UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Lamar University raises the bar

Lamar University raises the bar
Danny Iles and his Lamar University partner Matt Morrison sacked up the event's biggest catch - 21 pounds - to open up a 6-pound lead.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Day after a cold front; high bright skies; not much wind - that's supposed to equal tough fishing, but someone forgot to explain that to the bass that chewed surprisingly well on day two of the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Texas Regional Championship.

By the numbers, the field caught 13 limits - more than double the day one total - and sacked up 101 fish for 232 pounds, 13 ounces. That's about a 2 1/3-pound average, but hidden amid those stats were several quality fish, a couple of 20-pound bags and an 8-pound Rayburn hog that we'll get to a little later.

Lamar University's Matt Morrison and Danny Iles entered the second day with a 12-ounce lead, butMatt Morrison threw spinnerbaits and crankbaits to keep Lamar University in the top spot. when the dust settled, they sat a whopping 6 pounds and 2 ounces ahead of their nearest competitors. Fishing spinnerbaits and crankbaits, Morrison and Iles caught the event's heaviest bag - a 21-pound effort that boosted their total to 38-14.

Iles said the day's conditions afforded them more opportunities than they had during day one, when winds of 15-20 mph churned the lake and presented logistical challenges. For example, today's lighter winds allowed them to fish a main lake creek channel that yielded two of their key fish.

"About 12:30 or so, the wind finally started laying down and we were able to run to one of the places we had wanted to fish and Matt caught one right at five pounds," he said. "Yesterday, it wasn't that we couldn't get to our spot; we just couldn't get set up on it and cast right."

Tyler Fisher and Matthew McClellan caught 20 pounds, 12 ounces and moved the University of Texas-Tyler into second place.Morrison, who bagged twin 5-pounders on day one, said he was pleased with his big day two fish. "I was hoping to catch another one like I did yesterday but it was enough and hopefully, we can go out there and catch some more big ones like that tomorrow."

Praising Iles' boat handling, Morrison said proper positioning was essential to his team's success. However, even with 21 pounds in the well, he knew the job was far from done.

"I never assumed that we were way ahead of everybody," he said. "You never know - especially on Rayburn and against this group of guys we're competing against. Obviously they're all good because they made it here, so I never assume anything."

University of Texas-Tyler improves to second

Matthew McClellan and Tyler Fisher nabbed the tournament's second heaviest bag, theirs weighing 20-12, and vaulted the University of Texas-Tyler from eighth place to second with a total weight of 32-12.

The anglers started their day fishing Rat-L-Traps over long grassy points that were swept by the wind.Blaze Platt and his partner Ryan Watkins slipped a little on day two, but kept Stephen F. Austin in the top five. Their action started quickly, with Fisher nabbing a 2-pounder and McClellan adding a 5 in the early goings.

"After that, we three swimbaits and spinnerbatis, but didn't do very well on those," McClellan said. "Most of our keepers today came on Rat-L-Traps. Later in the day, we threw plastic frogs around lily pads and culled up two times."

Fisher said the day two conditions aided his team's performance. "It helped that the wind calmed down a little bit. There was still enough wind that we could catch fish on the `Trap, but yesterday, it was so windy we had trouble staying on our spots."

Stephen F. Austin slips to third

Ryan Watkins and Blaze Platt kept Stephen F. Austin in the top five, but slipped a notch to third. Their day two limit of 13-12 added to their day one weight of 17-2 gave them a two day total of 30-14.

Paul Manley, along with Texas A&M partner Andrew Shafer, won the 2009 Texas Regional.After finding day one success by working Spro frogs in lily pads, the SFA team returned to the vegetation on day two. Watkins said he and Platt found active fish by pushing farther into the pads and working as shallow as they could go.

"I don't think we can go any skinnier than we went today," Watkins said. "We found a new layer of fish in a new area and hopefully, it hadn't gotten hammered and it will replenish by tomorrow morning."

The anglers started their day by throwing swimbaits in the shallows, but unlike day one, they found neither quality nor quantity.

"I think that was due to the lack of wind," Watkins said. "On day one, it blew everything on the bank. Today, there wasn't a lot of wind and it spread everything out. That's why our pad fish held up, because they're concentrated on the pads. They're not relating to wind-blown points, they're not relating to anything but the pads and those pads aren't leaving."

Fourth place Texas A&M gunning for repeat

Texas A&M's Paul Manley and Andrew Shafer won the 2009 Texas Regional title and the anglers put themselves back in contention by sacking up 17-8 on day two and rising eight spots to fourth with a total of 28-2.

"We worked really hard and practiced hard, so if feels good to be back in the top five," Shafer said. "ItThis 8-pounder caught by Zack Caudle helped move LSU Shreveport up nine spots to fifth. shows we're consistent and we can hang with the best of them."

Manley worked a swim jig and Shafer threw the same chatterbait he used during the 2009 victory. The team worked vegetation along the shorelines and picked up most of their fish along points.

"Today, we got our bites early," Manley said. "Yesterday we didn't get our first fish in the boat until about 9:30. Today, we both had a limit by 10 o'clock and that just relaxed us."

Big kicker pushes LSU Shreveport to fifth

Racing up from 14th place, LSU Shreveport's Zach Caudle and Joe Landry caught 17-3 today and gained nine spots to fifth with 27-0. Their catch included an 8-pounder that Caudle caught on a Strike King Redeye Shad.

"I thought I had the bottom of the lake," Caudle said of the hook set on his big fish. "The rod just loaded up, but then she broke water and we both just (stared in awe)."

Landry notes that although his team has handled big fish before, this one was still exciting: "We've been fishing together for a couple of years now and since we're so blessed to fish Falcon Lake through FLW, so we were actually able to stay calm through (the fight). Whenever the fish jumped, I After blanking on day one, LSUfreaked out, but I didn't let (Caudle) know that. It's a two-day tournament, but a big fish will still help."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 leaders at the Western College Regional Championship:

6th: Doug McClung and Travis Laurent of LSU, 26-11
7th: Zach Sears and Brandon Dickenson of the University of North Texas, 26-10
8th: Derek Doyle and Seth Peugh of Tarleton State, 25-3
9th: Kyle Bates and David Doonan of Texas A&M, 24-12
10th: Brian Bauer and Joseph Garland of Baylor University, 24-0

Day three of FLW National Guard College Fishing Series action continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. (Central Time) at Cassels-Boykin Park located at FM Road 3123 in Zavalla, Texas.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2010-10-28-texas-regional-sam-rayburn 

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