FLW College Fishing - Southeastern
Santee Cooper (May 2, 2009)
MANNING, S.C. — The University of Florida team of Jake Gipson of Niceville, Fla., and Matthew Wercinski of Gainesville, Fla., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division tournament on Santee Cooper Saturday with four bass weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the school and the school’s bass-fishing club.
“This is great,” Gipson said. “At the Lake Okeechobee event, our school’s other team finished in fourth place and really put the pressure on us to do well here and qualify to fish the Southeast Regional Championship at Lake Monroe, which is in our back yard. So we’re both really excited to be going to the regional.”
“We started off and the wind was howling,” Wercinski said. “We had a pretty slow ride there. We could only go about 30 miles per hour. We stopped and fished a grassy stretch and got our first fish there. That was about 11 o’clock. Around noon we left and went to the only other area we thought we could catch fish and we caught three more.”
Gipson said he had a somewhat slow day. With 20 minutes to go, Gipson had yet to boat a fish. Then he caught the team’s final keeper of the day.
Wercinski said the team caught six fish, including their four keepers, on watermelon and green pumpkin Flukes and Senkos rigged with a 1/16-ounce BulkTungsten.com sinker.
Rounding out the top five teams are Clemson University – Erin Schumpert of Greenwood, S.C., and Andy Wicker of Pomaria, S.C. (three bass, 10-13, $5,000); Faulkner University – Brandon Vaughn of Remlap, Ala., and Kyle Tindol of Tallassee, Ala., (three bass, 10-6, $4,000); UT-Martin – Jordan Birch of Drummonds, Tenn., and Kevin Shorey of Thompsons Station, Tenn. (four bass, 8-10, $3,000); Coastal Carolina University – Jonathan Ledoux of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Wyatt Hammond of Conway, S.C. (four bass, 6-10, $2,000).
FLW Outdoors announced the College Fishing trail in May 2008. The entire schedule, which is organized around the five Stren Series divisions can be found by visiting CollegeFishing.com, along with the rules, requirements and information on how to create a bass club.
Full time students enrolled in four year colleges or universities are eligible to participate in the events. Schools in each division can send two-person teams to each of the four qualifying events in their division, with each event limited to a maximum of 40 teams. Each team will have an opportunity to win $10,000 for first and $2,000 through fifth place. The prize money will be split evenly between the winning team’s club and the school they represent. The tournaments are free to enter, boats and drivers will be provided and all collegiate teams will receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each of the qualifying events will advance to one of five televised three-day FLW National Guard Regional Championships.
Each school represented in a televised Regional Championship will have team shirts and boats provided by Ranger. The purse for each Regional Championship will be a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $25,000 for the school they represent. Awards of $6,000 will also extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.
The FLW National Guard College Fishing National Championship will be a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. The teams will be provided with team shirts and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The purse for the championship will range from $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors and $50,000 for the school they represent to $15,000 for fifth, split between the club and school.
The winning team will be declared the FLW National Guard Collegiate National Champion and will qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol in 2010. The winners will also receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for the Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player’s Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.