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

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Receding share line

Teams take to Lake Somerville under clear, cooler conditions on day two.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The bad thing about low water is that it eliminates some of a lake's traditionally productive shoreline habitat. However, after day one of the FLW National Guard College Fishing Series Texas Regional Championship on Lake Somerville, the anglers also know that low water concentrates the fish into tighter areas.

Several months of drought have taken a huge toll on this Yegua Creek reservoir and at nearly 10 feet below normal pool, Somerville now stands with much of its once-prime shallow-water habitat baking in the sunshine. Nevertheless, with the lake's shoreline greatly receded, the fish are aggregating in large numbers around the remaining structure, very little of which sits far from deep water. That means a lot of good spots will continue to replenish.

Topping the field, Stephen F. Austin's Andrew Upshaw and Ryan Watkins were the only team to break 20 pounds on day one. Their limit catch of 21-5 sits 2 pounds, 5 ounces ahead of second place Texas A&M's Kyle Bates and Cody Collins. The leaders are fishing within shouting distance of two other tournament teams, but Watkins said that he and Upshaw will maintain the laser focus that helpedDay-one leaders Andrew Upshaw and Ryan Watkins hope to keep Stephen F. Austin on top again on day two. them reach the top yesterday.

"We're just going to worry about us," Watkins said. "You can't ever worry about anyone else, regardless of if you're in a high-occupancy area. You just have to go fish your style, fish your strength, stay focused and not worry about what anyone else is doing.

"We've been fishing against (many of these anglers) for four years and today's no different. We're just going to go out and chunk and grind. It doesn't matter what day it is, or if we're ahead or behind; we go out and fish as hard as we can."

Watkins said that square bill crankbaits will play a key role in his team's game plan. Today will see more intense sunshine, but the wind will decrease from yesterday's 10 to 15 mph to a meager 6 mph today.

"The lighter wind could slow up the cranking bite but we caught them when it was calm in practice, so we're going to force-feed them," Watkins said. "We know they're there so we're going to keep running baits by them and we're going to get five bites."

Starting the day in second place, Texas A&MBates, whose 9-pound, 12-ounce lunker was the biggest bass of day one, said he'd love to repeat that rare accomplishment, but he's more interested in quantity than quality. Doing so, he said, will help ensure their berth in tomorrow's finale.

"I definitely want another one of those but that was a pretty rare occasion; I don't catch those that often," Bates said. "Today, we need to be more consistent and hopefully get on some 3-pound fish. Five of those would get our confidence up a little more."

On the other hand, teams further down the standings would benefit greatly from a serious kicker. Good example: Jacob Heath and Kennedy Schwartsburg of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, who start today in eighth place with 12-12.

"We just need one big bite," Heath said. "We were around big fish yesterday. We just need one big one to bite today."

Collins believes that today's calmer conditions will bode well for his team's shallow water focus. "I think (the calmer wind) will turn the fish on. The fish in this lake don't like that strong wind that we had yesterday. We'll throw the same baits today. We keyed in on what they were eating yesterday and during Wednesday (practice), so we'll start out throwing what they want."

Fall is generally a time of roaming, as bass chase bait schools to fatten up for winter. Therefore, areasAfter a fourth-place performance on day one, Oral Roberts University with plenty of bait will at least put themselves in position to find fish. The mix of productive baits will include spinnerbaits, Texas-rigged worms and Carolina rigs.

Tournament logistics

Anglers will take off from the Lake Somerville Marina located at 505 Marina Drive in Brenham, Texas, at 7:30 a.m. each morning. All weigh-ins will be held at Duncan Field located at 830 George Bush Drive in College Station. Friday weigh-ins will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at 5 p.m., or upon the completion of the Texas A&M vs. Baylor football game. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

The top five teams from each regional tournament advance to the national championship where the first-place team wins an award of $100,000; $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.

Texas A&M will be hosting the College Fishing Festival throughout the three day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to the a Ranger Boat simulator, Sony PS3 Gaming Trailer, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize give-aways. The festival will take place at Duncan Field from 2 - 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

After a fourth-place performance on day one, Oral Roberts UniversityCollege 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.

Friday's conditions:

Sunrise: 7:23 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 61 degrees
Expected high temperature: 85 degrees
Wind: SSE 6 mph
Max. Humidity: 25 percent
Day's outlook: sunny

Tags: david-a-brown  morning-story  2011-10-13-texas-regional-somerville-lake 

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