UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Lake Norman

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

First round critical for CF Central Regional field

Day one will present good fishing conditions for Central Regional anglers, but the weather will decline dramatically on day two.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Most folks don't realize what they've got until it's gone. But the teams competing in the FLW National Guard College Fishing Central Regional Championship on Lake Monroe will surely savor today's decent forecast, because tomorrow it's all going bye-bye.

Day two will bring dreary conditions with a mix of rain and snow flurries. Morning temperatures in the mid-30s will feel about 10 degrees lower thanks to the wind chill factor. Daytime highs will struggle to reach the mid-40s, and rain will likely stick around until late afternoon. Anglers can certainly fish in such conditions, but the bite will slow considerably, plus multiple layers of warm clothing can hinder presentations and cause fatigue.

That being said, it's safe to assume that each team launched today with a heightened sense ofIndiana University urgency. Viewing day one as a make-it-or-break-it chance, hometowners Jesse Shultz and Dustin Vaal of Indiana University seek to strike quick and build as they can.

"We're hoping today will be our better day," Shultz said. "We're going to go out there and try to catch 15 pounds. If we can get 15 pounds, we feel like that can roll over for the rest of the day and continue to get us into the top five.

"In any tournament, you want to try to catch them early. If you can get a limit early, you're going to feel much better throughout the day. So we're searching for a limit, but if that doesn't happen, we're hoping to get those quality bites. We're going to keep our baits wet and make sure we're fishing all day long and try to catch those big fish."

Spinnerbaits and crankbaits should produce several fish on Lake Monroe.The IU team will start their day with crankbaits and spinnerbaits to secure a limit and then slow down to focus on key structure with jigs and Texas-rigged Sweet Beavers. Vaal said mental toughness and laser focus will be important during a challenging weather week on an often-stingy lake.

"I think the biggest challenge will be just keeping your head in the game," he said. "This lake can be really tough at times, and then all of a sudden, you'll go through a half an hour and you'll have a nice sack of fish."

Noting that lay-downs and offshore brush piles will be his team's main focus, Vaal said they won't get too cozy with any one spot. "We're going to be running and gunning. We're going to be all over this lake today."

Bringing the heat on IU will be three teams from big-time rival Purdue. Boilermakers Chris Kaiser and Charles Spicer will devote much of their day to an old boat ramp with rip-rap. They'll throw Rapala Shad-Raps in crawfish patterns. Kaiser said he expects his team will have to grind out the morning hours andMissouri State's Brad Dunaway will target laydowns and isolated stumps with a shaky head. look for their better action during the day's second half.

"The bite seems to be getting better later in the day, so we feel that if we stick with our area that we know is good, we should be able to scratch out a few good fish," Kaiser said. "Once that water warms up, it seems like they bite a lot better."

Missouri State's Brad Dunaway will spend much of his day finesse-fishing a shaky head around lay-downs and isolated stumps. Dunaway said that while Monroe is no pushover, it rewards diligence.

"From what we've seen on this lake, if you do get a bite, it's a solid 15- to 16-inch fish, if not bigger," he said. "We haven't seen any shorts yet."

Tournament logistics

The top five FLW College Fishing teams from each of the four regular-season Central Division Purduetournaments gained automatic entry into the 2010 Central Regional Championship at Indiana University. During the three-day regional event, 20 two-man collegiate angling teams will compete for a top award of $50,000 to be split evenly between the school and its bass fishing club.

The top five teams from each regional championship, 25 total teams, will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship that will be hosted by Murray State University on Kentucky Lake, April 7-9. The National Championship is a three-day televised event. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. 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 along with a berth in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.

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.

Anglers will take off from Cutright Ramp located at 8012 Knightridge Road in Bloomington, Ind., at 8:30 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at Indiana University - Memorial Stadium located at 700 E 17th Street in Bloomington beginning daily at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

The University of Indiana also is hosting the College Fishing Festival throughout the three dayAnglers pause for the national anthem at the start of day one. 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 give-aways. The festival will take place at Indiana University - Memorial Stadium from 2 - 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Saturday.

A National Guard Soldier Appreciation Tournament will also be held Saturday. Takeoff will be at 8 a.m. at Cutright Ramp and weigh-in will be at 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Qualified teams include: College of the Ozarks; Kentucky; Eastern Kentucky; Harding University; Henderson State; Indiana University; Missouri State University; Northwestern University; Purdue University; Southeast Missouri State; Truman State University; University of Arkansas, Little Rock; University of Iowa; University of Wisconsin, Stout, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Winona State University; and Western Kentucky University.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 8:17 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 34 degrees
Expected high temperature: 51 degrees
Water temperature: 67 degrees
Wind: NW at 10-20 mph
Max. humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2010-11-04-central-regional-lake-monroe 

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