• Road to the Championship

    27.Mar.2013 by Gary Mortenson

    Meet the Cardinals

    Danny Iles (left) and Justin Royal of Lamar University show off their catch at the 2012 conference championship. (Photo by Kyle Wood)
    Lamar University teammates Danny Iles, Justin Royal share their thoughts on qualifying for the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship
    27.Mar.2013 by Gary Mortenson

    (Editor’s note: Leading up to the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship – slated for April 19-21 on Beaver Lake in Rodgers, Ark. – will publish weekly, in-depth features stories of each of the 25 national championship team qualifiers. At stake in the tournament is a first-place prize package that includes $30,000 in cash, a brand new, Ranger Z-117 bass boat and an automatic berth in the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup.)

    Name: Danny Iles

    Class: Alumnus

    Major: Mechanical Engineering

    Hometown: Hemphill, Texas

    Other interests: I really enjoy playing golf and chess. However, nothing else really compares to the enjoyment of trying to figure out how to pattern fish.

    Name: Justin Royal

    Class: Junior

    Major: General Studies

    Hometown: Evadale Texas

    Other interests: I like to go out varmint hunting with my .223 and hanging out with friends..

    Club Web site and/or contact information:

    Q&A How were you introduced to fishing?

    Danny Iles: I have been around fishing for as long as I can remember. My dad and uncle used to take me fishing all the time while I was growing up. They introduced me to fishing in general. My stepdad, who is a full time fishing guide on lakes Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend as well as a tournament angler on several different regional and national tournament circuits, is responsible for introducing me to tournament fishing and a wide variety of fishing techniques.

    Justin Royal: I was introduced to fishing by my father, grandfather and family Friend Alan Bond when I was 2 years old. What style/method of fishing are you most comfortable with?

    Danny Iles: I am most comfortable when fishing offshore around submerged vegetation, preferably hydrilla. If the lake doesn’t have vegetation, then I am most comfortable with fishing offshore structure.

    Justin Royal: I am most comfortable flipping and/or throwing a crankbait. I really like power fishing in general. What did it feel like to qualify for the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship? How do you plan to prepare for the big event?

    Danny Iles: To be honest, I never gave qualifying for the National Championship a thought until after the regional. My partner and I were mostly interested in attempting to win the regional and were not worried about the National Championship at all. Earning a berth into the Championship is certainly a nice consolation prize since it provides us with the opportunity to travel to a new lake and fish in another event. On the other hand, winning the championship would be a tremendous accomplishment because it offers the average college student a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to fish in the Forrest Wood Cup.

    I plan on approaching the championship with an open mind since we are fishing during a rather fickle time of year in relation to weather and water temperatures.

    Justin Royal: It felt good to qualify for the National Championship, but our goal wasn’t to just qualify. We’re in it to win it. As far as preparation goes, I plan on studying maps of the lake and analyzing the results of previous tournaments. We’re also going to try to get up there to the lake and practice some also. Tell us something interesting about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.

    Danny Iles: My best day of tournament fishing came in 2008, on Lake Sam Rayburn, when I caught a 34.38 pound five-fish limit.

    Justin Royal: I am an All-American Sporting Clays Shooter and also have a gold medal from winning the Pan American FITASC event in both 2006 and 2004. I was also the Junior World Champion runner-up in shooting skeet.