Fishing & Boating News

CSU--Long Beach Wins National Guard FLW Western Conference Champsionship On Utah Lake

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

California State University-Long Beach team of Justin Gangel of Valley Center, Calif., and Alex Cox of Long Beach, Calif., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference Championship.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Sep. 01, 2012 - PROVO, Utah)

The California State University-Long Beach team of Justin Gangel of Valley Center, Calif., and Alex Cox of Long Beach, Calif., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference Championship on Utah Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 7 pounds, 5 ounces. The team had a three day total of 14 bass weighing 21 pounds, 8 ounces, good enough to win a Ranger Z117 bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a berth in the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship tournament.

"We spent all of our time this week in one spot," said Gangel, an Environmental Science major. "It's called Provo Bay. I think the locals know it as Mud Lake. It's a tiny creek at the east end of the lake, and it goes way back. We were the only boat in there. We were fishing some vegetation, in real shallow water, from 1- to 2-feet deep. The key was to cast the bait back as far as we could into the vegetation - that's where the fish were. And it was constantly reloading. We'd move up and down the bank, five or six times, and we'd be getting new bites on the seventh."

"The bait that we were throwing all week was a 4" Yamamoto Fat Ika," said Cox, a Kinesiology major. "The colors we were using black and black with red flakes. Yesterday, we were running real low, so we were using green pumpkin, but we were dipping them in black dye. The black color in the murky water was really what was working best for us. We have no affiliation at all with Yamamoto Baits, but I love them and I fish them all the time."

"Of the 14 fish that we caught this week, two came on a Yamamoto Senko and the other 12 came on the Fat Ika," Gangel continued. "The first day, we were each using five different rods. The second day, we were each using two. Today, we each only used one rod. We just narrowed it down to that one bait, and stuck with it all day long."

"The water temperature in our area was really key for us as well," Cox added. "When you're out on the main lake, the water temperature is 85 or 86 degrees. In our area, the coolest water we found was 68 degrees. The water was flowing into the lake from right there and created a current which really helped us out."

When asked what the victory meant to them and the CSU-Long Beach bass club, the California anglers couldn't hide their excitement.

"This is definitely the biggest accomplishment yet for our bass club," said Gangel. "We knew coming into this event that we would have a good shot. We were on fish, and we knew a lot of the other teams just weren't catching them. So we stuck with our game plan and came out and executed. The feeling I have right now is absolutely incredible, I don't know what else to say."

"Three years ago, I didn't even know Long Beach had a bass club," said Cox. "Now here I am. This is absolutely phenomenal. I can't begin to explain how cool this is."

Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the 2013 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship are:

2nd: Oregon State University Zach MacDonald, Willits, Calif., and Ryan Sparks, Haines, Alaska eight bass 16-6 $5,000
3rd: Chico State University Anthony Dayton, Walnut Creek, Calif., and Nic Carrico, Oroville, Calif. five bass 12-6 $3,000
4th: Arizona State University Jason Karseboom, Tempe, Ariz., and Bobby Fletcher, Gilbert, Ariz. six bass 11-3 $3,000
5th: University of California-Santa Cruz Sam Sayad, Carmel Valley, Calif., and Chris Rhoden, Pearlblossom, Calif. six bass 9-1 $3,000

Overall there were nine bass weighing 13 pounds, 1 ounce with one five-bass limit caught by the five teams.

Four regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference - Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas 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 Z117 bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The top five teams from each conference championship advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing 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.

Coverage of the Western Conference Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when "FLW" airs Nov. 4 from 1-2 p.m. ET. "FLW College Fishing" is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely

distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook/FLWFishing and on Twitter at TwitterFLWFishing. Visit the CollegeFishing website to sign up or to start a club at your school.

FLW is the industry's premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport's richest payday and most coveted championship trophy - the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water," through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world's richest fantasy sports game - FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit the FLWOutdoors or FantasyFishing websites and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.