FLW College Fishing - Central
Central Conference Championship (Sept. 6-8, 2012)
CARLYLE, Ill. – After a rough showing of the potential for Carlyle Lake on day one, many teams were confident that today would be the day to catch better bags. And without disappointment several teams brought double-digit weights to the stage, including the largest bag of the tournament thus far.
Winona State University sat in sixth place after day one with a weight of 9 pounds, 11 ounces. Today, Cade Laufenberg and Sam Schollmeier brought a massive 17-13 sack to the scales to take the lead. Winona State will head into the final day with just under a 1-pound lead.
After Laufenberg and Schollmeier were unable to get much practice on Wednesday due to storms, they went into day one with the plan to continue their practice during tournament hours. They found a few places of flooded cover that held some fish. One thing they realized is that cloud cover greatly helped their bite out. Despite the weight they had on day one, Winona State still felt confident in what they had going.
One of the biggest keys for them so far has been a bait they will not name at this point, but have nicknamed it “swagger.” The 'swagger' bait has been the ticket for the team to produce fish in areas that other schools have fished through, including a 6-3 kicker caught by Schollmeier.
“We caught a limit early today, I’d say before 10 a.m.,” said Schollmeier.
“After we caught a limit, we left our main area which is about 150 yards long,” Laufenberg added. “We felt confident in the bag we had so we ran the same pattern in new water and caught one more big fish.”
Laufenberg and Schollmeier say that the fish continue to move up in their primary area. From day to day, the team notices that their spot replenishes with decent fish. The only downside for them is that Purdue is also fishing the same area and is pulling in solid limits as well.
For the final day of competition Winona State should be able to pull in a limit, yet they are unsure as to the size of fish.
Purdue moves into second
On day one Nicholas Schuetz and Elliott Myers of Purdue University sat in third place with 11 pounds, 11 ounces. Today, they upgraded their weight with a 14-14 limit, bringing their two-day total to 26-9. They now find themselves in second place as they prepare for the final day of the Central Conference Championship.
Day two proved to be just as tough for Purdue as day one was. They fished the same areas but made a crucial technique change that produced better bites. Another difference for Schuetz and Myers is that while most teams are receiving bites early, they don’t see an increase in action until noon or a little after.
When asked how they feel about tomorrow, they simply said that it will be tough.
Georgetown family climbs to third
The cousin team for Georgetown of Nick and Mike Huff stayed consistent and gained some ground on the top spot after their 12-pound, 14-ounce limit today. Matched with their day-one weight of 10-7, team Huff has a two-day total weight of 23-5 and sits in third place.
“Today we switched up our game plan,” said Nick. “We had to make a change so we decided to fish our strengths which is mainly flippin’ and pitchin’. We still fished our same areas but going to our strengths paid off.”
Nick and Mike got off to a slow start today by not catching a keeper until around 9:30 a.m. They fished their water pretty hard today because they were not feeling confident in the weight they had. However, the places they are fishing they say are good areas that should reload with fish.
Eastern Kentucky drops to fourth
With a 12-pound, 11-ounce bag on day one that put them in second place, Kyle Raymer and John Smith of Eastern Kentucky University fell a bit today. They still managed a good bag worth 10-4, and sit with a two-day total weight of 22-15.
Not much changed for the EKU team on the second day. They mostly fished the same spots as yesterday; the only difference is they did not cover as much water.
“We did the same thing today,” said Raymer. “Slowing down was the only thing we did different to get our bites. The quality bites we need are still out there, we just need to get ‘em.
“Tomorrow there will be less pressure from other teams in certain places, so we are going to move around more. We will have more freedom and be able to be more reckless and just go for it.”
Indiana makes the cut
By making the top-5 cut today, Indiana University will once again be heading to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. Dustin Vaal and Steven Bressler have yet to bring a giant bag to the stage yet, but they have remained consistent. With a day-on weight of 11 pounds, 1 ounce, they hauled in an11-11 catch today. They sit with a 22-12 total weight but still have high hopes for tomorrow.
“The wind changed today and was blowing into the west shore, so we ran water on that side we hadn’t fished but matched our pattern we found,” said Vaal. “We have a really good group of spots, in fact it’s almost scary what we found today in a new spot. We have the potential, we just need to capitalize on our bites.”
Having lost a couple good fish on day one, Indiana fished cleaner today while only losing one big fish. Vaal and Bressler seem eager to get on the water and execute what seems to be a very consistent pattern.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 teams on Carlyle Lake:
6th: Lee Buehnerkemper and Chase Sanford, of Eastern Illinois University, 19-12
7th: Vincent Timperio and Clay Elliott, of Geargetown, 19-6
8th: Evan Chambers and Stephen Conroy, of UW-Platteville, 17-0
9th: Jacob Koester and Andrew Schuessler, of SIU, 16-0
10th: Ethan Snyder and Matt Salmons, of Eastern Kentucky, 14-9
The top-5 teams will take off from Dam West Boat Ramp located at 801 Lake Road in Carlyle, Ill., at 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Weigh-in on Saturday will be at Walmart located at 2591 12th St., in Carlyle, Ill., beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at Walmart on Saturday from noon–4 p.m. prior to weigh-in. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors. Fans can also learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.