FLW College Fishing - Southern
Toledo Bend (Oct. 17, 2009)
MANY, La. – The Stephen F. Austin team of Ryan Watkins of Nacogdoches, Texas, and Andrew Upshaw of Hemphill, Texas, won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Division event on Toledo Bend Saturday with six bass weighing 18 pounds even. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the university and the university’s bass-fishing club.
“It feels really good to get that home-lake jinx off of your back and finally win one,” said Upshaw, who is a senior marketing major. “It was sunny today and really windy, but it didn’t hurt us at all. We’re used to fishing in wind on Toledo Bend and it wasn’t really any different than it is any other day.”
“We caught probably 40 to 45 fish total today,” said Watkins, who is a junior kinesiology major. “We caught them just about everywhere we went today.”
The next collegiate stop for the Stephen F. Austin team will be the Texas Regional Championship on the Red River Nov. 14-16.
Rounding out the top five teams were Texas A&M – Paul Manley of Orange, Texas, and Andrew Shafer of Bryan, Texas, (three bass, 9-2, $5,000); Texas A&M-Kingsville – Cody Burell of Uvalde, Texas, and Jerod Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, (four bass, 7-12, $4,000); Sam Houston State – Jeff Randolph of Huntsville, Texas, and Clint Nowell of Willis, Texas, (four bass, 7-9, $3,000); University of North Texas – Zach Sears of Corinth, Texas, and Brandon Dickenson of Flower Mound, Texas (four bass, 7-1, $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 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 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 has the opportunity to win $10,000 for first and $2,000 through fifth place. Prize money is split evenly between the winning team’s club and the school they represent. The tournaments are free to enter, boats and drivers are provided and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each qualifying event advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing 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 includes 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 also extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.
The National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided shirts and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The purse for the championship ranges from $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club 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 National Guard FLW Collegiate National Champion and will qualify for the 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 has taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up for Player’s Advantage to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.