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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Find the food

A brilliant sunrise illumintated the changing leaves along Beaver Creek.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Of the main factors governing the bass agenda - temperature, clarity and food - the latter carries the most fall emphasis. Therefore, the 20 teams competing in the FLW National Guard College Fishing Northern Regional on Lake Jordan will do well to focus on locating shad schools.

As day one dawned with a cloudless sky, the brilliant Carolina sunrise unleashed its gilded rays and illuminated multi-hued tree lines. Changing leaves are the main visual cue of fall's transition, but fish feel it long before humans see it, so Jordan's bass are well into their autumn mode. That means eating, eating and then a little more eating.

Sensing that winter's lean period is just around the corner, bass will be moving around more in search ofNorth Carolina State another bait school to ravage. Shad, the primary Jordan forage, are heading toward their wintering spots, and bass are hot on their heels. Creeks are the main deal here, as demonstrated by the hometown anglers Will White and Jeff Bumgarner. At the takeoff, the NC State team ran about 100 yards from the flag boat and hooked back in toward the first point at the mouth of Beaver Creek, making their first casts well before half the teams had made their hole shots.

Media boat driver and FLW American Fishing Series pro Red Moore noted the spot's favorable elements: transitional shoreline with boulders meeting gravel along with a few lay-downs and stumps.

"This is the first point going into a creek, and right now the shad are migrating into the creeks," Moore said. "Today will probably be a mid- to late-morning bite as the sun warms the water and brings those shad up. The anglers who have found the concentrations of bait will do well because the bass will be following the bait this time of year."

White said he and Bumgarner caught several fish, including a 5-pounder along that stretch of bank during practice: "We caught them all day long. We got them cranking early, and then later in the day it was more of a Senko bite. We were Carolina rigging a Senko."

RensselaerRensselaer's Tom Cooley and Mike Ahrens found their opening pattern through a process of elimination. They started out fishing wood in the backs of creeks, but after a couple of unproductive hours, they determined it was time to make an adjustment.

"We changed gears and hit some different structure - some deeper drop-offs - and caught some fish, so that's how we're going to start out today. We threw mostly shallow-running square bill crankbaits yesterday on the wood, but today we're going to go with lipless crankbaits on the steeper drop-offs. If we need to, we'll slow down and do some finesse stuff."

Ahrens said that the seasonal clock adjustment will likely play a role in their tournament performance: "Since it's daylight savings time, we're actually getting out an hour earlier than we would have last week. In practice, we noticed that the bite picked up a little later than it would have last week for us."

West Point's Hugh Clark said that he and teammate Justin Hunter spent the better half of their practice day searching for bait schools. Today, they look forward to hitting their target areas.

"We came in with a game plan, but we started out yesterday and found that the shad weren't where weWest Point thought they were going to be," Clark said. "We ran around and got up on a pattern, so hopefully that will hold up for us today. You find the shad, and that's where the fish are going to be. We think we've got them figured out, but then again, today's another day, so we'll see how they do for us.

"Yesterday was an afternoon bite for us. But then in the morning we were trying to find them, so we weren't on the shad really well until the afternoon."

Crankbaits - shallow and deep divers - will see a lot of action throughout day one. Today will bring moderate winds, so spinnerbaits could be a good option also. Sunny conditions will have fish holding tight to cover, so flipping jigs and Texas-rigged plastics around docks, lay-downs and grass will produce later in the day.

Tournament logistics

The top five FLW College Fishing teams from each of the four regular-season Northern Division tournaments At the start of day one, only one team headed under the Hwy. 64 Bridge and into Beaver Creek.gained automatic entry into the 2010 Northern Regional Championship at North Carolina State 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 Ebenezer Boat Ramp located at 2882 Beaver Creek Road in Apex NC, at 7:00 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at NC State University - Carter Finley Stadium, Gate E, located at Lot 6000 Trinity Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh, N.C. beginning at 4 p.m. daily. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

The NC State University also is hosting the College Fishing Festival throughout the three day tournament.As the day 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 Carter Finley Stadium 2 - 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday.

A National Guard hospitality fishing event will also be held Saturday. Takeoff will be at 8 a.m. at Ebenezer Boat Ramp and weigh-in will be at 1:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Thursday's conditions

Sunrise: 6:47 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 47 degrees
Expected high temperature: 62 degrees
Water temperature: 63-64 degrees
Wind: N at 10 mph
Max. humidity: 20 percent
Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2010-11-11-northern-regional-jordan-lake 

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