UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

2010 National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Regional under way

The 2010 FLW College Fishing Western Division Regional Championship commences on Folsom Lake.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - With a backdrop of light winds, sunny skies and generally moderate weather conditions, the top 20 FLW College Fishing Western Division qualifying teams departed Folsom Lake Marina shortly after 7 a.m. with two main goals in mind - winning the regional title and qualifying for the 2011 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

However, with a top prize of $50,000 in scholarships at stake and a challenging field of collegiate competitors descending on Folsom Lake for the Oct. 7-9 event, winning the title certainly will not be easy. Making the landscape even more treacherous is the fact that, so far, the bass bite has been anything but easy.

"We're going to be fishing deep because right now there are a lot of suspended fish," said Humboldt State University team member Derrick Hicks. "But getting them to bite is going to be tough. We're going to be using a lot of deep finesse baits, drop-shots and Robo worms and we're going to be looking for fish anywhere from 20 to 30 feet of water - sometimes a little deeper. Overall, based on how tough the fishing is, we're just going to be trying to get a limit. If you can come back with a limit, you should be fine."

Per tournament rules, each team member is permitted to weigh in their three best fish. However, on Folsom Lake that's easier said than done.

"Because the fishing is pretty tough, I think we're going to try and mix it up a little bit," said Hicks' partner Jen Edgar, one of only three women to qualify for the western regional. "(In addition to the drop-shot) we'll also throw some wacky-rigged Senkos and see what works best. For us, we're going with all small baits - the smaller the better."

But no matter how the event unfolds, Hicks and Edgar said they are both pleased to have qualified for the regional championship after going through the grueling four-event regular season qualifying schedule.

"We're pretty excited," said Hicks. "This is my first year fishing the college series so it's definitely exciting to make it to the regionals."

"It feels awesome," said Edgar. "It's just great to have this opportunity."

Tournament host Sacramento State also managed to send a team to the regional finals. So does the team of Robert Matsuura and Peter Lee have a leg up on the competition given their home-lake advantage?

"You'd think so. We only live about 40 minutes away but we don't really fish this lake," said Sacramento State team member Robert Matsuura. "Right now we feel about 50-50 about our chances so I think we're going to need a little bit of luck to go our way."

Matsuura said his team is going to throw a combination of swimbaits (when the wind blows with cloud cover), reaction baits in the morning (targeting shallow areas) and then employ deeper drop-shot and Carolina rig techniques in the early afternoon.

"I think 10 pounds is our goal right now," said Matsuura. "But you can definitely catch 15 pounds if everything goes right. The average big fish is about 3 pounds. But there are definitely some 4- and 5-pound fish in this lake."

For the Sacramento State team, the question remains: Is having the tournament right in your backyard a blessing or a curse.

"Right now we're like the Lone Ranger," said Matsuura. "This is our home lake and we're supposed to have a few other (Sacramento State) teams with us. But we're the only ones who qualified so that puts a lot of pressure on us."

Tourney format and event logistics

FLW College Fishing Western Regional qualifiers hit the open waters of Folsom Lake.Anglers will take off from Folsom Lake Marina located at 661 Green Valley Road in El Dorado Hills, Calif., at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at Sacramento State Alumni Center, Lot 8. Thursday and Friday's weigh-ins will begin at 4 p.m. and Saturday's final weigh-in will begin at 5 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Sacramento State will also be hosting a College Fishing Festival throughout the three day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to live music, the National Guard Warrior Challenge, a Ranger Boat simulator, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize giveaways. The festival will take place at Sacramento State Alumni Center, Lot 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Schools competing this week on Folsom Lake:

Arizona State University - Brandon Service, Tempe, Ariz. and Ryan Miller, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Arizona State University - Joseph Jarrell, Phoenix, and Mark Walker, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Boise State - Jared Spickelmier, Boise, Idaho, and Eric Danser, Emmett, Idaho
California Polytechnic State University - Scott Hellesen and Damian Bean, both of San Luis Obispo, Calif.
California Polytechnic State University - John Zeolla, Oak Park, Calif., and Joe Gardner, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
California State, Long Beach - Dane Christensen, Long Beach, Calif., and Alfredo Gutierrez, Inglewood, Calif.
Chico State - Parker Moran and Marshal Smith, both of Chico, Calif.
Chico State - Frank Vogt, Chico, Calif., and Bastian Golladay, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Chico State - Thomas White, Fountain Valley, Calif., and Allison Shaw, Chico, Calif.
Fresno State - Nicholas Thao, Clovis, Calif., and Che Yang, Fresno, Calif.
Humboldt State University - Derrick Hicks and Jen Edgar, both of Eureka, Calif.
Northern Arizona University - Nicole Albright and Brent Perkins, both of Phoenix
Sacramento State - Robert Matsuura, Sacramento, Calif., and Peter Lee, Elk Grove, Calif.
San Jose State University - Tyler Swasey and Anthony Lee, both of San Jose, Calif.
Sonoma State University - Luke Haley, Sebastopol, Calif., and Alex Christianson, Cotati, Calif.
University of California, Davis - Mark White, Fairfield, Calif., and Travis Goldman, Freedom, Calif.
University of Nevada, Reno - Seth Hofland, Spring Creek, Nev., and Ricky Nielsen, San Rafael, Calif.
University of Nevada, Reno - Brandon Murphy, Boulder City, Nev., and Justin Landerman, Reno, Nev.
University of Oregon - Cody Herman, Eugene, Ore., and Nick Doring, Mill Valley, Ore.
University of Oregon - Ross Richards and Reed Frazier, both of Eugene, Ore.

The top five teams from this week's Western Regional Championship will advance to the national championship, where the first-place team will win $100,000 with $50, 000 of that for their school and $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat for their fishing club.

FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.

Bass-fishing fans take note

Want to watch the opening round of the FLW College Fishing Western Regional Championship weigh-in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 4 p.m. Pacific time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's opening-round weigh in.

Versus television crews film the early morning action before the start of FLW College Fishing Western Regional competition.Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 7:08 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 52 degrees
Expected high temperature: 74 degrees
Wind: From the southwest at 7 mph
Humidity: 64 percent
Day's outlook: Mostly sunny

Related links:

Event schedule

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2010-10-07-western-regional-folsom-lake 

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