April 5, 2013 by Gary Mortenson
(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.)
CollegeFishing.com: How were you introduced to fishing?
Joe Landry: I was raised in the outdoors by my family. I grew up living off of the land as much as possible. I was introduced to fishing at a young age by my grandpa, father and brothers. I caught my first bass on the Ouachita River. From there, I fished local ponds and the river whenever I had a chance.
Gavin Havard: I was introduced to fishing at a young age by my father. However, I did not seriously begin fishing until my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. During my sophomore year of college Joe Landry got me heavily involved in tournament fishing.
CollegeFishing.com: What style/method of fishing are you most comfortable with?
Joe Landry: Even though I grew up as a shallow-water fisherman, I prefer to fish deeper water if I can. It wouldn't upset me if I never had to get closer than 300 yards to the bank. I'm comfortable with offshore fishing mainly because I have more confidence from "less pressured" areas. I love graphing deep areas, finding fish and then throwing a ¾-ounce football jig and making them bite.
Gavin Havard: I am most comfortable flipping/pitching.
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?
Joe Landry: It feels great to qualify for the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship, mainly because this will be my last collegiate tournament. Obviously, this event will be the most important tournament of my collegiate career. I've been a part of FLW College Fishing since the start and have made it to one National Championship with a second-place finish already in the books. But this tournament is so important because if we win, we will fish the biggest tournament in the world, the Forrest Wood Cup. The best part is that the tournament will literally be in our back yard! We can throw a rock to the Red River from our school, so a win at the National Championship would definitely be an opportunity of a lifetime.
We plan on doing lots of research and making one trip up there to practice. We plan on researching all of the FLW Tour results from the past years and going from there. The great news is that it seems to fit our style.
Gavin Havard: Qualifying for FLW College Fishing National Championship felt amazing. Joe and I have always fished really well together and it was an amazing feeling to qualify during Joe's senior year.
CollegeFishing.com: Tell us something interesting about yourself that most people wouldn't know.
Joe Landry: I have the greatest wife in the world! But everyone probably already knows that.
Gavin Havard: I have a 2-year-old baby boy named Broox!