UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Crimson Tide continues to roll

University of Alabama teammates Dustin Connell (left) of Clanton, Ala., and Logan Johnson of Jasper, Ala., used a total catch of 28 pounds, 8 ounces to grab the top qualifying position heading into the finals of the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship on Beaver Lake.

ROGERS, Ark. - Although the duo of Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala., and Logan Johnson of Jasper, Ala., couldn't quite duplicate the 18-pound-plus stringer they hauled in on day one, their 10-pound catch during the second day of tournament action on Beaver Lake was more than enough to propel the University of Alabama into the finals of the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship as the No. 1 seed overall.

Bolstered by a total two-day catch of 28 pounds, 8 ounces, the Crimson Tide now holds a narrow 7-ounce lead over their next closest competitors heading into the finals.

"It really hasn't set in yet that we're leading this tournament," said Connell. "But tonight, I might settle down and realize that tomorrow will be the biggest day of my career. It's just an awesome feeling right now. It's great. I couldn't have asked for a better two days of fishing. We're truly blessed."

Although the Tide is exactly where it hoped to be at the end of day two when the top-five cut was announced, the team said it was far from easy - especially given Saturday's changing conditions.

"It was a real grind out there all day," said Johnson. "We're really hoping for some sun and some wind today and we really didn't get it."

"It was definitely tough out there today and I ain't lying," said Connell. "The whole lake changed up today. Some parts of the lake got better and some got a lot worse. Our water cleared up and we didn't have one fish in the boat at 10 a.m. So we basically started fishing at 11 a.m. We only wound up with about seven keepers overall."

The Tide said it targeted largemouth bass in creek mouths in about 10 feet of water, fishing the mid-river with a Strike King jerkbait and an Alabama rig.

But while they're happy to be in the lead, the team knows that tomorrow could bring anything - especially given the fact that the entire top-five field is separated by a little more than 2 pounds.

"We have to go out there tomorrow and hope for the best," said Connell. "We're going to have to fish the conditions but we might have to throw something different tomorrow and switch things up depending on the weather. We definitely want more wind because without wind, this lake gets really tough."

But having the lead heading into the finals is surely a lot better than playing catch up.

"If we get the right bites and the right conditions, I really like our chances tomorrow," said Johnson. "We have a 7-ounce lead right now and 7 ounces could make a huge difference."

Angelo State makes a run

With a top-five cut looming in today's competition, Angelo State anglers Ethan George of San Angelo, Texas, and Josh Seale of Breckenridge, Texas, knew they'd have to make a move if they were to improve their 11th-place finish on day one. And that's exactly what they did. Bolstered by a day-two catch of 15 pounds, 14 ounces, Angelo State shot all the way up the leaderboard into the second qualifying position heading into the finals.

"Man, it's a great feeling," said Seale on making the finals. "I've been so close before to qualifying for the national championship but it never happened (until now). And now we're going to be fishing in the finals. So to be here right now is really a dream come true. I think we're only 7 ounces out of first place so it really is anyone's game tomorrow. And whoever puts it all together is going to win this. I just hope it's us."

After yesterday's performance, Angelo State decided to go back to the drawing board to try and put together a more effective strategy for targeting fickle Beaver Lake.

"I started looking at the contour lines (of the lake) and I decided to just starting fishing Beaver like the way I would my home lake," said George. "So that's what we did. We went power fishing, moved around a lot and threw big baits. And it paid off."

"We threw a little bit of everything today," said Seale, whose team takes a two-day total of 28 pounds, 1 ounce into the finals.

The duo said they didn't fish any deeper than 20 feet while targeting bass with a combination of crankbaits, swimbaits and a few other techniques thrown in as well.

"We have about three or four baits and the key is just figuring out which one of those baits the fish want to eat each day," said George. "It's really important for us to try and be consistent. And continue to fish our main area."

According to George, they have one vast area that they haven't even yet fully explored.

"With what we're doing and the amount of water we have to cover, we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of our area. And I know, if everything falls into place, we can come out of there with a 20-pound bag. It's definitely possible."

ULM gets on the map

Another team outside the top-10 after the first day of competition was the University of Louisiana-Monroe squad comprised of Paul Clark of Monroe, La., and Brett Preuett of Pineville, La. With only a little more than 10 pounds to show for their day-one efforts and a host of teams ahead of them in the standings, it was clear that it was going to take a Herculean effort to make today's top-five cut.

But that's precisely what they pulled off. Hauling in the largest sack of the day at 17 pounds, 6 ounces, Preuett and Clark shot all the way up the leaderboard into the third-place qualifying position when all was said and done.

"It feels great," said Preuett of his team's day-two effort. "We knew we had to catch a big sack to make it and it happened. And right off the bat, at about 8:30 a.m., we had our limit."

Preuett said that his team pulled up to a spot first thing in the morning and he immediately hooked into a 7-pound, 4-ounce largemouth bass using one of his friend's homemade jigs.

"I told Paul this morning that we're going to have to catch a donkey and a whole lot more fish after that," said Preuett. "And that's exactly what we did."

The team said it primarily targeted suspended largemouth bass on rock and wood in about 10 to 30 feet of water.

"We have two baits, one for clear water and one for muddy water," said Clark. "And so far, it's worked out pretty well."

Not surprisingly, ULM is ecstatic to be fishing on Sunday with a chance at a national championship title and an opportunity to put their school on the map.

"It really feels great," said Preuett. "To come up here to a lake we're not used to fishing at all and to make the finals - you can't beat it."

"And if we win the title, we'll qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup," added Clark. "And this year, the Cup is on our home waters of the Red River. So we really want to win."

Auburn qualifies for finals ... again

While most of the top-five competitors seemed like kids in a candy store with unlimited funds shortly after day-two weigh-in, one angler appeared to be significantly more subdued - Jordan Lee of Auburn University. However, if you know Lee's background his demeanor would be a little less surprising. You see, this championship represents Lee's third trip to the FLW College Fishing National Championship finals.

"Yeah, but I haven't won anything yet," he said.

But with only a 2-pound, 3-ounce deficit to make up, it's entirely possible that Lee and his fellow Auburn teammate Shane Powell of Dothan, Ala., will finally get the coveted prize they've been eyeing for years.

"It's great," said Lee, of Cullman, Ala. "I'm glad I'm here. It's all we've thought about for a long while. We're really close to the leaders, so we have a really good chance to win."

Bolstered by a two-day catch of 26 pounds, 5 ounces, Auburn heads into the finals in fourth place overall. But again, the task of nailing down a championship title won't be easy - as Lee knows all too well.

"We really don't know this lake very well," said Lee. "So we're just going to go out there and go fishing. We're really going to be fishing on instinct for the most part."

So far the team has found success flipping to shallow cover, around the Prairie Creek area.

"That's what we have most confidence in," said Lee. "And hopefully it will work out for us tomorrow. But we'll just have to see."

UNC - Charlotte grabs final qualifying spot

Although the University of North Carolina-Charlotte team of Shane Lehew of Charlotte, N.C., and Adam Waters of Denver, N.C., recorded an identical weight to Auburn, by virtue of a tiebreaker, the team technically qualified for the finals in fifth place. But no matter, the team is right where it wants to be - fishing in the finals of the national championship.

"We're definitely glad to be here. It's really cool," said Waters. "At least we have a shot to win the title."

The team said it's been mixing it up more than most teams throughout the tournament, trying to read the intricate waters of Beaver Lake with each passing hour.

"Timing is really important on this lake," said Waters. "And we've caught fish on something different every day. Yesterday we threw the A-rig and a jig. And today we threw a jerkbait, swimbait, Shaky Head and a drop-shot. So you really have to be versatile to have a chance."

And like every team heading into tomorrow's finals, it's a chance of a lifetime.

For a complete list or results, click here.

Tournament info and logistics

The top-five qualifying teams at the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship pose for a quick photo shortly after day-two weigh-in.The entire 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship field competed for two days with the top-five college teams advancing to the third and final day of competition based on their overall accumulated weight. Teams are permitted to bring as many as five fish to the scales during each weigh-in. After the conclusion of Sunday's weigh-in, the tournament title will be awarded to the college team that has recorded the most combined weight over all three days of competition.

The national championship awards the top team a $30,000 prize package, including a Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower engine and an entry into the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. The team member fishing as a pro in the Forrest Wood Cup also receives the use of a wrapped Ranger Boat and Chevy tow vehicle.

Final takeoff for the national championship will take place at 7 a.m. Sunday morning at Prairie Creek Park, located at 9300 N. Park Road in Rogers, Ark. Final weigh-ins will take place at 4 p.m. at Walmart, located at 2110 W. Walnut Street in Rogers, Ark.

FLW also will be hosting the College Fishing Expo on Sunday. Expo activities include a sports zone, tailgate games, sponsor giveaways and a Ranger boat simulator and will run from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Expo will take place at Walmart, located at 2110 W. Walnut Street in Rogers, Ark.

Related links:

2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship PodCast

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2013-04-19-national-championship-beaver-lake 

/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

It was sweet redemption for Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., who locked up his first Costa FLW Series victory of his career this week in the Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury. Dobson has a pile of top 10s with FLW – including several wins at the BFL level – but this was the first time it all came together. Once again he caught the heaviest limit of the day worth 21-12 to give him a three-day total of 68-8 – winning by over 7 pounds. For his victory he won over $37,000 and a Ranger Z518 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 »

/news/2016-07-18-profile-jeremy-lawyer

Profile: Jeremy Lawyer

A year ago, Jeremy Lawyer endured a harsh reality as the door to a Forrest Wood Cup berth slammed shut on his runner-up finish at the BFL All-American on Kentucky/Barkley lakes. Flash-forward to June 11 and the boater from Sarcoxie, Mo., saw life come full circle with his All-American win on Barkley. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-poffenberger-found-the-right-four

Poffenberger Found the Right Four

Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned $4,684. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-ohio-s-poffenberger-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-buckeye-division-event-on-ohio-river

Ohio’s Poffenberger Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Event on Ohio River

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (July 18, 2016) – Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-scattered-weeds-bring-greene-the-gold

Scattered Weeds Bring Greene the Gold

Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds even Saturday to win the second FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament of 2016 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Greene took home $6,155. READ MORE »