UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

Meet the 49ers

Another strong performance secured the victory for Alex Cox and Justin Gangel of CSU-Long Beach.

(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: Alex Cox (pictured on left)
Class: Senior
Major: Kinesiology
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
Other interests: My interests include sports, fitness, camping and surfing.

Name: Justin Gangel (pictured on right)
Class: Senior
Major: Environmental Science and Policy
Hometown: Valley Center, Calif.
Other interests: I breed exotic reptiles including chameleons, snakes and geckos.


Club Web site and/or contact information:
Long Beach State Fishing on Facebook

Q&A

CollegeFishing.com: How were you introduced to fishing?

Alex Cox: My grandpa and older cousins would take me fishing as a young child. I started with trout, and then began to fish more in saltwater as I grew up in southern California. Once I was old enough to make money and buy my own tackle, I started to invest more time in the sport and eventually was introduced to competitive bass fishing.
Justin Gangel: I was raised in a family that has always fished. I have been on the water from before I can even remember. I was first introduced to fishing by my grandpa, who still fishes almost daily. I got the bug from him. I have countless stories and memories of fishing back in the Midwest where most of my family resides.

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

Alex Cox: Throwing the surface iron for barracuda, calicos, and yellowtail is by far my favorite method. When it comes to bass, flipping and swimbaits would have to be my most comfortable styles. Southern California is known for having a huge swimbait fishing population, in both fresh and saltwater. There's also no better feeling than flipping into a pocket, seeing your line jump, and setting the hook on a toad in any kind of vegetation. Flipping is a great technique that, in some places, can be successful year-round.

Justin Gangel: I am on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to preferred fishing styles as my two most comfortable ways to fish are with are super-finesse rigs and huge swimbaits. These styles represent the best one-two punch where I grew up fishing in Southern California. I have had quite a bit of experience fishing different bodies of water which require completely different skill sets, so I feel that I can adapt to whatever method is needed to catch good fish.

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?

Alex Cox: It's been several months since we've qualified, and the feeling still hasn't settled in that we'll be on the biggest college fishing stage in the world. It's an amazing opportunity to compete among the top schools in the nation. In order to get ready for such an event, hours of research and practice will need to be completed so we can feel comfortable with how we're going to attack the lake. Knowing the bass feeding patterns, topography, weather and forage for each lake is crucial if a team hopes to do well in a particular tournament. You can guarantee that each of these college teams will be studying all of these factors and more by the time of this tournament kicks off.

Justin Gangel: The feeling was nothing like I have ever experienced before. We knew we had a good shot at qualifying for Nationals, but to go and win the FLW College Fishing Western Regional Championship was something we could only dream of. We put in a lot of time and knowledge in an effort to understand the lake, and it really paid off for us. It's an amazing feeling knowing we can compete with the best.

In preparation for Beaver Lake, we will be traveling to the lake to get some firsthand experience to try and get to know what skills we will need for game day. We will also be doing a lot of research on the lake to get a feel for what the fish should be doing.

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

Alex Cox: I honestly used to hate anything to do with freshwater lakes. Growing up several miles from the Pacific Ocean, I was a saltwater guy my whole life. Even swimming in freshwater lakes used to creep me out. In the past few years, however, I found out how similar the fishing tactics between salt and freshwater bass were and became increasingly interested in the largemouth bass species. Since then, tournament bass fishing has become a part of my life and I'm grateful to FLW for introducing me to such an amazing sport.

Justin Gangel: On Dec. 31, 2010, I caught my personal best bass weighing in at 17 pounds, 7 ounces.

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

/tips/2016-02-12-fishing-the-all-american

Fishing the All-American

My wish is that everyone who competes in BFL tournaments will get to experience the All-American. It truly is an amazing experience, and a goal that everyone who competes on the weekends should strive to achieve. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-eric-jackson-q-a

Eric Jackson Q&A

We caught up with Jackson just prior to his Tour debut on Lake Okeechobee to learn more about his background in the outdoors and how he got started in tournament fishing. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-11-flw-podcast-111-bradley-hallman

FLW Podcast 111 - Bradley Hallman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-05-an-ill-wind-at-okeechobee-

An Ill Wind at Okeechobee?

The wind can be a bass fisherman’s best friend or worst enemy. On its best behavior, it creates a temporary current, positions baitfish and helps an angler move around more stealthily in shallow water. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-04-aquatic-plant-id

Aquatic Plant ID

Val Osinski, the owner of Gambler Lures and winner of the 2015 Costa FLW Series event on the lake, knows as much about the Big O as anyone and is an expert on finding and targeting bass in its various grasses. When we had the opportunity to ride along with him for a tour of the lake and to learn to identify some of the grasses, it was a no-brainer to accept. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-03-flw-podcast-110-jt-kenney-and-kyle-monti

FLW Podcast 110 - JT Kenney and Kyle Monti

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-poche-services-set

Poche Services Set

Funeral services for Dylan Poche, the 18-year-old Bass Fishing League angler who was stabbed to death Saturday night, are scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m. at Freedom Life Church in Natchitoches, La. Visitation will take place at Freedom Life beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-02-time-to-shine-for-setzer

Time to Shine for Setzer

With three years on Tour and a Co-angler of the Year (COY) award under his belt, Braxton Setzer believes now is his time to start casting from the front. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-02-01-ambassador

Ambassador

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-29-glenn-browne-s-timeout-is-over-

Glenn Browne’s Timeout is Over

By his own admission, Glenn Browne isn’t the most organized guy. After the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee, he spent hours returning stuff to its proper place and tossing out the usual flotsam and jetsam that accumulates in a bass boat during a tournament. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-flw-podcast-109-mike-surman

FLW Podcast 109 - Mike Surman

READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-28-john-cox-gives-himself-a-makeover

John Cox Gives Himself a Makeover

Last fall there was a rumor going around that John Cox was entering the electronics age and souping up his boat with sonar gear. Just to clear the air, the Florida pro reports that though he did flirt with the notion of incorporating an offshore strategy centered on depth finders into his act, he eventually abandoned the idea. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-austin-felix-is-ready-for-the-big-time

Austin Felix is Ready for the Big Time

Back in the spring of 2014, Austin Felix and his University of Minnesota teammate Chris Burgan were on the top of the FLW College Fishing world. With a win in the National Championship on Lake Keowee, Felix was headed to the Forrest Wood Cup as a pro. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-27-flw-canada-sets-tournament-sites-dates

FLW Canada Sets Tournament Sites, Dates

FLW Canada, one of four partners in FLW’s International Division of the Costa FLW Series, recently released its 2016 tournament schedule. The season includes three two-day regular-season qualifying events and a three-day championship. Anglers fish as two-person teams. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-26-jigging-spoons-for-winter-bass

Jigging Spoons for Winter Bass

Of course, the application of the spoon hinges on finding bass in the first place, which is the biggest challenge. Walmart FLW Tour pros Jason Johnson and Clark Reehm are experts at finding winter bass in their respective regions of the country and offer FLW readers some advice on where to look and how to get them to bite the spoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-24-how-bryan-thrift-got-to-be-so-good

How Bryan Thrift Got to be so Good

My No. 1 focus out here is to support my family and make a living. Whatever I have to do to make that happen, I’m going to make a valiant effort. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-high-school-fishing-makes-the-grade

High School Fishing Makes the Grade

Jacob Smith and Daniel Clark are typical teenagers, at least in everything except bass fishing. In that, they are above average, as the two juniors from Travelers Rest High School in South Carolina proved in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing Florida Open held Jan. 17 on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-flw-mexico-at-the-starting-gate

FLW Mexico at the Starting Gate

Our excitement is so great that we wanted to share this important news with all of you. Believe me, fishermen in Mexico are talking it up as if it were dock talk surrounding the Forrest Wood Cup. What really matters at the end of the line is knowing that FLW is showing its true devotion to promoting bass fishing and making it a truly international sport. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-22-making-the-case-for-haynes-as-aoy

Making the Case for Haynes as AOY

As many have noted, the Walmart FLW Tour schedule for this season looks a lot like it did in 2014. Back then, in his sophomore year on Tour, Randy Haynes had one of the strangest seasons you’ll ever see. He finished 104th at Okeechobee, 149th at Sam Rayburn (ouch) and cranked out top-30 finishes everywhere else. READ MORE »

/tips/2016-01-21-flw-podcast-108-jason-lambert

FLW Podcast 108 - Jason Lambert

READ MORE »