UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Meet the Hokies

The Virginia Tech squad comprised of Andrew Jackson (left) of Lebanon, Va., and Patrick Snellings of Fredericksburg, Va., rounded out the top-five team finalists with a total catch of 14 pounds.

(Editor's note: Leading up to the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship - slated for April 19-21 on Beaver Lake in Rodgers, Ark. - CollegeFishing.com will publish weekly, in-depth features stories of each of the 25 national championship team qualifiers. At stake in the tournament is a first-place prize package that includes $30,000 in cash, a brand new, Ranger Z-117 bass boat and an automatic berth in the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup.)

Name: Andrew Jackson (pictured on left)
Class: Sophomore
Major: Agricultural Technology
Hometown: Lebanon, Va.
Other interests: Deer hunting, farming and roping.
Name: Pat Snellings (pictured on right)
Class: Graduate student (Auburn University)
Major: Fisheries Science
Hometown: Fredericksburg, Va.
Other interests: Fisheries Science, freelance writing and golf.


Club Web site: http://www.hokiebass.com/

Q&A

CollegeFishing.com: How were you introduced to fishing?

Andrew Jackson: I was introduced to tournament fishing when I was 12 or 13 years old by my uncle, Kevin Baldwin. I started out fishing night tournaments on South Holston Lake in southwest Virginia and eastern Tennessee. I knew right away that tournament fishing was for me because I love the competitiveness.

Pat Snellings: I was introduced to fishing by my parents when I was 2 or 3 years old. From the time I was old enough to walk, I was on a boat in some shape or form and that continued throughout my childhood. I would have to say that my stepdad was the one that really got me started bass fishing though. He helped me build a foundation of knowledge that I have continually added to as I've grown and matured as an angler.

CollegeFishing.com: What style/method of fishing are you most comfortable with?

Andrew Jackson: I really enjoy fishing main-lake points and deep water. I love throwing big swimbaits for big smallmouth.

Pat Snellings: After spending two and a half years fishing clear, deep lakes around Blacksburg, Va., I would have to say I've gotten really comfortable with drop-shotting. I have had some of my best tournament success (not necessarily greatest weights) with my 7-foot, 1-inch ML 13 Fishing Omen rod and 5-pound test Gamma fishing line. However, I still feel at home flipping jigs and fishing shallow cover.

CollegeFishing.com: What did it feel like to qualify for the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship? How do you plan to prepare for the big event?

Andrew Jackson: It was very satisfying to qualify for the National Championship. I worked hard to do it. I made trips to North Carolina and Indiana to fish qualifiers for the regional on Philpott Lake. It was a great feeling to be in the top five on that final day.

I plan to make my way to Arkansas during my spring break to get a few days in on Beaver Lake. It will be my first trip there, but I have heard great things about the lake. I think it will play into my style of fishing and I think it should be an awesome time of the year for the tournament.

Pat Snellings: Honestly, after qualifying for the FLW College Fishing National Championship I felt both blessed and a relieved. I transferred to Virginia Tech as a junior in the fall of 2010 strictly to pursue a degree in Fisheries Science. And immediately after hearing about the bass fishing team I knew I had to join. During my first year I fared really well, especially within the club. I was also excited for a chance to fish the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference qualifier at 1000 Islands. However, my partner David Bryant and I ended up bombing it. It was a humbling experience for both of us, but this year I have had success that I never could have dreamed of.

Andrew and I had an eighth-place finish and a win in the Northern Conference going into the Regional Championship. As a result, the pressure was on knowing that this was my last chance to qualify for the National Championship. We were the last boat to weigh in on day two and I was certain it was going to be tight to make the cut. When we came on stage and were told that our 7-pound bag was just enough, I was both relieved and ecstatic. I had never fished that hard for 14 pounds of fish in my life, but it was worth it in the end for a chance to fish against the best college anglers in the country in the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

Preparing for the National Championship is going to be challenge since Beaver Lakes is over 11 hours away from Auburn, Ala. Therefore, I will begin by looking at previous tournament data and scouring over topographic maps of the lake to find something special. I hope to get out to practice over spring break, but that is all up in the air at the moment due to my field work for graduate school. Be certain though that Andrew and I, along with Jody White and David Bryant of Virginia Tech, will be ready to fish come April 19th.

CollegeFishing.com: Tell us something interesting about yourself that most people wouldn't know.

Andrew Jackson: My family owns - and I work on - a farm that raises bucking bulls. We have a herd of cows and breeding bulls, raise them up from newborn calves to rodeo bulls. We haul them all over the country to different rodeos with associations such as SEBRA and the PBR. They are very fun and interesting and, at times, can give you huge adrenaline rushes.

Pat Snellings: The first boat I ever purchased was 1976 Ouachita 16-foot aluminum boat that I bought for $200. I restored the trailer and built the boat into a bass jon so I could fish in an all electric bass club events called the Weekend Bassers. We fished mainly water supply reservoirs as well as a couple of tributaries of the Potomac River in Virginia. The funny part about the boat, however, is that I bought the boat before I owned a truck to tow it with. Luckily - and with some help from loving parents - I ended up with my Chevrolet Silverado before the boat was ready to hit the water.

Also, I would love to throw in a shameless plug if possible. If you want to follow me fishing for Auburn University or see any of my writing or research, check out my website patsnellings.com.

Tags: gary-mortenson  road-to-the-championship 

/tips/2016-07-23-1000-islands-day-3-midday-update

1000 Islands Day 3 Midday Update

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-22-1000-islands-midday-update-day-2

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands got started on a slightly different note this morning when FLW’s tournament directors declared Lake Ontario off limits due to hazardous conditions. The change threw a few of the top pros off their primary plans, but regardless the 137-boat field will be cut down to the top 10 after today, so adjustments need to be made in order to qualify to fish the weekend. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-19-flw-podcast-126-icast

FLW Podcast 126 - ICAST

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-14-2017-walmart-flw-tour-schedule

2017 Walmart FLW Tour Schedule

In what has become an annual tradition at FLW, the 2017 Walmart FLW Tour schedule was announced at a press conference and industry gathering held Thursday on the show floor at ICAST in Orlando, Fla. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-12-si-se-puede-yes-we-can

Si Se Puede ... Yes We Can

Mexico’s Lake Zimapan is different in many ways from the lakes to the north such as Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and California’s Clear Lake, but one element it has in common with those famous fisheries is big bass. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-5-rookie-lessons-learned

5 Rookie Lessons Learned

People have asked me what my first year on the Walmart FLW Tour was like. Well, it was like running headfirst into a hurricane for a few months. I came out the other side a little battered, bruised and smelling like fish. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-11-flw-podcast-125-scott-martin

FLW Podcast 125 - Scott Martin

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-review-lew-s-custom-speed-stick-lite

Review: Lew’s Custom Speed Stick Lite

Recently I had the opportunity to try one model in particular – the 7-foot, 4-inch Magnum Pitchin’ rod. After fishing with it several times, I’ve concluded that it performs as advertised, is sensitive and lightweight, and is well worth the money. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-reunited-and-it-feels-so-good

Reunited, and it Feels so Good

This year I really had a reunion with finesse fishing. Most of my better tournaments came from fishing some type of finesse presentation. Finesse tactics seemed to always give me a certain confidence about the day. While finesse tactics are nothing new to the game of bass fishing, this year I regained the confidence and joy of catching bass on smaller offerings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-08-2016-icast-preview

2016 ICAST Preview

The doors to ICAST don’t open until next week, when everyone gets out on the showroom floor in Orlando, Fla., but there are already plenty of snippets of information available. FLW’s media crew will be there in full force to bring you coverage of the hottest new products, as well as the annual New Product Showcase awards. For now, take a gander at some of the early birds. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-07-07-flw-canada-kicks-off-at-tri-lakes

FLW Canada Kicks Off at Tri-Lakes

Among these Canadian all-stars was the eventual winning team of Chris Vandermeer of Peterborough and Jeff Slute of Millbrook. Capitalizing on a strong day one shallow-water smallmouth pattern, the duo took advantage of the slick-calm conditions using a silver-hued topwater popping plug to agitate the lake’s bronzebacks into attack. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-tour-pro-cooksey-recovering-after-accident

FLW Tour Pro Cooksey Recovering After Accident

Walmart FLW Tour sophomore Dalton Cooksey of New Concord, Ky., is recovering at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee following a single-car accident that took place Wednesday afternoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-30-flw-podcast-124-jeremy-lawyer

FLW Podcast 124 - Jeremy Lawyer

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-29-stetson-blaylock-s-recipe-for-a-wacky-rig

Stetson Blaylock’s Recipe for a Wacky Rig

From March until the end of the fishing season I’m going to have a wacky rig on deck. It’s a really effective way to fish anytime the fishing is tough, or if the fish are up cruising banks. Anytime fish are about 5 feet deep or less, I can catch them on the wacky rig. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-28-morgan-claims-third-flw-tour-angler-of-the-year-title

Morgan Claims third FLW Tour Angler of the Year Title

MINNEAPOLIS – Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, added to his incredible fishing resume by winning his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title Saturday at the FLW Tour's final 2016 regular-season event on Lake Champlain.... READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-24-three-things-by-dd-kentucky-lake

Three Things by DD: Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake did not go the way I intended. I was pumped and ready to rock out a top-20 finish. I had great expectations of myself, but nothing seemed to come together. Practice was dicey, but I thought for sure I could put something together to make the cut. That was until day one came, and the whole vibe of my day instantly went from eager to agitated. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-23-how-to-catch-smallmouths-with-hair-jigs

How to Catch Smallmouths with Hair Jigs

The “right” hair jig for smallmouths is a small 1/16- to 1/8-ounce marabou jig with a round or mushroom-shaped head. The jig is similar to marabou jigs used by crappie fishermen, but bass models will often have a larger, stronger hook and possibly a longer or thicker skirt. Naturally, anglers have their favorites, and there are subtle differences in jigs that make some better than others. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-22-two-exciting-events-to-look-forward-to

Two Exciting Events to Look Forward To

We are in the last stretch of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour. Awaiting us is the Lake Champlain tournament in just a few days. A couple of things will be settled there: the pro field for the Forrest Wood Cup and the Angler of the Year. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-21-tagging-along-with-sprague-in-kentucky

Tagging Along with Sprague in Kentucky

Through the first four events of the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour season, Jeff Sprague finished inside the top 20 every time and challenged for the win at Beaver Lake. After stop No. 4 on Pickwick, Sprague took over the lead in the Angler of the Year race. This is the story of his first tournament as the AOY leader – stop No. 5 on Kentucky Lake. Currently, Sprague is preparing for the finale on Lake Champlain. He’s in second place in the AOY standings. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-06-19-waunakee-hs-wins-wi-title

Waunakee HS Wins WI Title

The Waunakee High School duo of Colin Steck and Nathan Lorenz brought a five-bass limit to the scale Sunday weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces, to win the 2016 TBF/FLW High School Fishing Wisconsin State Championship on the Minocqua Chain of Lakes. The win earned the team trophies, the title of state champions and advanced the team to the High School Fishing Central Conference championship on the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, on September 23-24. READ MORE »