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“We were feeling really down after our practice on the lake,” said Martinez, a junior majoring in Agricultural Business Management. “We didn’t catch a keeper fish in two days. But Zach (MacDonald) is a really, really good angler and we work well together. We made some adjustments today and were able to put together a pretty good day.”
“We definitely feed off of each other,” added MacDonald, a junior majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife. “We communicate well, throwing different baits and try to learn and expand on each other’s pattern.”
The formula seems to be working for the Beaver Bass Club, as the duo of MacDonald and Martinez has now finished first in two of the three tournaments they have fished as a team.
“We completely scrapped everything that we had done in practice and just went fishing today,” said MacDonald. “We ran two or three miles up the Colorado River and fished some cuts and tule lines. We fished shallow, only 3 to 5 feet deep, and managed to catch nine fish throughout the day.”
The duo said that eight of their nine fish came on a shad-colored Tualatin River Tackle swimbait, while one came via a cinnamon black and purple flake-colored Yamamoto Senko.
“The key for us was definitely the Tualatin swimbait,” MacDonald said. “We had to fish it less than a foot away from the Tule line, with a slow, steady retrieve otherwise we wouldn’t get bit.”
“We’re going down to the Delta to pre-fish for the next Western Conference tournament over our spring break,” Martinez said. “We won that event last year and I’m looking forward to fishing it again and trying to win another.”
Teams that advanced to the Western Conference Championship tournament on Clear Lake are:
1st: Oregon State University – Zach MacDonald, Willits, Calif., and Zach Martinez, Linden, Calif. (five bass, 12-9, $2,000)
2nd: California State University-Chico – Chas Brannon, Santa Maria, Calif., and Michael Woods, Olivehurst, Calif. (five bass, 11-15, $1,000)
3rd: Utah Valley University – Weston Probst, Midway, Utah, and Corey Higgins, Lehi, Utah (five bass, 10-9, $500)
4th: Eastern Washington University – Laj Trip, Hayden, Idaho, and Kyle Sittman, Kennewick, Wash. (four bass, 10-3, $500)
5th: Eastern Washington University – Cy Floyd, Wenatchee, Wash., and Travis Opel, Spokane, Wash. (five bass, 10-1, $500)
6th: University of Oregon – Ryan Habenicht, Auburn, Calif., and Riley Russen, Redding, Calif. (three bass, 7-1)
7th: California Polytechnic State University – Johan Eide, Sebastopol, Calif., and Colton Farquer, Oakdale, Calif. (one bass, 5-14)
8th: University of Southern California – Nick Nikchevich, Westlake Village, Calif., and Elliott Beckstrom, Santa Cruz, Calif. (three bass, 5-10)
9th: California State University – Seth Meyer, Lancaster, Calif., and Rick Zatarain, Long Beach, Calif. (one bass, 4-10)
10th: California State University-Chico – Travis Bounds, Roseville, Calif., and Andrew Loberg, Rocklin, Calif. (two bass, 3-15)
11th: Dixie State University – Mathew Baker, Ogden, Utah, and Nordel Erickson, Saint George, Utah (one bass, 3-12)
12th: Sonoma State University – Brock Trudeau, Lancaster, Calif., and Jake Davidson, Sebastopol, Calif. (two bass, 2-14)
This FLW College Fishing Western Conference tournament was hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau and was the first of two regular-season qualifying tournaments in the Western Conference. The next event for Western Conference anglers is scheduled for May 9 at the California Delta in Bethel Island, California, and is hosted by the City of Oakley.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top fifteen teams from each regular-season tournament will qualify for one of five Conference Championship tournaments. The top ten teams from each of the five Conference Championship tournaments will advance to the 2016 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 fishing club recognized by their college or university.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the
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