UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Potomac River

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Tough test in Tempe

Tough test in Tempe
FLW College Fishing Western Regional Championship qualifiers await the start of takeoff on Saguaro Lake.

TEMPE, Ariz. - As the top-20 FLW College Fishing Western Regional team qualifiers departed Saguaro Lake Marina shortly after 7 a.m. amidst clear skies, moderate temperatures and light winds, their thoughts undoubtedly centered around one goal - surviving Friday's top-five cut. With conditions largely unchanged from Thursday's competition, the field can expect the bite to be almost identical to the first day of competition - which isn't necessarily a good thing.

When all was said and done after yesterday's weigh-in, only three teams managed to boat three or more keeper fish. Only two teams were able to produce weights in excess of 6 pounds. And only one team - Sacramento State - found five fish to bring to the scales.

Although most teams struggled during Thursday's opening round of competition, a select few teams did excel. At the head of the pack was the Chico State team of Thomas White and Frank Vogt, who produced a relatively healthy four-fish stringer weighing 10 pounds, 5 ounces.

"We're pretty much going to have the same game plan today," said Vogt. "We're just hoping for a little stronger current to stir up some more baitfish. We have a couple of spots where we're spending most of our time and if they produce today, we should be fine."

Vogt's partner said that on a small lake like Saguaro, and with the bite as fickle as it has been, patience is key.

"It's a nice lake but it's like a NASCAR track out there," said White. "At times there is a lot of boater congestion. And the bite is pretty tough so you need to have a lot of patience. We're really trying to fish both hard and smart. We're trying to stay at a specific depth and keep a careful eye on our graphs. You also need to know when to move and when to stay."

Ideally, the team said they would like to continue to target largemouth bass keying on balls of baitfish.

"But if we can't locate those, we've been targeting lots of roaming fish," said Vogt. "if the bait's not there, you have to target those bigger fish cruising through your areas."

While being in first place with only one day of competition remaining before the cut is an enviable position to be in, it's also a nerve-wracking one.

"I'd rather not be in first place right now because everybody is after the guys on top," said White. "I told my partner to approach today's competition just like we're in 20th place and we need a big day because we could very well go out there and flop and not get to fish tomorrow."

With the impressive Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Site serving as backdrop to todayWhile surviving today's top-five cut is crucial for a tournament title run, which comes with a top award of $50,000, it's also important for another very compelling reason - each of the top-five team finalists will be invited to the 2012 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

As such, there are plenty of teams that are going to do everything possible to make that cut, including the team of Nick Doring and Zachary Niesen, whose University of Oregon team is currently in sixth place on the outside looking in.

"We're just going to go out there and use the same kind of plan we used yesterday because we're on some good fish," said Niesen. "And I think if we just keep doing what we've been doing, we'll be fine. We're using a very slow presentation and we're targeting deep fish, looking for drop-offs near shelves. Our goal is to come back today with 8 to 10 pounds. Hopefully, everything will work out for us."

Tourney format and event logistics

Twenty college teams will compete for a top award of $50,000 to be split between the school and bass fishing club; $37,500 for the bass club, which includes $12,500 in cash as well as a Ranger 177TR with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors, and $12,500 for their school.

Anglers will take off from Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Site located at 14011 North Bush Highway in Mesa, Ariz., at 7 a.m. each morning. All weigh-ins will be held outside the Wells Fargo Arena on the Arizona State University campus at 606 East Alpha Drive. Friday's weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday's final weigh-in will begin at 5 p.m., just prior to the Arizona State-Arizona football game.

Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Schools competing in the Western Regional include:

Arizona State University - Joseph Jarrell, Phoenix, Ariz., and Kyle Keegan, Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona State University - Mark Walker, Cave Creek, Ariz., and Craig Carroll, Chandler, Ariz.
Boise State - Jared Spickelmier, Boise, Idaho, and Jacob Leanna, Menominee, Mich.
Boise State - Michael Zawacki, Boise, Idaho, and Tanner Bice, Middleton, Idaho
California Polytechnic - Scott Hellesen and Damian Bean, both of San Luis Obispo, Calif.
California State University, Long Beach - Justin Gangel, Oceanside, Calif., and Alex Cox, Long Beach, Calif.
California State University, Monterey Bay - David Hamblin, Morgan Hill, Calif., and Matthew Diaz, Castroville, Calif.
Chico State - Bo Harkins, Chico, Calif., and Anthony Dayton, Walnut Creek, Calif.
Chico State - Bryce Hayes, Taft, Calif., and Lucas Russell, Chico, Calif.
Chico State - Nicholas Carrico, Oroville, Calif., and Matthew Wetmore, Chico, Calif.
Chico State - Thomas White, Fountain Valley, Calif., and Frank Vogt, Chico, Calif.
Fresno State - Christopher Delgado and Kong Moua, both of Fresno, Calif.
Humboldt State University - Ben Smith and Dominic Vitali, both of Samoa, Calif.
Northern Arizona University - Nicole Albright and Brent Perkins, both of Phoenix, Ariz.
Sacramento State - Kyle Derbish and Greg Taluban, both of Sacramento, Calif.
Sacramento State - Robert Matsuura, Sacramento, Calif., and Thomas Kanemoto, Elk Grove, Calif.
University of Nevada, Reno - Brandon Murphy, Reno, Nev., and Jared Malone, Sonora, Calif.
University of Oregon - Ross Richards, Eugene, Ore., and Reed Frazier San Rafael, Calif.
University of Oregon - William Crowl, Eugene, Ore., and Kyle Schneider, Beaverton, Ore.
University of Oregon - Zachary Niesen and Nick Doring, both of Mill Valley, Calif.

FLW College Fishing Western Regional qualifiers patiently await the start of takeoff.The top five teams from FLW College Western Regional Championship will advance to the FLW College Fishing National Championship, which features a first-place 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.

Arizona State will be hosting the College Fishing Festival throughout the three-day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to a Ranger Boat simulator, Sony PS3 Gaming Trailer, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize giveaways. The festival will take place outside the Wells Fargo Arena located at 606 East Alpha Drive in Tempe from 2 - 4 p.m. on Friday; and from 2:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

College Fishing is free to enter. FLW 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.

Bass-fishing fans take note

Takeoff commences on Saguaro Lake.Coverage of the Western Regional Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. "FLW Outdoors," will air Dec. 25 from 1 - 2 p.m. ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.

Want to watch Thursday's FLW College Fishing Western Regional Championship weigh-in live but can't make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on FLWOutdoors.com shortly before 4 p.m. Mountain time to watch live streaming video and audio of today's weigh in.

FLW College Fishing anglers wait for the sun to rise over Saguaro Lake.Vital statistics:

Sunrise: 7:02 a.m.
Temperature at takeoff: 52 degrees
Expected high temperature: 76 degrees
Water temperature: 65-67 degrees
Wind: From the south-southeast at 5-10 mph
Humidity: 39 percent
Day's outlook: Mostly sunny

Related links:

College Fishing Festival
Event schedule

Tags: gary-mortenson  morning-story  2011-11-17-western-regional-saguaro-lake 

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

Big Bags Coming on Rainy Clear Lake

One of the gems of California bass fishing might have its luster muted by the week’s weather, but Clear Lake will likely still provide plenty of opportunity for anglers competing in this week’s Costa FLW Series Western Division event, which is presented by Ranger Boats and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.  READ MORE »

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Everything on the Table at Table Rock

Stop No. 2 of the Costa FLW Series Central Division, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by Explore Branson, is primed to be an all-out show. It seems like the lake’s entire population of bass is rushing to the bank to spawn, with all three species willing to eat a vast array of offerings. The only question: Will Mother Nature play nice? READ MORE »

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

Tougher but Still Santee Cooper

The Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division finale began this morning at Santee Cooper, where even though fishing has been tough, everyone expects to see mega-bags brought to weigh-in. The bass are nearly done spawning, but a strong shad spawn in the mornings offers real potential. READ MORE »

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

Everything’s in Play on Kentucky Lake

A squad of 147 boaters and their co-anglers partners enjoyed a pleasant spring morning in western Kentucky for the start of the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Big Bags on Horizon at Chickamauga

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event presented by T-H Marine is underway, and by all indications, the fishery is set up to churn out some mega-bags throughout the event. Even during practice, with the water falling well below normal levels, 7-, 8- and 9-pounders weren’t uncommon. Now, with the best anglers in the southeast hard at it, you can expect fireworks. READ MORE »

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

College Open Weigh-in to Start at Noon

Day one of the YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake was phenomenal in terms of the fishing, and while that may be the case for day two, strong winds forced FLW officials to cut the tournament short by a few hours. READ MORE »

Good Conditions Greet College Open Field

Good Conditions Greet College Open Field

The YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes returns to FLW’s home waters this morning, as a full field of anglers prepare to take off for the fifth iteration of the two-day event, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Moors Resort & Marina. READ MORE »

Rise and Grind Time at Lake Mead

Rise and Grind Time at Lake Mead

Strong winds on the heels of a prolonged cold-weather period may prove to turn the Costa FLW Series Western Division opener into a true grind fest this week as pros and co-anglers take off from Callville Bay – Forever Resorts on Lake Mead in southern Nevada. READ MORE »

A Different Okeechobee

A Different Okeechobee

Cold fronts, dirty water and lower water levels make for an interesting start to the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division season. READ MORE »

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Perfect Weather Now on Tap in Texas

Amistad is one of south Texas’ most famous reservoirs – the other being Falcon. Though it’s not the juggernaut that it was in the not too distant past, Amistad is still an incredible tournament fishery, with room to spread out and plenty of grass and rocky structure to target for big giant wintertime bass. READ MORE »

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Here Comes Fall in the Ozarks

Mother Nature will deliver a big part of the story this week as the 2018 Costa FLW Series season comes to a close on Lake of the Ozarks. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, will wrap up the Central Division and finalize the field for the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship scheduled for Nov. 1-3 at Lake Guntersville. READ MORE »

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

Promising Tides on Tap at the Cal Delta

It’s kind of a good news-bad news deal on the California Delta this week as anglers take on this vast and storied fishery for the final event of the Costa FLW Series Western Division. READ MORE »

Summer Not Over at 1000 Islands

Summer Not Over at 1000 Islands

It has been the year of the smallmouth in the Northern Division of the Costa FLW Series this season and the third and final event on the 1000 Islands will certainly showcase that. The event, which is presented by Navionics and hosted by the Clayton Chamber of Commerce, is expected to have big weights especially due to the recent results of the Bassmaster Elite Series event and the Renegade Bass Tour Thousand Islands Open held back in early August. No doubt it’ll take over 20 pounds a day to win, however, conditions aren’t as ideal as anticipated for a major smallie smackdown to happen. READ MORE »

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Costa Smallmouth Derby Begins on Erie

Stop two in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division got underway under clear skies this morning on Lake Erie out of Buffalo. The event, which drew 169 boats, is presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. The field features some of the top smallmouth sticks in the Northeast. The big question at game time was not whether anglers would catch plenty of fish, but how many and of what size. READ MORE »

Suggs Cracks 24-6 on Barkley

Suggs Cracks 24-6 on Barkley

Andrew Suggs of Cunningham, Tennessee, caught five bass weighing 24 pounds, 6 ounces, to win Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) LBL Division tournament on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his win, Suggs took home $3,945. READ MORE »

High Schoolers Head to Pickwick’s Ledges

High Schoolers Head to Pickwick’s Ledges

At 43,100 surface acres, Pickwick Lake offers lots of fishing area, but when the 2018 TBF/FLW Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship, held in conjunction with the 2018 High School Fishing World Finals, sends 384 teams into competition, even this Tennessee River powerhouse might seem rather small. READ MORE »

Test article

Test article READ MORE »

Game Day on Champlain

Game Day on Champlain

Kicking the season off at Lake Champlain worked great last year, and this year the Costa FLW Series Northern Division is once again getting things rolling on the big Northern lake. Again, there’s a new record field size for the Northern Division with a total of 205 boats. The tournament, which is presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the City of Plattsburgh and the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau, should treat anglers and fans to an impressive parade of big smallmouth bass for the next three days. READ MORE »

Ledge Bite Awaits at Barkley and Kentucky

Ledge Bite Awaits at Barkley and Kentucky

Bass anglers of every stripe smile when they think of Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley, the sprawling twin reservoirs that, respectively, mark the lower impoundments on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. All bass anglers, including the field of pros and co-anglers who have converged on Lake Barkley State Park for the Costa FLW Series Central Division tournament hosted by Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism and presented by T-H Marine today through Saturday, know what the big lakes can do. READ MORE »

Diverse Patterns in Play at Clear Lake

Diverse Patterns in Play at Clear Lake

The gem of northern California is set to shine as anglers do their best to unlock Clear Lake’s treasure during the Costa FLW Series Western Division event powered by Evinrude and hosted by Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina. With warm and mostly sunny conditions on tap, we’re expecting a diverse event with all spring phases in play. READ MORE »