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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Race against the clock

Leading the top five with 21 pounds, 15 ounces, Truman State's Mike McCarthy Jr. and Spencer Clark started their day along the rip rap on the west side of the 446 Bridge.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Game plans are good, but as fall's fickle nature brings a very different look to Lake Monroe, the top-five teams fishing day three of the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Central Regional Championship will find versatility their most valuable asset.

With a cold front moving into the area, day one saw partly cloudy conditions, 15- to 20-mph winds and temperatures reaching the low 50's. Day two's bright sunrise quickly gave way to dreary gray skies with daytime temperatures reaching only 46 degrees.

Day three dawned with the week's coldest temperature - a bone-chilling 23 degrees. Frost coated boat decks and folks had trouble keeping their footing at the ramp. The final day will see cloudless conditions with the wind dropping off to about 5 mph. Straight sunshine will nudge the thermometer up to about 45 today.

The light breeze means less definitive baitfish positioning, so counting on those wind-blown points mayTruman States signals they not work as well today. However, a clear sky will send constant sunshine into the water and that will keep the bass tight to cover.

Truman State's Mike McCarthy Jr. and Spencer Clark top the final field with 21 pounds, 15 ounces and a lead of 1-12 over the hometown team, Indiana University. After placing fifth on day one, McCarthy and Clark turned in the event's best performance on day two. They not only sacked up the heaviest weight, 14-2, they caught the only 6-fish limit in two days of competition.

Bagging six fish may be a huge factor in the final standings. Several anglers have found big bass in the 4- to 5-pound range, but hunting the heavies can be a time-consuming task, and one not suited for the shorter final round. Of course, math is math and six 1-pounders won't stand up to a pair of fives, so each team must make their best judgment call.

The Truman State anglers caught their day two fish by cranking points and rip rap. They won't have the wind in their favor today, but McCarthy said he thinks they can still find fish on some of the spots they fished yesterday.

Indiana University fans surround the hometown anglers, Dustin Vaal and Jesse Schultz during their pre-launch interview."We have to start off with the crankbaits," McCarthy said. "With the wind blowing onto that bank overnight, I think the bite will still be on. With the weather changing, who knows? But hopefully it will be the same thing today."

Clark said his team will need another strong performance to hold off hometown favorite IU. "We'll need 12-13 pounds today. Hopefully our fish will hold out. This lake can change every day, so we may have to adjust."

At the morning launch, all boats idled under the 446 bridge west of the launch site at Cutright Ramp. Truman State cleared the bridge and immediately dropped the trolling motor and started fishing the rip rap on the northwestern corner.

IU's Jesse Schultz and Dustin Vaal have held the second place spot for two days, but Schultz said they're ready to make their move. "That's our style - we like to come from behind and win."

After catching only two keepers on day one, IU got on a strong afternoon bite and doubled their catchBig-fish specialists Jeremy Anibas and Ryan Helke will seek to up their numbers for the final round. for day two and weighed 12 pounds. Vaal said they figured out a pattern toward the end of day two that yielded all of their weight. Given that discovery, they're likely to swing for the fence and target big fish today.

Carrying a mental library of local knowledge onto their home lake, Schultz and Vaal will have the benefit of multiple options, should they need to adjust. This could prove vital, as IU has not fared well in the morning hours.

"We have about four spots that we didn't hit (on day two) that we can really hit hard today," Schultz said. "Same type of presentation, just different locations. We're going to run those spots and run those spots. Hopefully, they'll hit before noon because we haven't gotten a bite before noon and we have a shorter day today."

UW-Stout's Jeremy Anibas and Ryan Helke have displayed the most consistency in boating big fish. On day one, Anibas caught his team's only fish, but that 5-pounder was enough to earn an eighth place spot. Day two brought just three keepers, but again, they were quality bass. UW-Stout's second round bag weighed 12-4, so an average of 4-plus pounds shows they're on the meat.

Jonas Ertel of Eastern Kentucky explains his bait choices for day three.Anibas and Helke have been working a backwater cove with deep water and lots of plump fish. They'll focus their efforts there today and fish a combination of spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs in hopes of sacking up more big bass. They also understand the importance of catching early fish.

"We didn't catch our fish until noon yesterday, so with quitting at 1 p.m. today, we're going to really have to try and grind out a couple of big bites earlier than that," Anibas said. "We'll just have to fish (our spot) very thoroughly."

Eastern Kentucky's Kyle Raymer and Jonas Ertel start the day in fourth place with 16-9. They've caught five keepers each day, so they're producing well, but they need to find something with thick shoulders today.

"We need a 5-pound bite, along with five other keepers," Ertel said. "If we get that kicker, we'll be okay."

UW-Whitewater's Jordan Truttschel and Tyler Netzer lead after day one, but slipped to fifth on day two. Truttschel said he's confident in his team's comeback potential because time is on their side today. During the first two days, most teams struggled in the morning hours and found their weight fish in theDay one leaders Jordan Truttschel and Tyler Netzer will try to raise UW-Whitewater afternoon. UW-Whitewater has experienced the exact opposite, so they're hoping to strike quickly and then manage their time strategically.

"We've been starting off in a shallow creek and working structure," Truttschel said. "The spot we have has produced for us two days in a row and I think it's going to replenish. We're definitely going to find some fish in there. We just have to pull them out fast and as soon as we hit 11 o'clock we're going to cut ourselves off and go fish our secondary spot.

"There's nothing to say that we won't catch a nice fish in our first spot. We caught a nice 4 1/2-pounder there (on day one) and then we pulled out another nice one after that. So, we're hoping to find a nice big, fat five or a slob six."

Truttschel and Netzer will stick with what got them to the top five: stumps and laydowns in creeks. They'll mostly throw Bomber square bill crankbaits, but they'll keep jigs and Texas-rigged plastics handy for targeted presentations.

Tournament logistics

The top five FLW College Fishing teams from each of the four regular-season Central Division Eastern Kentucky went to work early on points with laydowns.tournaments 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.

Weigh-ins will be held at Indiana University - Memorial Stadium located at 700 E 17th Street in Bloomington. Saturday's weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m. and is open to the public.

The University of Indiana also is hosting the College Fishing Festival at Memorial Stadium from 9 a.m. -Frost coated boat decks as day three brought the week 12 p.m. 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.

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 3 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 Frost coated boat decks as day three brought the weekUniversity; and Western Kentucky University.

Saturday's conditions:

Sunrise: 8:19 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 23 degrees
Expected high temperature: 45 degrees
Water temperature: 65 degrees
Wind: from the Northwest at 5 mph
Max. Humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: Sunny

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

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