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Meet the Aggies

Meet the Aggies
Texas A&M's Andrew Shafer and Weston Brown used square bill crankbaits and Texas rigs to capture third place.

(Editor's note: Leading up to the 2012 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship - slated for April 13-15 on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C. - CollegeFishing.com will publish weekly, in-depth features stories of each of the 25 national championship team qualifiers. At stake in the tournament is a first-place prize package worth $100,000 as well as a chance for the winning team to compete in the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup.)

Name: Andrew Shafer (pictured on left)
Class: Alumni
Major: Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Hometown: Chatfield, Texas
Other interests: Basketball, racquetball, football and any water sports.
Name: Weston Brown (pictured on right)
Class: Alumni
Major: Engineering Technology
Hometown: Waxahachie, Texas
Other interests: I also like to fly fish, hunt and play guitar.


Club Web site: http://anglers.tamu.edu/

Q&A

CollegeFishing.com: How were you introduced to fishing?

Shafer: When I was 4 years old my dad took me "perch jerking" off the end of our dock at Lake Palo Pinto. From that moment on I was hooked! I continued to fish for just about anything that would bite the end of my line until I was around 10 years old. As I started getting older, I gained a strong passion for bass fishing in local stock ponds. I grew up out in the country with thousands of ponds, nice neighbors that didn't mind me fishing on their land, and a four-wheeler that I could carried all my tackle around on. When I turned 16, I got my first boat and began fishing working-man tournaments and a few little weekend tournaments. That led me to where I am today - fishing college tournaments and trying to make a name for myself.

Brown: My father and grandfather both played a huge part in my fishing background. I think ever since I could walk I've had a fishing rod in my hand. Living in north Texas, I would fish ponds with my father. The small lake that we owned had every species in it and I would catch bass all day long using nothing but a Texas-rigged worm that my dad taught me how to use. He introduced me to bass fishing, and when other kids were playing with toys I was looking at outdoor magazines and dreaming of bass tournaments. Also, my grandfather lived next door to us so I was able to fish with him any day I wanted to. He taught me more about fishing in general than anyone could and he was, and still is, my greatest fishing partner. I owe a lot to both of them for giving me a childhood that focused some prominently on the outdoors.

CollegeFishing.com: What style/method of fishing are you most comfortable with?

Shafer: If I was fishing a tournament and was only allowed one rod on the boat, it would have to be my C-rig rod. When I really need a bite or when I am out of other options, this is my go-to rod. I feel that no matter where I am at, what depth I'm fishing or whatever the time of year may be, I am going to catch something when it's in my hand. If I had a choice I would rather be flipping timber and sight-fishing all day. I feel that I am very strong at both of these methods and enjoy that shallow, power fishing style day in and day out.

Brown: I would say my favorite thing to do is pitching to shallow cover or bushes. I am also really comfortable when it comes to throwing a crankbait around rocks, and throwing a shaky head when the bite gets a little tougher. Andy and I both love to sight-fish too.

CollegeFishing.com: What did it feel like to qualify for the 2011 FLW College Fishing National Championship? How do you plan to prepare for the big event?

Shafer: It was a great honor and we were just proud that all our hard work and dedication paid off. We are very thankful for all of our support and sponsors. We could not be more excited about the prospect of winning the national championship and getting a chance to fish in the Forest Wood Cup and compete with the professionals.

In preparation for the event, my partner and will do extensive research online, but nothing beats time on the water. So we plan on doing a lot of pre-fishing. We are going to leave in the middle of March and we will fish all the way up until the off-limits period begins.

Brown: It felt really good to qualify. I fished the first-ever FLW College Fishing Texas Regional Championship in 2009 and didn't do too well, so to get a top-five finish in 2011 felt pretty good. Because this is our team's final year in college fishing, qualifying for the national championship was pretty sweet since we get one last chance to fish a tournament together.

We're looking to go out in the best way possible. Unfortunately, since we're both graduates and have started full time jobs, it puts a little damper in pre-fishing plans. The distance doesn't help either, but we're going to work together and get out there at least for a few days before the cutoff.

CollegeFishing.com: Tell us something interesting about yourself that most people wouldn't know.

Shafer: I am a Regional Director of Facility Management over several nursing homes in Texas. I love spending time with the residents and listening to all their crazy stories and advice. Every once in a while I even get to swap a fishing story with someone too.

Brown: I broke my tibia and fibula bones all the way through playing soccer right before my freshmen year in high school. But I worked hard to make a full recovery, and later made the varsity All-Region team.

Tags: gary-mortenson  road-to-the-championship 

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