UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Dale Hollow Lake

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

ETBU Gets School of the Year Rings

In 2019, FLW rolled out a School of the Year program for Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI, with Tackle Warehouse coming on as title sponsor of the School of the Year program this season.

On a national and conference level, the top schools are ranked based on their two highest finishing teams in each event. In the Southern Conference in 2019, East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) took home the title with the following finishes:

 

Sam Rayburn

1. Brett Clark and Cody Ross

2. Mason Beatty and Jacob Keith

 

Lake Texoma

7. Brett Clark and Cody Ross

12. Jacob Keith and Grant Hendrix

 

Arkansas River

2. Mason Beatty and Jacob Keith

30. Brett Clark and Cody Ross

 

Tallying up 1,752 points for the season, ETBU beat out Tarleton State-Stephenville by 16 points to earn the Southern Conference School of the Year title. ETBU considers its bass fishing team to be a varsity sports team, and Vice President for Athletics and Director of Athletics Ryan Erwin, Bass Fishing Head Coach Cameron Burger and Dr. J. Blair Blackburn, the university president, made the rings happen.

“I want to offer my anglers things that help promote the sport, and that get them excited about doing well in competition,” says Burger. “When you think about a baseball team or basketball team in college, when they win their conference, typically rings are involved. At least, at ETBU they are. I looked at it as we’re fishing against a pretty stout Southern Conference, and for us to finish as the Southern Conference School of the Year, I thought we needed a certain award for the guys.”

Cody Ross, a sophomore majoring in business administration who fishes for the team, agrees that the rings are very cool.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had a piece of recognition like that from the school,” says Ross. “Me and my partner, when we’ve won, we got letters from the president of the university, but that’s about all the recognition we’ve had as far as things like that.”

The rings are made by Jostens, and they have the ETBU logo in the center with Mark 1:17 (the team bible verse) and the logo of Skeeter, the team’s title sponsor, on one side. On the other side, there’s a small fish and the name of the angler to whom the ring was awarded.

Burger, who fished and coached at Dallas Baptist University previously, says that recently the ETBU team has started working together more than ever.

“Fishing is a self-made sport. You can look at the pros, and their success is based on their personal achievement and personal performance,” says Burger. “But, when you look at us, if we were to win a national championship, that’s great for the two guys that won it, but the trophy doesn’t say their name. It says the school. That’s what I base how I coach them on. The first year I coached was 2016, and it was based a lot on individual teams. We travel with four boats, and starting out, each boat was against everybody, our team included. You can see our accomplishments this past year, and that was directly from working together as a team: coming together at night after practice, and really breaking a lake down in order to figure a lake out and be successful across the board.”

Ross says that having School of the Year on the line definitely affected the season, particularly in the first two tournaments.

“At the first tournament, we had it in mind, because we knew it was the top two teams,” Ross says of the Rayburn event. “At that tournament, we found our other team and told ’em where we had been fishing. That’s something we really like, that we’re able to feed off of each other.

“We estimated we had about 21 pounds, and we told them it was a spot they could catch some keepers, because they only had one. Lo and behold, they pulled up and caught the biggest bass of the tournament, and they had right at 22 pounds.”

After it was all said and done, Brett Clark and Ross weighed 24-4 for the win, and Mason Beatty and Jacob Keith weighed an even 22 pounds for second. Just like that, ETBU was off to the races.

“We’re really trying to push the team aspect,” says Ross. “The team hasn’t been like that forever, but there are some of us that are trying to push that aspect – let’s achieve things as a team rather than individuals, and it will make everybody better, not just you. When it’s the top two teams from each school, just one team can’t go out and catch them pretty good. It makes people realize you need to help each other out to get the school where it needs to be.”

That strategy certainly paid off. The ETBU fishing team includes 16 anglers, and six of them directly contributed to the School of the Year win with their finishes. Although the 2020 season hasn’t started yet in the Southern Conference, there’s every reason to think that ETBU will be in the thick of things again when they kick off on Fort Gibson at the end of March.

Tags: jody-white  article 

Au Best in the West

Au Best in the West

While 2020 has been a year to forget for many people, Tai Au will cherish it forever. Though Au has dabbled in Toyota Series competition over the span of nearly a decade, this was the first year he went all-in to fish the entire division. In doing so, he won the season opener on Lake Havasu, banked a top 10 on the California Delta and closed it out with another win on Clear Lake to handily win the Western Division Strike King Angler of the Year title. READ MORE »

2021 BFL Schedule

2021 BFL Schedule

Major League Fishing announced today the schedule, rules, payouts and entry dates for the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine, offering weekend anglers the best payouts and advancement opportunities for the lowest entry fees available. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

Top 10 Baits from Sam Rayburn

The top finishers in the recent Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn caught the lake when the shallow bite was just picking up. Sticking shallow around hydrilla with a wake bait, Aaron Johnson stayed consistent and won the event. Behind Johnson, there was a lot of room for pros to fish to their strengths, though there’s no doubt that shallow eventually won out. READ MORE »

Three Generations of Chapmans Take on Lake of the Ozarks

Three Generations of Chapmans Take on Lake of the Ozarks

Three generations of the Chapman family competed on Lake of the Ozarks – Brent, his son Mason, and his father Ron. Although they’ve all fished professional tournaments before, it was the first time all three were competing in the same event. Brent fished as a pro, while Mason and Ron fished in the co-angler field. READ MORE »

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Templeton Tops Co-Anglers

Weighing five fish for 12 pounds, 4 ounces, co-angler Anthony Templeton of Beckville, Texas, rocketed up from fifth place to win the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. With a total of 28-3, Templeton takes home a new Phoenix bass boat worth $33,500 and his first winner’s trophy with FLW. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 3

Our crew on the water hasn’t had very good luck tracking the top pros down in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, but the fishing has still been pretty good. With the entire top 10 within striking distance, it’s still anyone’s game, and the good fishing today could help someone run into a mega-bag. READ MORE »

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Going into the final day, Blake Schroeder was just 3 ounces ahead of Aaron Johnson in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Tight to the end, both anglers brought more than 18 pounds to the scale, but Johnson’s 18-14 bag boosted his total to 54-14 and earned him the win. For the victory, Johnson takes home $31,751 and the second FLW win of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition, it’s looking like the shallow grass bite is the deal in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Leading the way, Blake Schroeder had tallied a pair of 18-pound bags from shallow grass, and the pros behind him aren’t slacking on the grass game either. Heading into the final day, it’s going to be a true shootout for the win, with a Texas-sized kicker a bite away for everyone in the field. READ MORE »

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Climbing from fourth to first, Blake Schroeder took over the lead in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn with his second-consecutive 18-pound bag. Weighing 18-3 on day one, the Texas pro put an even 18 pounds on the scale on day two for a 36-3 total. Behind him, the weights are stacked, and five other pros are within 5 pounds going into the final day on the big Texas lake. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn has been exactly as forecast. Somewhat chilly, with scattered rain and wind in the morning, it’s starting to brighten up now. Though most fished with jackets and bibs on in the morning, it’s now very comfortable and the sun is out pretty steadily. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn offered pretty good fishing and a lot of options. Anglers in the top 10 fished deep, shallow and in between to catch their fish, and no one pattern dominated the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Taking the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, Cole Moore weighed an even 21 pounds to kick things off. Though the fishing was not really up to the massive heights it can reach on Rayburn, it was far from bad, and plenty of pros put together limits in the teens both shallow and deep. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event has been beautiful so far, with mild weather and apparently decent fishing. Though Rayburn isn’t kicking them out like it can, there seem to be plenty of ways to catch fish and at least one pro has seen some success. READ MORE »

Fall Showdown Starts at Rayburn

Fall Showdown Starts at Rayburn

Takeoff for day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division finale on Sam Rayburn was about as perfect as it gets. Light wind paired with crisp, comfortable temperatures and plenty of sun provided an auspicious beginning to the Toyota Series event on the sprawling Texas reservoir. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Tapped for Wild Card

Lake of the Ozarks Tapped for Wild Card

FLW announced Sunday that the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Wild Card tournament will take place on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri, Nov. 20-21. The two-day event, hosted by Fish-Intel, will launch from Public Beach No. 2 in Osage Beach. READ MORE »

How to Catch Bass with Shrimp

How to Catch Bass with Shrimp

Bradley Dortch, who grew up on the Tensaw River and the Mobile Delta, says throwing shrimp for bass is a winner, and a viable tournament technique if you use plastic ones. It all has to do with the seasonal movement of the forage. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

Top 10 Baits from Lake Norman

The Toyota Series Eastern Division event on Lake Norman was a fall grinder. With the lake in fall transition and turnover occurring throughout the lake, some of the popular lure choices included shaky heads, jigs, buzzbaits and jerkbaits. Here is a closer look at the best baits of the top 10 pros. READ MORE »

Lake Norman Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Lake Norman Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Bass seemed to be a bit more cooperative on day two of the Toyota Series Eastern Division event on Lake Norman, especially in the largemouth department. READ MORE »

Lake Norman Midday Update – Day 1

Lake Norman Midday Update – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series on Lake Norman dawned bright and sunny this morning with a morning low of about 52 degrees. A light breeze had the schooling fish popping early and anglers were taking advantage of the fall feed. A lot of topwaters, swimbaits, jerkbaits and spy baits were being offered to the schoolers on main lake points. READ MORE »

MLF and FLW Unify as One Brand

MLF and FLW Unify as One Brand

To further elevate the sport of tournament bass fishing and align multiple circuits as one company, Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today its unification with Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) as one brand, transitioning all FLW brand assets to MLF.   READ MORE »