UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Gamecocks Win National Title

Gamecocks Win National Title

COLUMBIA, S.C. – As any good Palmetto State bass fisherman will tell you, home lake advantage only works if you’re consistent in your catches from day to day. Anthony Gagliardi proved it here on Lake Murray last summer in the Forrest Wood Cup, and the University of South Carolina proved it again in the FLW College Fishing National Championship that concluded Saturday. The home-standing Gamecocks put together three solid rounds of limit catches to amass a tournament-winning weight of 53 pounds, 2 ounces.

In capturing the 2015 championship title, the South Carolina team of Patrick Walters and Gettys Brannon edged previous tournament leader Liberty University of Lynchburg, Va. Liberty’s Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler weren’t too shabby in the consistency department either, as they led the tournament presented by Lowrance Genesis Insight College Cup the first two days. The problem for them was that they couldn’t finish with five good keepers, though four almost did it for them. As it was, the Gamecocks won by a 1-pound, 5-ounce margin. Their prize package included a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower outboard as well as berths in the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita in August.

When their victory was announced by Chris Jones, the tournament master of ceremonies, the partisan crowd at Carolina Baseball Stadium rose to its feet in a wild outburst of jubilation. Indeed, during the competition the hometown favorites were followed around the lake by a small flotilla of family members and friends. It didn’t require too much fuel. Typically, the Gamecocks’ day began and ended in Bear Creek, where the bulk of their catch originated.

“We rotated around 15 or 20 places  – mostly points and docks,” says Brannon. “These were all places where we knew from previous experience that, at this time of year, the blueback herring spawn is pretty reliable. Truthfully, the bite wasn’t as good as we had expected and predicted, and it got slower. Today [Saturday] we threw Carolina rigs the first hour and then switched to Zoom Flukes, which was just the opposite of what we had been doing before. But we got our biggest fish on the Carolina rig so we stayed with it awhile. When we did switch to Flukes later, the whole deal was cranking them as fast as we could, with short twitches along the way. And we were using reels with 7:1 gear ratios.”

The pair started out in sixth place on day one with 17-6, then went to second with an 18-11 stringer that gave them 36-1. In the meantime, Liberty University opened its bid on Thursday with the tournament’s best limit, 22-2, which was anchored by a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth. Rulle and Eppler followed with 14-4 on the second day and though the four fish they brought to the scale the last day averaged almost 4 pounds apiece, their failure to catch a fifth keeper cost them dearly. Walters recalls that when he and Brannon started culling (they culled four times Saturday), they reckoned they would need at least 15 pounds to stay in the hunt. They weren’t far off.

“The fish weren’t as aggressive Saturday as they were earlier in the week,” says Walters. We were around blueback herring all day, but the bass just weren’t very cooperative. We really had to work for the better fish and were fortunate enough to cull the four squeakers that we caught early in the day.

As was the case with most of the top 10 teams that fished Saturday, Liberty University had a game plan that revolved around fishing herring blowups. The Flames had the area they fished to themselves early in the tournament, but had to share water Saturday because of a local tournament that launched near where they were fishing.

“We were fishing in the area of the lake where it joins the riverine section above Dreher’s Island,” notes Rulle. “I’m not making any excuses, but when we started fishing our best spot this morning, a local came up and literally started fishing within 20 feet of us. He was casting in front of our boat and our lines crossed a couple of times. Finally, we just gave up and moved on. It was pretty distracting.”

Eastern Kentucky’s Kyle Ramer and Ethan Snyder finished third on the strength of Saturday’s best stringer: 17-10. The Colonels were in second place after the opening round and fell to sixth on day two before rebounding.


2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship:

1st - University of South Carolina, Patrick Walters and Gettys Brannon, 53-2
2nd - Liberty University, Travis Rulle and Caleb Eppler, 51-13
3rd - Eastern Kentucky, Kyle Raymer and Ethan Snyder, 51-4
4th - Colorado Mesa University, Josh Worth and Kennedy Kinkade, 48-1
5th - Oregon State University, Chase Cochran and Ryan Sparks, 48-0
6th - Tennessee Tech, Matthew Townson and Joe Ellis, 42-14
7th - Auburn University, Ben Curry and Tim Ward, 42-13
8th - Lamar University, Justin Royal and Cameron LaFleur, 42-10
9th - Murray State University, Justin Graben and Dan Schult, 41-15
10th - Lamar University, Brandon Simoneaux and Josh Bowie, 41-14

Click here for full results.

Tags: college-fishing  lake-murray  colin-moore  headline-story  2015-04-16-national-championship-lake-murray 

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

White Rolling at Clear Lake

Fishing was still good on day two of the Toyota Series Western Division finale at Clear Lake, though there were notably less 20-pound bags brought to the scale. Still, day-one leader Tom White managed 19 pounds, 5 ounces today to back up his 24-12 weight from Thursday and will carry a 5-10 lead heading into Saturday’s final round. This would be White’s first FLW win if he can fend off the nine other hungry pros behind him. READ MORE »

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Grand Lake to Host 2021 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship

Grand Lake to Host 2021 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship

GROVE, Okla. – FLW announced Monday that the 12th annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship will be held on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in 2021. The tournament, slated for March 3-5, showcases the nation’s best collegiate anglers and awards the winners a... READ MORE »

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Top Patterns and Baits from Kentucky Lake

Kentucky Lake has the potential to churn out some big bags – look no further than the 2019 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, when 21 teams weighed in more than 20 pounds on day one alone – but the 2020 iteration wasn’t as friendly to the college anglers who took to her waters this week. Here’s the skinny on how the top 10 teams caught their fish this week and what they caught them with. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

University of Montevallo Wins Sixth-Annual  Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open  on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

University of Montevallo Wins Sixth-Annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky/Barkley Lakes

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 18, 2020) – The University of Montevallo team of Grayson Morris of Birmingham, Alabama and Jacob Pfundt of Canton, Georgia won the sixth-annual Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky and Barkley lakes Thursday with a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass... READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »