November 13, 2010 by David A. Brown
RALEIGH, N.C. - The misty specter enshrouding the launch site on Beaver Creek obscured all but one thing - NC State's Jeff Bumgarner and Will White bring a huge lead into day two of the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Central Regional Championship on Lake Jordan.
A brief, but thick fog delayed the final launch by about 15 minutes, but once the rising sun intensified enough to suppress the vapor, the top five teams headed out for a chilly day with the promise of constant sunshine and calm winds. Jordan has produced several nice fish this week - including Bumgarner's twin 6-pounders that anchored his team's whopping day two weight of 22-4 and gave them a 7-8 lead. However, with a cold snap overlapping the tournament, many teams have struggled to find consistency.
Bumgarner and White completely abandoned their day one pattern on day two. And, while there second day's plan paid big dividends, they're comfortable knowing that the day one deal remains viable.
"One of our (day one) spots will definitely be a backup in case the fish aren't biting," White said. "Yesterday, we were sitting on another spot because it's a really good spot. We knew we had a good sack, so we stayed off of it, but we'll definitely fish there today."
The leaders missed their first day's limit by one fish, so they'll need to secure quality and quantity today. "We feel pretty good, but just like (day two), someone could come in with a 20-pound sack, so we really have to fish hard today. We have to get a 15-pound sack to guarantee the win.
"There's still big fish on our spots. We caught quality fish both days on two different patterns and two different sets of spots. So we're pretty sure there' at least one more big fish in all that and then we can at least limit out."
One of their strategies for maximizing Jordan's potential is scent. White slathers his baits with Carolina Lunker Sauce, while Bumgarner uses Yum scent spray to mask any extraneous odors on his plastics.
UNC Charlotte's Joe Kinchen and Tyler Teer, who lead the field on day one, struggled with a slower day two bite and start the final day in second with 24-9. They've had two slow mornings in a row, so they're hoping to find an early bite.
"One of the teams happened to find some fish, but they didn't qualify (for day three), so we're going to go check it out," Kinchen said. "We haven't caught a fish since before 10 a.m. this entire tournament."
Teer said he and his partner won't try to force their afternoon pattern on the morning hours today. "We're going to switch to something completely different today and hope it works out. If we can get a morning bite to match out afternoon bite, we'll do a lot better."
Holding the number three spot with 21-13, Ryan Ingalls and Joe Wilkerson of Christopher Newport have done something no other team has done in this tournament - they bagged a 6-fish limit both days (11-8 and 10-5). Although the big bites have eluded them, their consistency could play a big role in their final position.
Doubling the NC State presence, defending 2009 Northern Regional champions Ben Dziwulski and Kevin Beverley began the day in fourth place. Despite trailing Bumgarner and White by more than 10 pounds at 21-7, Beverley said he's optimistic that his team's perseverance will pay off. Essentially, they've been fishing shallow running crankbaits over wood and rock all week. Their spots produced big numbers in practice but the cold snap slowed the bite. However, Beverley said three days of sunshine and today's calm conditions may flip the switch.
"The fish are still there; I just think they're in shock with this cold weather," Beverley said. "The weather's stabilizing and I think the fish are going to adjust. A lot of teams have gotten off their pattern and they're doing something different, but Ben and I are doing the same thing. I think it's coming together and I think we can go out and catch the same or better than our first day (11-11)."
With all of their bites coming later in the day so far, Dziwulski and Beverley will be diligently seeking a morning bite. The fog didn't claim enough time to completely trash any early plans, so they're hoping to get the ball rolling more quickly today.
Dziwulski agreed, adding: "If we can get one or two fish early, that will give us a little wiggle room. Ten pounds isn't a lot to make up. On this lake, that's two good bites."
In fifth place, Virginia Tech's Jody White and Carson Rejzer will fish jigs and lipless crankbaits, respectively. Starting the day 11 pound off the lead with 21-1, the anglers know they have a lot of ground to make up, but Rejzer said they have a plan.
"We found a good pattern yesterday afternoon that hopefully holds up for us today," he said. "There's no wind, which is kind of a bummer but we will be able to see if those fish are still there. They should be holding tight to cover and if there's a little bit of current moving there that'll be key but we have a good spot where we'll hold out all day and see if we can catch some big fish like we did yesterday."
The top five FLW College Fishing teams from each of the four regular-season Northern Division tournaments gained automatic entry into the 2010 Northern Regional Championship at North Carolina State University. During the three-day regional event, 20 two-man collegiate angling teams will compete for a top award of $50,000 to be split evenly between the school and its bass fishing club.
The top five teams from each regional championship, 25 total teams, will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship that will be hosted by Murray State University on Kentucky Lake, April 7-9. The National Championship is a three-day televised event. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The first-place team will win $100,000 with $50,000 of that for their school and $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat for their fishing club along with a berth in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.
Weigh-ins will be held at NC State University - Carter Finley Stadium, Gate E, located at Lot 6000 Trinity Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh, N.C. beginning at 5 p.m. daily. Weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The NC State University also is hosting the College Fishing Festival today. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to live music, the National Guard Warrior Challenge, a Ranger Boat simulator, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize give-aways. The festival will take place at Carter Finley Stadium 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Sunrise: 6:49 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 30 degrees
Expected high temperature: 67 degrees
Water temperature: 60-63 degrees
Wind: from the North at 5 mph
Max. Humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny