UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Warhawks Win on the Red

Warhawks Win on the Red
THOMAS SOILEAU & HUNTER FREEMAN

Saving fish — it’s a dicey strategy, but one that paid off in a big way for University of Louisiana-Monroe’s Thomas Soileau and Hunter Freeman who completed the wire-to-wire Red River win at the YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance C-Map Genesis with a three day total of 42 pounds, 8 ounces.

Complete results

Top 10 patterns 

In discussing their days one and two catches of 14-7 and 12-4, the ULM anglers made mention of a backup spot they were holding in reserve in case the wheels came off the wagon. After two rounds of successfully working a couple of backwater areas, they found themselves scratching on day three and decided it was time to uncork the good stuff.

Located toward the lower end of Pool 4, their ace in the hole was a large backwater lake with a residential dock and a small paved boat ramp in the back. This scenario sharply contrasted the stump fields, vegetation and shallow points of the spots where they spent their first few days. Those spots — about 5 miles farther downriver — had treated them well the first two days, but today yielded only three small keepers.

The move paid off quickly, as Freeman’s third cast drew the ire of a 5-pounder that immediately transformed their day. About 15 minutes later, Freeman caught another big one on a nearby seawall and the two anglers hugged it out on the front deck.

They’d cull up with one more small keeper in the backwater and upgrade a final time on their run back to the check-in. That gave Freeman and Soileau a day-three weight of 15-13 — the event’s heaviest catch — and sealed the victory with a 7-pound, 6-ounce margin of victory.

“I had confidence, but I had no expectation of leading all three days,” Freeman says. “My biggest deal coming into this thing was finding enough stuff to stay consistent over three days. I thought that being consistent over three days would be the key to doing well.

“I really thought the first day that someone would have 16-17 pounds. I honestly told Thomas when we left from down south on day one that we’d probably be in seventh or eighth place. The second day was tough, but we caught over 12 pounds and we were still leading. Today, I was expecting to have to catch a big bag, because I figured they were biting.”

The ULM anglers boated two of their smaller fish on a Carolina-rigged Zoom Baby Brush Hog and one on a 5/16-ounce spinnerbait with gold and silver willow leaf blades. Notably, the latter fish came unbuttoned just as Freeman boat flipped it and the 2-pounder landed in the cockpit.

The two 5-pounders both bit a 1/2-ounce football head jig with a black and blue Strike King Rage Craw. This bait scored big during pre-practice and gave Freeman confidence in the spot.

“Three and a half weeks ago, on that same stretch where the seawall is, I caught one almost 6 pounds doing that same lazy cast, just bombing it,” Freeman says. “So, to catch that one today; it was just our time.”

Soileau says he and Freeman hit their reserve spot with modest expectations, so leaving with 10 more pounds in their livewell was a pleasant surprise.

“We had those three fish, so we were just trying to get two more keepers in the boat, because we thought it was so tough,” Soileau says. “We were just fortunate to get two big bites in there.”

Freeman and Soileau will face one another in tomorrow’s fish-off. At stake is a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Both anglers say they feel comfortable stepping out of the team format and into individual competition.

“I’ve never had to do it with this much on the line, but I’m just going to go fishing, have fun and whatever happens, happens,” Soileau says. “I’m sure Hunter is going to do the same. He’s looking forward to it, I’m looking forward to it. We’re just ready to have some fun tomorrow.”

 

Top 10 teams

1. Thomas Soileau and Hunter Freeman – University of Louisiana-Monroe – 42-8 (15) – Ranger Z175 with a 115-hp Evinrude outboard

2. Cody Huff and Garrett Enders – Bethel University – 35-2 (15) – $5,400

3. Nick Hatfield and Corey Neece – Tusculum College – 34-5 (15) – $4,200

4. Nicholas Czajka and Jack Hippe III – Adrian College – 30-14 (15) – $3,000 + $1,000 Ranger Cup

5. Charlie Deshazer and Jackson Ebbers – University of Nebraska – 30-9 (15) – $2,000

6. Hunter Malmay and Robert Jones – Northwestern State – 28-3 (15)

7. Cody Batterson and Chase Serafin - Adrian College – 27-4 (15)

8. Nick Montilino and Brock Spencer – Murray State – 27-2 (15)

9. Michael Dunn and Henry Colberg – University of Pittsburg – 26-4 (14)

10. Gabriel Dubois and Brandon Heizer - University of Missouri – 25-3 (13)

Complete results

 

Tags: college-fishing  -ulm  -  headline-story  david-a-brown  2018-05-30-national-championship 

Sam Houston State University Takes Early Lead at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain

Sam Houston State University Takes Early Lead at Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain

LEESBURG, Fla. – The Sam Houston State University duo of Bryton Kurtz and Jackson Carrell grabbed the early lead Wednesday after Day One of the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College Fishing National Championship presented by Lowrance. The Bearkats team brought a five-bass... READ MORE »

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain certainly didn’t disappoint. The consensus from many of the teams during practice was that the chain was fishing tough, yet would kick up some solid bags on Tuesday. With 10 bags over 18 pounds and six over 20, it’s safe to say the Harris Chain is living up to it’s potential. READ MORE »

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Kritsberg Hits Jackpot With Strickland Mega-Bag

Warren “Butch” Kritsberg has only lived in Florida for a few years, and he’s still learning a lot about fishing the Harris Chain of Lakes. Fortunately, he now has a lot of new intel about where and how to catch giants after riding along with Laramy Strickland on the second tournament day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event, which was presented by Bad Boy Mowers. READ MORE »

College Championshp Updates - Day 1

College Championshp Updates - Day 1

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. READ MORE »

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

College Championship Kicks Off on Harris

Championship week for any sport is as exciting as it gets and it’s no different for the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance this week on the Harris Chain. Competing for a $30,000 prize package, including a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, 162 college bass fishing clubs will have free range of the chain to vie for the title. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Patterns from the Harris Chain

Each day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes was markedly different from the day prior. Most of the field struggled a bit, and the final 30 anglers were left scrambling to figure out how to find and catch fish in the post-frontal conditions that are often so detrimental for Florida largemouths.  READ MORE »

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

Prespawn Showdown Coming to Ross Barnett

The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine kicks off its 2020 Mississippi Division schedule at Ross Barnett Reservoir on March 7. Ross Barnett is an annual early season stop for FLW and the first crack at gaining essential points in the race to qualify for this fall’s Regional. This time around, anglers might have to navigate tricky conditions due to a wet and rainy winter. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

Top 10 Baits from the Harris Chain

At Florida’s Harris Chain, in late winter, it’s a good bet the same handful of baits are going to produce more than any others, from Lake Harris down to Apopka. During the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on the Harris Chain, presented by Bad Boy Mowers, it was Texas rigs with black and blue plastics, jerkbaits, Carolina rigs and a few other moving baits that most often got the call.  READ MORE »

Lake Hartwell Set to Host Toyota FLW Series Tournament

Lake Hartwell Set to Host Toyota FLW Series Tournament

SENECA, S.C. – The 2020 Toyota Series will continue its season next week at Lake Hartwell, March 3-5, with the Toyota Series at Lake Hartwell tournament. Hosted by Visit Oconee, the three-day tournament will feature the best regional bass-fishing pros and co-anglers casting for a top prize of up to... READ MORE »

Elberton’s Partain Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hartwell

Elberton’s Partain Earns Win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League Event on Lake Hartwell

LAVONIA, Ga. (Feb. 24, 2020) – Boater Kerry Partain of Elberton, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Hartwell in Lavonia. For his victory, Partain earned $5,336... READ MORE »

National Championship Starts This Week

National Championship Starts This Week

With the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event over, the best college fishing teams from across the country are starting practice on the Harris Chain for the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI College National Championship presented by Lowrance. READ MORE »

Local Rookie Strickland Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

Local Rookie Strickland Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2020) – Pro Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 15 pounds, 4 ounces, to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers Sunday. Strickland’s three-day total of 15 bass totaling 61 pounds, 4 ounces gave him the... READ MORE »

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

The final day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a bit tougher than expected. After putting over 30 pounds on the scale on day two of the weather-shortened derby, Laramy Strickland worked up 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for a 61-4 total to earn the win. For the win, the Bushnell, Fla., rookie took home $100,000 and a big win over a stacked top 30 that included some of the best anglers in the country and some superstar Floridians. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

The weather-shortened Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers at the Harris Chain wraps up today with the top 30 pros. Follow along all day to see who can take home the hardware and $100,000. READ MORE »

Local pro Strickland Catches Mega Limit, Takes Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

Local pro Strickland Catches Mega Limit, Takes Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2020) – Local pro angler Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Florida, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers. His two-day total of 10... READ MORE »

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Florida cold fronts are supposed to shut the fishing down, but that wasn’t the case for many of the leaders through two days of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain. Rocketing into the lead from 35th place, Laramy Strickland popped a 31-pound, 6-ounce megabag to put his leading total at an even 46 pounds. In second, Jimmy Washam stayed steady, weighing 21-13 for second and a 41-13 total. In third, Hunter Freeman also made a big jump, hammering out 25-14 on day two to get up to 39-6. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

The weather has made a 180 here in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

Day Two of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers Postponed Due to High Winds

Day Two of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers Postponed Due to High Winds

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2020) – Day Two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers has been canceled due to inclement weather. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, conditions on the lake were deemed unsafe by Daniel Fennel... READ MORE »

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain has been postponed due to high winds. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, many pros believe staying off the water today was the right call. READ MORE »

California’s Salewske Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

California’s Salewske Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers

LEESBURG, Fla. – Pro Rusty Salewske of Alpine, California, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Thursday weighing 26 pounds, 10 ounces, to jump out to the early lead after Day One of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers. Pro Miles Burghoff of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee... READ MORE »