UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Texas A&M wins National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Regional Championship

Texas A&M wins National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Regional Championship
After starting the final round in fifth place, Texas A&M's Paul Manley and Andrew Shafer blew away the competition with a 17-2 limit.

NATCHITOCHES, La. - The Texas A&M team of Paul Manley of Orange, Texas, and Andrew Shafer of Chatfield, Texas, stunned the crowd on Monday bringing in a bag of six bass totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces to win the National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Regional Championship on Sibley Lake with a three-day total of 16 bass weighing 30-7. For their efforts, the team won a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors and $25,000 for the school they represent.

"We told you we were going to come out and open a can, and we did," said Shafer, a junior in wildlife fishery. "I hooked my two big ones early today, around 8:30, both within five minutes of each other. Sibley Lake is a beautiful fishery and today it really showed itself. We were a little surprised at today's weight; we thought we had about 12 or 13 pounds."

"Andy has been giving me a hard time all week," said teammate Manley. "So I had to step up my game. After we caught those two big fish early we actually thought we might be in contention, we just stayed calm and confident. We were in the right spots at the right time when the big ones started biting."

The Texas Regional was originally scheduled to take place on the Red River, however, due to unsafe water conditions the tournament was moved to Sibley Lake. The lake was under a lot of pressure all weekend and the bite was tough throughout the tournament, but despite what some swore wasn't there, a 5-pounder, Shafer and Manley were able to come up big today. They fished around dead lily pads; Manley was flipping a green pumpkin speed craw and Shafer's success came with ChatterBait. They only caught seven keepers today, but that was more than enough to give them a solid win.

Manley and Shafer have been fishing together for about a year; this has been their biggest and most exciting win. They are planning to spend spring break in Knoxville, Tenn. pre-fishing for the National Championship that will take place at the University of Tennessee next spring.

Rounding out the top five teams are Texas State University - Jay McCollum of Athens, Texas and David Cosner of Austin, Texas, (13 bass, 27-9, $25,000); Tarleton State Texas - Tanner Morgan of Stephenville, Texas, and John Anderson of Tom Bean, Texas, (15 bass, 25-1, $11,000); Northwestern State University - Aaron Sistrunk of Converse, La., and Jeffrey Rich of Alexandria, La. (15 bass, 21-11, $8,000); and Baylor University - Jay Holland of Waco, Texas, and Andrew McAdams of Lorena, Texas (16 bass, 20-10, $6000).

"I'm going home to ice my elbows and shoulders," said McCollum from the second place Texas State University team. "I am exhausted; we fished hard all weekend and had a blast. I'm ready to go home and get ready for Tennessee!"

"We knew it was going to be a grind," said teammate Cosner. "We stuck to our game plan and hoped it would work out. We didn't get first, but we are still going to Tennessee and we are so excited.

"The difference between a good angler and a great angler is the ability to make adjustments," added Cosner. "We were able to make some key adjustments each day that allowed us to increase our bag every day, but unfortunately we fell a little short today."

In addition to the prize awards, the top five teams from the Texas Regional Championship have all earned a spot in the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship in Knoxville, Tenn., April 10-12, 2010. They will be fishing for a top prize package of $100,000 and a chance to compete in the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.

FLW Outdoors announced the College Fishing trail in May 2008. The entire schedule, which is organized around the five Stren Series Divisions, can be found by visiting CollegeFishing.com along with rules, requirements and information on how to create a bass club.

Full-time students enrolled in four year colleges or universities are eligible to participate in the events. Schools can send two-person teams to each of the four qualifying events in their division, with each event limited to a maximum of 40 teams. Each team has the opportunity to win $10,000 for first and $2,000 through fifth place. Prize money is split evenly between the winning team's club and the school they represent. The tournaments are free to enter, boats and drivers are provided and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each qualifying event advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championships.

The National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided shirts and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The purse for the championship ranges from $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $50,000 for the school they represent to $15,000 for fifth, split between the club and school.

The winning team will be declared the National Guard FLW Collegiate National Champion and will qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol in 2010. The winners will also receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for the Forrest Wood Cup.

Coverage of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Division Regional event on Sibley Lake will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated "FLW Outdoors," will air Dec. 20 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also has taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.

Tags: press-release  2009-11-14-texas-regional-championship 

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