Fishing & Boating News

Liberty University Wins FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Opener On Smith Mountain Lake

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

1st - Ryan Suhy, Forrest, Va., and Shane Fetty, Newport News, Va.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 11, 2015 - HUDDLESTON, VA.) The Liberty University team of Ryan Suhy, Forrest, Virginia, and Shane Fetty, Newport News, Virginia, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event on Smith Mountain Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship tournament.
 
“To win on Smith Mountain is a big deal for our club,” said Fetty, a senior majoring in Industrial Engineering. “Our goal is to become a nationally recognized fishing program and this is a big step towards that.”
 
The duo said they caught their winning stringer by drop-shotting along mid- and south-end points on the Roanoke River and the main lake.
 
“We went to our first spot and caught two keepers within the first 30 minutes,” said Suhy, a junior majoring in Sports Management. “Then we decided to make a run up the river and hit some random points and were lucky enough to grab a 3½-pounder.
 
“We ran to a lot of different spots that were similar in structure,” continued Suhy. “Once we figured out what the fish were doing we stuck the same pattern all day.”
 
Around 11:30 a.m., Fetty said the two anglers boated three more keepers along southern points on Roanoke – their final bites of the day.
 
“Our two biggest fish were the ones we caught early in 5 to 10 feet of water,” Fetty said. “We ended up catching seven keepers the entire day and culling once.”
 
Fetty said the team caught four of their five winning fish on a drop-shot rig with a 7-inch red-craw colored Roboworm Straight Worm with a Gamakatsu hook and the other on an Owner Shakey Ultrahead with a Dirt-colored Strike King KVD finesse worm.
 
“Heading into the scale we really underestimated what the smallmouth weighed,” said Suhy. “We thought we only had 12 pounds. We were on the edge of our seats throughout the weigh-in.”
 
The top 15 teams that advanced to the Northern Conference Championship tournament on the Chesapeake Bay are:
 
1st:          Liberty University – Ryan Suhy, Forrest, Va., and Shane Fetty, Newport News, Va., five bass, 14-3, $2,000
2nd:         Pennsylvania State University – Sean Cummins, Huntington, Pa., and Maurice Hudson, Broomall, Pa., five bass, 13-10, $1,000
3rd:          Patrick Henry Community College – Jacob Cooper, Collinsville, Va., and Cody Spears, Bassett, Va., five bass, 12-2, $500
4th:          Adrian College – Jeff Morton, Troy, Mich., and Nicholas Marsh, Commerce Township, Mich., five bass, 12-2, $500
5th:          Christopher Newport University – Travis Riley, Evington, Va., and Seth Winslow, Chesapeake, Va., five bass, 11-15, $500
6th:          West Virginia University – Jacob Marshall, Morgantown, W. Va., and Matthew Combs, Huber Heights, Ohio, five bass, 11-13        
7th:          Rhode Island Institute of Technology – Jason Karol and John Henderson, both of Rochester, N.Y., five bass, 11-0           
8th:          Virginia Commonwealth University – Alexander Miller and Donnie Miller, both of Midlothian, Va., five bass, 10-3      
9th:          Adrian College – Caleb Taylor, Zionsville, Ind., and Zack Nelson, Northville, Mich., five bass, 9-10      
10th:        Ramapo College – Andrew Annuzzi, Port Monmouth, N.J., and Andrew Zapf, Whippany, N.J., five bass, 9-9        
11th:        Patrick Henry Community College – Hunter Altice, Glade Hill, Va., and Brandon McAlexander, Patrick Springs, Va., five bass, 9-7
12th:        Virginia Tech University – Jacob Thompson, Moneta, Va., and Sean Snow, Tully, N.Y., five bass, 9-6
13th:        Fairmont State University – Landon Paul and Ryan Houser, both of Fairmont, W.Va., five bass, 9-4    
14th:        Ramapo College – Mike Concato, Clifton, N.J., and Marc Concato, Wayne, N.J., five bass, 9-3          
15th:        Mansfield University – James Grassi, Cabot, Pa., Ryan Fluharty, Perkiomenville, Pa., five bass, 9-3  
 
This FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament was hosted by the Bedford Tourism & Welcome Center and was the first regular-season qualifying tournament in the Northern Conference. The next event for the Northern Conference anglers is scheduled for July 11 at Indian Lake in Lakeview, Ohio.  
 
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.
 
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