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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

University of Georgia maintains lead at College Fishing Southeast Regional on Lake Harding

The University of Georgia's Randy Tolbert and Chase Simmemon caught fish on dropshots and Texas-rigged plastics.

AUBURN, Ala. (Sept. 9, 2011) - The University of Georgia team of Randy Tolbert, Jr. of Rome, Ga., and Chase Simmemon of Alto, Ga., maintained their lead at the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship presented by Evinrude and hosted by Auburn University on Lake Harding Friday with five bass weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces. The team holds a slim 4-ounce lead over their nearest competitor, Clemson University. Teams are fishing for a top award of $50,000 to be split between the university and the university's bass fishing club - $12,500 and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower outboard wrapped in school colors for the bass club and $12,500 for their school.

"It was a tough day today," said Tolbert, a senior fisheries and aquaculture major. "The largemouth didn't cooperate with us. We could not get a good largemouth bite today, so we struggled and caught a limit of spots and fished for largemouth the rest of the day. It was a grind."

Tolbert said the team targeted largemouth in shallow water but managed only a couple of spotted bass, so the team back off into deeper water and fished a drop-shot rig to fill their limit. Simmemon said the team caught only five keepers and a total of 10 bass during the course of the day. Simmemon said the team's two-day struggle to catch bass would force them to change their plan of attack on the last day of competition.

"We're swinging for the fences," said Simmemon, a junior wildlife biology and fisheries and aquaculture major. "We couldn't really get anything going, so we're going to try something a little different."

Clemson's Harold Turner, a sophomore construction science management major, said his team went into the second day of competition with "a lot of confidence," but the team faced some challenges early.

"We really struggled all morning," Turner said. "We had one fish at 1:30. Then I don't know what happened, but the wind picked up and we caught four in the last hour."

Those five keepers were the only keeper fish the Clemson team caught all day. Andy Wicker, a sophomore civil engineering major, said the team began the day fishing crankbaits but switched to different baits to try to find something the fish would bite.

"Teamwork is really critical in these events," Wicker said. "(Turner) found some fish and I found some fish, and both of us were doing different things, and that really helps out in these tournaments. We started out cranking, but we were able to catch some fish flipping today, too.

"We're just going to keep our heads up and fish confident," Wicker added. "I think we stumbled across some (fish) this afternoon that will really help us out. We're going to swing the bat and try to knock it out with the home run."

Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship are:

2nd: Clemson University - Andy Wicker, Pomaria, S.C., and Harold Turner, Sumter, S.C. (10 bass, 15-8)

3rd: Kennesaw State University - Thomas Frink, Woodstock, Ga., and Justin Marlow, Kennesaw, Ga. (10 bass, 14-6)

4th: Georgia Southern - Wesley Maples, Rocky Face, Ga., and Jed Thigpen, Statesboro, Ga. (10 bass, 12-4)

5th: Auburn University - Jordan Lee, Vinemont, Ala., and Matt Lee, Auburn, Ala. (10 bass, 11-10)

Anglers will take off from Po-Boy Landing located at 158 County Road 335 in Salem, Ala., at 7 a.m. Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at Ag Heritage Park located at 411 South Donahue St. in Auburn, Ala., beginning at 3 p.m. or upon completion of the Auburn University vs. Mississippi State Football game Saturday. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.

Auburn University will also be hosting a College Fishing Festival on Saturday. 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 Ag Heritage Park from 9 a.m. until the kickoff of the football game on Saturday.

A National Guard Soldier Appreciation Tournament will also be held Saturday. Takeoff will be at 7 a.m. at Po-Boy Landing and weigh-in will be at 3 p.m. (subject to end of football game) at Ag Heritage Park.

The top five teams from each regional advance to the national championship where the first-place team will win $100,000 with $25,000 of that for their school and $50,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat wrapped in school colors and a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard 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 Southeast Regional Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. "FLW Outdoors," will air Oct. 23 from 1 - 2 p.m. ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWCollegeFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/CollegeFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.

ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS

FLW Outdoors is the best in fishing, on and off the water. Anglers worldwide can compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world's richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player's Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.

Tags: press-release  2011-09-08-southeast-regional-lake-harding 

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