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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

The squeeze tightens

Northern Regional competitors race to their first spots at the day-two takeoff.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Day one was tough and day two has the makings of an arduous grind for the 20 teams competing in the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Northern Regional Championship on Sayers Lake.

Sayers packs a good assortment of habitat diversity into its 1,730 acres, but it's still a relatively small body of water with only so many fish. That means anglers are likely to face an even tougher bite than on day one. It's not unheard of to catch the same bass on consecutive days, but it's safe to say that the ones that made the trip from Sayers Lake to the weigh-ins at Penn State and then back to their home waters will be profoundly uncooperative this morning.

Anglers won't see any of the rain that fell on day one, but today's forecast calls for more clouds, so the shallow to mid-depth fish will be roaming and therefore harder to pinpoint. Nevertheless, a few teams reported finding good numbers of quality fish on day one, so today's outcome - while likely on the slim side - may produce the kind of dramatic moments you'd expect from a regional event.

Ramapo College's Jeff Voss and Joseph Zapf hold the top spot with 12 pounds, 10 ounces. On mostRamapo College teammates Jeff Voss and Joseph Zapf lead the field into day two. lakes, their lead of 1-12 would provide little security, but on this stingy lake, they'll have to fall pretty hard to miss the final-round cut. The leaders will return to their best day-one spot, a smallmouth-laden offshore area that they located during practice.

"We didn't hit it too hard yesterday, so hopefully there will be plenty of fish there today," Zapf said. "If we can get five fish, we'll be alright."

The leaders were understandably guarded with the details of their day-one catch, but Voss said that today will see them starting with a diverse approach and adjusting as needed.

"We're throwing reaction baits and plastics and we'll see which one does better," he said. "Like yesterday, I'll be throwing one and (Zapf) will be throwing the other. Whatever pans out is what we're going to use."

Also following their day-one plan, the anglers will look for the shallow largemouth bite. Yesterday that produced only small fish, so unless they see something promising, they'll soon slide out to the deep water and target smallmouth.

Voss said he and his fishing partner are thrilled with their position. "To be leading after the first day is crazy. Everything that FLW and the National Guard have done is incredible. This is our first regional and it's blowing our mind."

Finesse baits like the shaky head will play a big role in many game plans today. Ramapo had dual representation in yesterday's top five, as Charles Danza and team president Bob Rieder placed fourth with 8-11. Danza said he and his partner will also focus most of their effort offshore. There, he said, they'll use

"We're going to throw shaky heads a little deeper than most people are fishing," he said. "A lot of guys are throwing crankbaits out deep and trying to get the fish to react, but we're hoping to get some of those fish that are less active."

Starting the day in second place, Fairmont State's Wil Dieffenbauch and Brent Dodrill hope to replicate their day-one game plan, which started with crankbaits shallow and then progressed to throwing a variety of worms in the lake's mid-depths. Elsewhere,Virginia Tech's Carson Rejzer and Wyatt Blevins are also confident that sticking with their opening game plan and pushing to up their productivity is what they need to do. Watching other teams weigh big smallmouths has them open to various opportunities, but they won't abandon their largemouth pattern just to hunt brown fish.

"We're not targeting any specific fish - the fish are all scattered in this lake," Rejzer said. "There are a couple of schools of smallmouth and they seem to be keying on one area. We might go check that outWyatt Blevins and Carson Rejzer will be looking to keep Virginia Tech in the top-5. if we're struggling with largemouth, but what we're doing seems to be working, so if we can keep that up, that's all I want to do. Largemouth weigh just as much as smallmouth."

Tournament logistics

Anglers will take off from Bald Eagle State Park, Hunters Run East Ramp located at 149 Main Park Road in Howard, Pa., at 7 a.m. each morning. Weigh-ins will be held at Bryce Jordan Center (Beaver Stadium) beginning at 4 p.m. Fri. Final weigh-in will be on Sat. beginning at 4 p.m. or upon completion of the Penn State vs. Indiana State football game at Beaver Stadium. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Penn State is hosting the College Fishing Festival throughout the three day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to 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 Penn State's Bryce Jordan Center (Beaver Stadium) located at 127 Bryce Jordan Center in University Park from 2-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday.

College competitors face the flag during the morningThe first-place team wins $12,500 cash for their school and $12,500 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club. The top five teams from each regional tournament advance to the national championship where the first-place team wins $25,000 for their school and $50,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club.

College Fishing is free to enter and 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.

Coverage of the Northern Regional Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. "FLW Outdoors," will air Nov. 6 from 1 - 2 p.m. ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.

Friday's conditionsStarting the day in second place, Brent Dodrill and Wil Dieffenbauch of Fairmont State University will start shallow and then move out deep later in the morning.

Sunrise: 6:39 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 62 degrees
Expected high temperature: 78 degrees
Wind: SSE at 5-10 mph
Max. humidity: 56 percent
Day's outlook: partly cloudy

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-09-01-northern-regional-sayers-lake 

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