UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Wildcats win it all

The Northwestern University team of Jimmy Morrow (right) and Matthew Kestufskie show off their first-place check after winning the FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship on Kinkaid Lake.

CARBONDALE, Ill. - Heading back to final weigh-in, the Northwestern University team of Jimmy Morrow and Matthew Kestufskie appeared to have a day they'd wish to forget. As it turned out, it was a day they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Despite bringing zero fish to the scales, Northwestern scored an amazing victory at the FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship simply by outlasting the rest of the final-day field. With every other top-five team only recording one fish on the final and most important day of competition, Northwestern managed to eke out a tense and decidedly hard-fought 4-ounce victory.

"We (incorrectly) heard that one of the teams had caught three fish so we're punching the dashboard all the way back to weigh-in," said Morrow. "We missed a lot of fish today and all of our other patterns failed us. We thought for sure we weren't going to win."

Morrow's partner had equally low expectations.

"I lost two big keepers in 15 minutes and I knew if we had caught those fish we would have wrapped this tournament up," said Kestufskie. "It was tough out there today. We had the two bites we needed but they came off."

So what did they think about netting one of the most improbable victories in the history of FLW College Fishing?

"It's the best win I've ever had," said Morrow. "It's one of the coolest moments of my life."

"It's just awesome," added Kestufskie. "Now we finally have a boat."

As the second place UW Stevens Point team looks on, Northwestern University teammates Jimmy Morrow and Matthew Kestufskie share an embrace winning the FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship.For their efforts, the duo walked away with $37,500 in winnings for the bass club - which includes $12,500 in cash as well as a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors - and $12,500 for Northwestern University.

Throughout the week, the team relied heavily on topwater frogs, targeted grass flats and banks near the marina.

"It's just been a great tournament," said Morrow. "And now we get to fish for the national championship. It doesn't get much better than that."

UW Stevens Point settles for runner-up spot

After leading the tournament on the first day of competition, the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point team of Ted Johnson and Jody Derks stumbled a bit on day two, relinquishing the overall lead and settling for second place. Unfortunately for them, that's the position they ultimately found themselves by the time final weigh-in had concluded. Despite recording a single fish weighing in at 2 pounds, 4 ounces, it wasn't quite enough as they came up an agonizing 4 ounces short of the title.

"It was an emotional rollercoaster ride all week," said Johnson. "Right now I'm really kind of upset. I hate losing. It was a tough bite out there today. It was a tough bite all week."

To make matters worse, the team broke off the winning fish and had another fish come loose before they could get it in the net.

"I broke off a big one today and I wish I could go back four hours and tell myself to put on 10-pound test line instead of 8-pound line," joked Johnson. "I think it's going to take me a long time to get over this."

The team, which didn't arrive at Kinkaid Lake until 5:30 a.m. the day of the tournament, fought hard all week. As one of only two teams to produced at least one catch about 6 pounds, the Stevens Point team remained in the running for a title throughout the tournament. And one cast either way could have presented an entirely different outcome.

"That's just fishing," said Johnson, whose team ultimately recorded a three-day catch of 12 pounds, 10 ounces. "There were a lot of positives to come out this week. We are going to the national championship."

In fact, all five team finalists were awarded automatic berths into the 2012 FLW College Fishing National Championship. So no matter what happened today, all 10 anglers know they will get to walk on the biggest stage for collegiate anglers just a few short months from now.

"Although we really wanted to win today, I'm excited we're going to get to go to the championship," said Derks. "Because that was our main goal coming into this tournament."

In addition to getting an invite to the national championship, the UW Stevens Point team also received $10,000 in prize money.

SIU nails down third place

By the end of weigh-in, the final standings ended up just as they had looked the day before. And that meant that Justin Skinner and Brad Lemasters of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, finished the Central Regional Championship in third place.

"This whole tournament has been exhausting," said Skinner, whose team posted a final tally of 10 pounds, 3 ounces. "It's really been a grind. This high pressure system really messed with the fish this week. We got a couple of bites this morning but then the fish just shut off. But overall, we're excited about qualifying for the championship. This is only our first year fishing. We met a lot of great friends this week. We had a lot of fun. Overall, it was just great to have been a part of this."

The SIU team said that they mostly concentrated their efforts today in the back of creek channels, flipping a homemade jig to land the majority of their catch.

For their effort this week, the team also walked away with $5,000 in winnings.

Kansas State University finishes fourth

Because his brother and fishing partner had a prior commitment, Ryan Patterson had to carry the banner of Kansas State University by himself the entire week. However, in the end, Patterson acquitted himself admirable, using a three-day catch of 9 pounds, 3 ounces to grab fourth place overall and earn a berth in the 2012 national championship.

Not bad for flying solo.

"My goal this week was just to catch fish because my practice was terrible. So I'm pretty happy right now," said Patterson. "There were a couple of times this week that I really missed fishing with my brother. So I'm definitely looking forward to having him back in my boat for the championship."

Ryan Patterson of Kansas State University finished the Central Regional Championship in fourth place.While Patterson pulled off something nobody had ever done before, qualifying for the national championship while fishing alone for an entire event, he also managed to provide some highlight reel catches as well.

"I caught my one fish today with time running out at around 2:30 p.m.," he said. "I was fishing upriver, about 36 minutes from the marina, when I hooked the fish. But it came unbuttoned at the boat as it was coming over the gunnel. It flew all the way over to the other gunnel and I just jumped on it. There were a couple of pleasure boats out there at the time and they had no idea what was going on. I can't even imagine what they were thinking."

"Right now, I'm just ready for the national championship."

Patterson said that he targeted large boulders with a 5/16-ounce jig to land his catch.

For his efforts, Patterson also walked away with $5,000 in winnings.

Indiana University finishes fifth

Indiana UniversityUsing a three-day catch of 8 pounds, 7 ounces, the Indiana University team of Dustin Vaal and Steven Bressler took home fifth place overall and a check for $5,000. However, in many respects, the Indiana team was thankful they even got that far in the tournament, given the tough luck they experienced all week.

"We broke of a lot of good fish this week and had a 2-pound penalty on the first day (for coming back late)," said Bressler. "We caught two fish late today but they were only 15 1/2 inches (a 1/2 short of the legal size). A lot of bad things happened to us, but we qualified for the national championship, so that's great."

The team said that it targeted a grass flat in 3 to 20 feet of water, using a Junebug-colored Senko, topwater frogs and spinnerbaits to land the majority of their catch this week.

"We're catching fish everywhere but we just couldn't get the right ones today," Vaal said. "But overall, this is one of the best experiences I've ever had."

"I would definitely take a national championship title over a regional title any day," added Bressler. "I can't wait to go."

In the end, Indiana University took home $5,000 in prize money.

FLW College Fishing action continues Oct. 13-15 at the Texas Regional on Somerville Lake in College Station, Texas.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2011-10-06-central-regional-lake-kinkaid 

/news/2016-07-24-1000-islands-top-10-baits

1000 Islands Top 10 Baits

The top pros from the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands kept it pretty simple to catch both largemouths and smallmouths from this massive fishery that includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Drop-shots, spinnerbaits and jigs all saw action and got it done from the lake to the river. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-24-penn-state-taps-docks-at-chautauqua-

Penn State Taps Docks at Chautauqua

The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-thompson-co-angler-champ-on-1000-islands

Thompson Co-angler Champ on 1000 Islands

The 1000 Islands is a great place to take a vacation, especially if you are from the south and want to escape the heat. That is exactly what co-angler Joe Thompson of Clayton, Ga., did and wound up capturing the top spot in the co-angler division bringing home a Ranger Z117 with a 90 hp motor. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-penn-state-university-wins-flw-college-fishing-northern-conference-event-on-chautauqua-lake

Penn State University wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Event on Chautauqua Lake

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. – The Penn State University duo of Clayton Frey of York, Pennsylvania, and Derek Horner, of State College, Pennsylvania, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-michigan-s-dobson-leads-wire-to-wire-wins-costa-flw-series-event-at-1000-islands-presented-by-mercury

Michigan’s Dobson leads wire-to-wire, wins Costa FLW Series Event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury

CLAYTON, N.Y. – Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event at 1000 Islands presented by Mercury with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 8 ounces. For his win, Dobson earned $82,669, including a new Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-23-dobson-dominates-1000-islands

Dobson Dominates 1000 Islands

Scott Dobson didn’t expect it to come so quickly, but 30 minutes is all it took for him to find the winning pattern during his first day of practice for the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. That pattern would lead him to three consecutive limits of more than 20 pounds, including today’s final-round bag worth 21-12 – the day’s biggest limit, yet his smallest of the tournament. His three-day total weight of 68-8 earned him a check for more than $37,000 along with a Ranger Z518C with a 200-hp engine for being Ranger Cup qualified. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »