"We got two 12-inchers on finesse baits by 12 o'clock," Wilkerson said. "Then about 12:30 or 1 o'clock, the bite turned on with the moving baits and that's when we caught the other four fish. I think once the sun got up the afternoon bite turned on."
Ingalls said that perseverance was critical. "I think the key was not giving up when we only had two 12-inch fish at 12:30. I was really, really mad. But then we caught one and then moved back to the area where we caught most of our fish yesterday and it all came together."
NC State'sDziwulski and Beverly fall to fourth
Giving the hometown school double representation in the final round, NC State's Ben Dziwulski and Kevin Beverley saw their productivity drop off for day two. After catching five fish for 11-11 on day one, they bagged just four fish for 9-12 today and fell two notches to fourth with 21-7.
"It was slow, but it really wasn't any slower than it was yesterday," Dziwulski said. "We missed a couple of key opportunities in the morning. Kevin fought a fish all the way to the boat and the hook broke. If we had capitalized on a couple of those missed opportunities, we would have had just as much or more than yesterday."
However, Dziwulski said he and Beverley remain optimistic about their chances of repeating their 2009 Northern Regional victory. Noting that the finicky Lake Jordan bass are probably still a little out of sorts with the recent cold snap, he's confident that day three will find them more cooperative.
"The fish are there - they haven't gone anywhere," he said. "The shad is still there so their food source is there and it's just a matter of if we put them in the boat and everything comes together.
"As ridiculous as it sounds, the potential for 25-30 pounds is there. During practice, I was going out there and catching 15 pounds on my three fish and then catching 17 pounds the next day. That was hitting spots and leaving - that wasn't milking them. Tomorrow could be a fun day."
Dziwulski and Beverley have been catching their fish on moving baits.
Virginia Tech holds on to fifth place spot
Remaining in the fifth place position that they claimed on day one with 9-9 Carson Rejzer and Jody White of Virginia Tech added 11-8 today and secured their final round berth with 21-1.
"It was pretty scattered," White said of the day's sporadic action. "We got a couple in the morning but the afternoon was better for us. We didn't catch a lot of fish today, but we got the right bites."
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-10 leaders at the Western College Regional Championship:
6th: John Reading and Adrian Avena of Chestnut Hill College, 18-13.
7th: Wyatt Blevins and Michael Freas of Virginia Tech, 13-15
8th: Matthew Conners and Tyler Vaughn of Radford University, 13-8
9th: Corey Straight and Corey Hill of West Virginia University, 11-12
10th: Tyler Beam and Eric Self of UNC Charlotte, 11-8
Day three of FLW National Guard College Fishing Series action continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) at Ebenezer Boat Ramp located at 2882 Beaver Creek Road in Apex, N.C.