GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (May 21, 2016) – The University of North Alabama duo of Lake Blasingame of Killen, Alabama, and Triston Crowder of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference tournament on Lake Guntersville Saturday with five bass weighing 27 pounds, 6 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We had a pretty slow morning, but we found a school that was ready to eat and we got them fired up,” said Blasingame, a freshman. “Right around 11 a.m. we found them eating on a ledge and we must have caught around 40 fish. We cleaned up.”
“The key for us ended up being leaving fish that weren’t interested in eating,” said Crowder, a freshman majoring in business and marketing. “We found quite a few schools, but they just weren’t firing and we kept leaving them and moving to the next one. The school where we caught our fish wasn’t the biggest, but the fish were ready to eat.”
The duo said they caught an estimated 50 to 60 bass throughout the day, but the hour-long flurry at 11 a.m. was the highlight. They said they threw just two baits throughout the day – a ¾-ounce green-pumpkin Johnston’s Lures football-head jig with a Strike King Rage Craw and a 99 Problems-colored True Bass Big Head 7.5 swimbait.
“We would get the school fired up on the jig and then follow it up with the swimbait,” Blasingame said. “The fish were about 15 feet deep. We put our Lowrance graphs to work this week and had quite a few schools marked, but this one was the only one that fired for us.”
“Lake and I work very well together and fish great as a team,” Crowder said. “We are always encouraging each other and we never complain, even when fishing is tough. Today was just an awesome day to be on the water.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2017 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University of North Alabama – Lake Blasingame, Killen, Ala., and Triston Crowder, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., five bass, 27-6, $2,000
2nd: Columbus State University – Michael Chambliss, Cataula, Ga., and Turner Carlisle, Fortson, Ga., five bass, 22-11, $1,000
3rd: Mississippi State University – Joseph Marty, Starkville, Miss., and Kyle Alford, Brandon, Miss., five bass, 22-10, $500
4th: University of North Alabama – Hunter Haney, Town Creek, Ala., and Andrew Tate, Florence, Ala., five bass, 22-4, $500
4th: University of South Carolina – Shawn Callahan and Tom Brewbaker, both of Columbia, S.C., five bass, 22-4, $500
6th: Middle Georgia State College – Spencer Sato, Warner Robins, Ga., and Mark Denney, Bonaire, Ga., five bass, 21-13
7th: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – Taylor Thompson, Kennesaw, Ga., and Blake Yarbrough, Fitzgerald, Ga., five bass, 21-8
8th: University of South Carolina – Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C., and Gettys Brannon, Gaffney, S.C., five bass, 21-4
9th: University of Alabama-Birmingham – Jacob Burns, Morris, Ala., and Chris Hiott, Trussville, Ala., five bass, 20-15
10th: Auburn University – Mitchell Jennings, Auburn, Ala., and Christopher Knight, Jr., Sylacauga, Ala., five bass, 20-13
Complete results will be posted at FLWFishing.com.
This FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference event was hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and was the second of three regular-season qualifying tournament in the Southeastern conference. The next event for Southeastern Conference anglers will be held September 24 at Lake Chickamauga in Dayton, Tennessee.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 15 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Periscope: @FLWFishing.