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FLW College Fishing Invitational set for Detroit River

FLW College Fishing Invitational set for Detroit River
Roughly two thirds of the 136-boat field pointed north towards Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River Thursday morning.

TRENTON, Mich. - FLW College Fishing is headed to the Detroit River July 27-28 for the Central Conference Invitational Tournament. Forty-five teams have qualified for this tournament and will be competing for a top award of $4,000 and a berth in the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

"They're going to catch big stringers whether they're fishing on Lake St. Clair or Erie," said Chevy pro Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., who won when the FLW Tour visited the Detroit River in 2012. "You can fish the (Detroit) river and catch fish, but I doubt that you can compete for the win. You really can't catch 13 or 14 pounds a day consistently there. And on the weekends it can be a nightmare with all of the boat traffic."

Nixon said that the teams fishing Lake Erie would be targeting the deep, isolated reefs and ridges while those choosing to fish Lake St. Clair would be searching for the massive schools of smallmouth.

"On St. Clair, it's a lot of time spent trolling and letting the wind blow you around," Nixon said. "It can feel like you're just floating around in La La Land. Once you can locate the school and get on them you try to find what I call the mother lode. There may be a square mile of fish, but somewhere in that square mile is an area where they all are, and there will be a load of them. They're pretty consistent, and when you find an area, it can hold up for two or three days pretty easily."

Nixon said that college teams should concentrate their efforts on three main baits - a drop-shot rig, tubes and deep-diving crankbaits.

"It's typical smallmouth fishing," Nixon said. "The baitfish is really the key there. If you can find an area where you see little minnows flipping the water or schools of bait swimming around, you can catch a lot of smallmouth in there. When all else fails, I might pick up a 5-ounce Yamamoto Swimbait. Those are pretty much the only four baits that I keep rigged up there.

"The winners are going to have in the neighborhood of 18 to 21 pounds a day," Nixon went on to say. "It's usually a 20-pound-a-day average to have a shot at winning any tournament up there. It's going to be real competitive because I know how bad those college kids want to qualify for the championship."

Anglers will take off from the Elizabeth Park Marina located at 202 Grosse Ile Parkway in Trenton, Mich., at 6:30 a.m. each day. Friday's weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2 p.m., while Saturday's weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 23800 Allen Road in Woodhaven, Mich., beginning at 2:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

Schools competing in the Detroit River Invitational tournament, which is hosted by City of Trenton Parks and Recreation Department, include:

Eastern Illinois University - Dan Martin, Elmhurst, Ill., and Tyler McCune, St. Josephs, Ill.
Eastern Kentucky University - Ethan Snyder, Flaherty, Ky., and Billy French, Hamilton, Ohio
Eastern Kentucky University - John Smith, Harlan, Ky., and Kyle Raymer, Brandenburg, Ky.
Eastern Kentucky University - Matt Salmons, Somerset, Ky., and Travis Spivey, Trenton, Ohio
Georgetown College - John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., and Vincent Timperio, Corbin, Ky.
Georgetown College - Nick Huff and Mike Huff, both of Corbin, Ky.
Georgetown College - Clay Elliott, Pikeville, Ky., and Shawn Combs, Cynthiana, Ky.
Indiana State University - Nicholas Gallina, Griffith, Ind., and Robert Nero, Carlisle, Ind.
Indiana State University - Steve Judson, Terre Haute, Ind., and Zac Niehaus, Brazil, Ind.
Indiana University - Sean Gillenwater, Bloomington, Ind., and Josh Collier, Ellettsville, Ind.
Kansas State University - Kyle Alsop and Garrett Cates, both of Overland Park, Kan.
Kansas State University - Lance Maldonado and Nathan Kozlowski, both of Junction City, Kan.
Milwaukee School of Engineering - James Simonson, Fargo, N.D., and Brandon Lehrer, Appleton, Wis.
Milwaukee School of Engineering - Justin Stiker, Waterman, Ill., and Scott Watry, Fredonia, Wis.
Missouri State University - Joe McBride, Springfield, Mo., and Brennan Halbersma, Ozark, Mo.
Missouri University of Science and Technology - William Kleine, St. Charles, Mo., and Drew Schrader, Rolla, Mo.
Murray State University - Cody Sieben, Belle Plaine, Minn., and Dan Schult, Millstadt, Ill.
Murray State University - Justin Graben and Justin Berger, both of Murray, Ky.
Murray State University - Cody Santel, Petersburg, Ill., and Vincent Campisano, Louisville, Ky.
Northern Illinois University - Derek Malanowski, Woodridge, Ill., and Chris Kosior, Palos Hills, Ill.
Northern Kentucky University - Brandon Houston, Burlington, Ky., and Darian Ginter, Maplewood, Ohio
Purdue University - Garrett VanKirk, Ferdinand, Ill., and Ryan Spicer, Arcola, Ind.
Southern Illinois University - Aaron Conner, Murphysboro, Ill., and Brenton Ward, Carbondale, Ill.
Southern Illinois University - Ryan Dunn, Harrisburg, Ill., and Stephen Crawley, De Soto, Ill.
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville - Joseph Tischer and Jacob Hicks, both of Morris, Ill.
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville - Brad LeMasters, Springfield, Ill., and Zach Hartnagel, Edwardsville, Ill.
Saint Ambrose University - Kyle Gates, Decatur, Ill., and Daniel Butler, Houston, Texas
University of Dubuque - Marcus Prull, Monticello, Iowa, and Jarett Svihlik, Erie, Ill.
University of Evansville - Nick Uebelhor and Erick Kieffner, both of Jasper, Ind.
University of Indianapolis - Chris Barcelona, Chicago, Ill., and Jerrett Ban, Roachdale, Ind.
University of Iowa - John Mercer, Burlington, Iowa, and Keaton Williams, Fort Dodge, Iowa
University of Iowa - Tony Mehrl, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Brandon Madison, Bronson, Iowa
University of Kentucky - Ryan Collins, Lebanon, Ohio, and Andrew Day, Versailles, Ky.
University of Louisville - Jeffry Endly and Scott Davis, both of Louisville, Ky.
University of Minnesota - Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., and Chris Burgan, Rhinelander, Wis.
University of Missouri - Nick Russell, Ballwin, Mo., and Ben McCullough, Columbia, Mo.
University of Nebraska-Omaha - Ben Milliken, Bennington, Neb., and Ben Kroeger, Omaha, Neb.
University of Nebraska-Omaha - Joseph Pfeifer II and Brad Koll, both of Columbus, Neb.
University of Wisconsin - Levi Warner, Shiocton, Wis., and Kevin Yeska, Wild Rose, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point - Cody Hahner, Wausau, Wis., and Steve Maliborski, Milwaukee, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point - Cody Lincoln, Okauchee, Wis., and Jason Hawksford, Hudson, Wis.
Western Kentucky University - Jacob Hopkins, Lewisburg, Ky., and Stephen Compton, Brandenburg, Ky.
Western Kentucky University - Justin Hopkins, Lewisburg, Ky., and Ryan Coleman, Utica, Ky.
Winona State University - Cade Laufenberg, La Crosse, Wis., and Kody Mattson, Blair, Wis.

Three regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference - Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western. The top 15 teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five two-day FLW College Fishing Conference Invitational tournaments, where the first-place team wins $4,000 for their club. The top 10 teams from each Conference Invitational advance to the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

College Fishing is free to enter. 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.

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

About FLW

FLW is the industry's premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2013 over the course of 220 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport's richest payday and most coveted championship trophy - the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water." For more information about FLW visit FLWOutdoors.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube.

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