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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Sayers players

Ramapo College's Jeff Voss and Joseph Zapf lead the field into day three.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - When Penn State hosts Indiana State today at Beaver Stadium, players on both sides of the ball know their coaches expect them to "go `til the whistle" on each play. Same concept applies for Ramapo College's Jeff Voss and Joseph Zapf who lead the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Northern Regional Championship on Sayers Lake since day one.

Jumping out front on day one with 12 pounds, 10 ounces - the event's heaviest bag - Voss and Zapf carried a lead of 1-12 into day two. Their second-round productivity slipped to 9-4, but there's was by far the best bag of day two and their total of 21-14 blew up that lead to 5 pounds, 8 ounces. That's a hefty advantage on a lake of just 1,730 acres, but the leaders know that their whistle won't blow until their off the water around 1 p.m. today.

"Even with a 5 1/2-pound lead, you never count anyone out, so we're going to go out (as if it were) zero to zero andJoseph Zapf and Jeff Voss will fish hard to keep Ramapo on top. do our best, beat our spot up for every fish it's worth and hopefully it all pays off," Voss said.

The top team has been focusing on smallmouth on a series of isolated rock structures in 12 to 14 feet. They've caught fish on reaction baits and soft plastics and believe the latter will be more effective today. As Zapf noted, the timing of their main spot will likely work in their favor.

"Yesterday, we had a decent morning bite and today's (fishing time) will be a little shorter than yesterday so hopefully that should help us over some of the other teams," he said. "If the fish are there in the morning, we're going to go to town on them really early. We can get an early limit if they're there. Anything could happen. If they're there, they're there. If not, it wasn't meant to be."

Despite seeing more quantity than quality on day two, Voss said he's confident that his team will have their shots at heavier fish today. "We're in an area that big fish are moving up to. It's a roadbed and more fish are coming in every day. If we get lucky, there's going to be big fish. If we're not lucky, there's going to be 12- to 13-inchers. We're going to catch as many as we can and hopefully get a couple of big ones."

Fairmont StateTrailing in second since day one, Fairmont State's Wil Dieffenbauch and Brent Dodrill know they have a tall hill to climb, but they'll be going for broke today. In the two previous days, they've started shallow with reaction baits and moved deeper to fish plastics in 12 to 13 feet later in the morning. Their day-three plan will be more streamlined.

"Today, we're just going to go straight to the deep water," Dodrill said. "We haven't been getting any bites up on the bank. Today, we're either going to hit a home run or strike out. We're going for the big fish. We're 5 1/2 pounds out of the lead right now but where we're going, we know there are big fish there. It's just a matter of if we can get them to bite."

Dodrill said he and Dieffenbauch will fish the two patches of rocky bottom they've worked for two days, but they'll focus their final effort on the perimeter. "Today, we're going to fish about 50 to 60 yards outside of (the rocks). The fish are scattered right now, so we're just going to keep on the trolling motor, cover some water right in that general area. Hopefully, we can find a couple of 2- to 3-pounders."

Dodrill said that their spot holds largemouth and smallmouth, but the latter dominates the area. Dieffenbauch said tubes and dropshots will be their primary baits.Virginia Tech

"All of our big fish the last two days have come off that spot; they're just really scattered," Dieffenbauch said. "If they school up, we can get a big bag."

Following in third place, Virginia Tech's Wyatt Blevins and Carson "Barefoot" Rejzer have put their faith mostly in largemouth this week, but catching a keeper smallmouth in Bald Eagle Creek during yesterday's tough bite has prompted them to consider more brown fish there effort today. Despite the college field's reduction to five finalists, Sayers Lake will also see the FLW High School Fishing Northern Regional, a National Guard Soldier Appreciation event and the usual mix of weekend traffic.

Representing Christopher Newport, Ryan Ingalls and Derek Berhalter will focus on finesse tactics for largemouth bass today. "Hopefully, that spot is going to pay off for us because the lake's going to be busy," Rejzer said. "It's already in shock from us pounding it for two days, so that's going to be a good spot for us to catch some unpressured fish."

In fourth place, Ryan Ingalls and Derek Berhalter will represent Christopher Newport. They will focus on finesse tactics around grass lines like the one where Ingalls caught a 3-pounder on day two.

Ramapo has dual representation in the final round, thanks to Charles Danza and the school's bass club president, Bob Rieder. After struggling most of day two, they caught two keepers by targeting suspended fish. Danza said they'll try a mix of reaction baits and finesse presentations today.

Tournament logistics

Final weigh-in will be on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. or upon completion of the Penn State vs. Indiana State football game at Beaver Stadium. Weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Penn State is hosting the College Fishing Festival throughout the three day tournament. Students andRamapo 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.

The 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.

Anglers, volunteers and spectators pause for the national anthem prior to the final daySaturday's conditions

Sunrise: 6:40 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 65 degrees
Expected high temperature: 86 degrees
Wind: SSW at 5 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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