FLW College Fishing - Northern
Kerr Lake (June 16, 2012)
HENDERSON, N.C. – By a mere ounce Brett Meyn and Blaine Chitwood, the team from Radford University, won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event on Kerr Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the team $5,000. The win also helped them advance to the Northern Conference Championship.
With winds gusting up to 15 miles per hour, Meyn indicated that it was key to their victory. “Without the wind we would not have been able to catch our bass. We were targeting secondary points with grass and the wind was pushing the bait fish in those areas for the bass to feed on; without the wind there would have been no bait fish to lure the bass.
“We had our first two fish pretty early and I would say that before 9 we had our limit,” Meyn continued. “My partner (Chitwood) was drop-shotting and I was using spinnerbaits to catch our limit. After we had five I switched to a swimbait and we were able to cull.
Both Meyn and Chitwood live within two hours of the lake and it was their local knowledge that paid off for this tournament. Many of the other teams struggled to catch one or even two bass while the team from Radford said they were catching fish all day long.
However, it was still a nerve wracking day for the team. Getting a late start back to weigh-in (according to Chitwood they only had three minutes to make it back) they ran into a sailboat race that was taking place in the middle of the lake. Rather than circumvent the event they went through the middle of the race and had the Coast Guard hot on their trail signaling them to get out of the way of the race.
“And then we were in line watching teams weigh in and saw the leaders only had 10-6, we thought we had a chance but weren’t sure,” Chitwood went on to say. “We heard the announcer say they lost some water and it could have gone either way at that point, oh man it was hard! I think there were 10 teams behind us and we only had a one ounce lead, it was tough to watch!”
Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Northern Conference Championship are:
3rd: Slippery Rock University – Corey Randour and Benjamin Tawney, five bass, 10-1, $1,000
4th: Virginia Tech – Preston Chrisman and Carson Rejzer, four bass, 9-4, $1,000
5th: Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania – Kevin Hollasch and Jonathan Miller, five bass, 5-15, $1,000
Four regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southern and Western. The top five teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championships, where the first-place team wins a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The top five teams from each conference championship advance to the national championship.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.