(Sep 14, 2015 - NORTH EAST, MD.)
The Ramapo College team of Andy Zapf of Whippany, New Jersey, and Andrew Annuzzi of Old Bridge, New Jersey, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship on the Chesapeake Bay Sunday with a two-day total of eight bass weighing 19 pounds, 12 ounces. The victory earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“It’s such a great feeling to come here and get the win this year,” said Annuzzi, a junior majoring in Environmental Science. “I competed in the Conference Championship last year, but we didn’t qualify. This will be my first College Fishing National Championship appearance and I couldn’t be more excited.”
“My older brother (Joseph) had won a few College Fishing events so it feels good to get one of my own,” said Zapf, a senior majoring in Accounting. “This will be my third time to the National Championship and it’s my last year of eligibility so we had to get it done this weekend.”
The duo said that they had a solid three days of practice on the fishery before the tournament, but only managed to catch three bass in their practice period. They decided to concentrate on the only area where they could find fish – the McDaniel Yacht Basin.
“Yesterday, the first day of the tournament, we stuck it out in the marina all day long,” Zapf said. “We caught three fish by 8:30 a.m., then didn’t catch another keeper all day long. We ended the day with 6 pounds and were sitting in 11th place.
“Today, we decided that if the marina wasn’t producing we would leave and try to find some new stuff to fish,” Zapf continued. “We caught one keeper early, but we decided to leave the marina around 9:30.”
The Ramapo club said that they bounced around and tried to find another area that would produce, but only managed to find two small keepers. They ended up returning to the marina to try to scrounge up a limit.
“The tide had pulled out, and we ended up catching two more in the marina,” Zapf said. “On our way back to check-in we stopped in a pocket a ½ mile from the ramp and were able to cull out a squeaker with just 20 minutes to go.”
“The key for us was definitely sticking to our plan and concentrating on that marina,” Annuzzi said. “We would pick apart every spot we could, then we would re-start and cycle through it again. We knew the fish were there.”
The Ramapo College said that they caught the majority of their fish on green-pumpkin jigs with a craw or beaver trailer, with a few coming on a drop-shot rigged Strike King Rage Craw.
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Ramapo College – Andrew Annuzzi, Old Bridge, N.J. and Andrew Zapf, Whippany, N.J. (eight bass, 19-12, $4,000)
2nd: Christopher Newport University – Travis Riley, Lynchburg, Va., and Seth Winslow, Chesapeake, Va. (five bass, 16-13, $2,000)
3rd: Pennsylvania State University – Matt Bakewell, Brownsville, Pa., and Tyler Smith, Pine Grove, Pa. (five bass, 15-10, $1,000)
4th: University of Akron – Anthony Villalba, Silver Lake, Ohio, and Robert Webber, Elyria, Ohio (six bass, 14-2, $1,000)
5th: Adrian College – Jeff Morton, Troy, Mich., and Nickolas Marsh, Commerce Township, Mich. (five bass, 13-12, $1,000)
6th: Fairmont State University – Landon Paul and Ryan Houser, both of Fairmont, W. Va. (seven bass, 13-10)
7th: Adrian College – Jarrett Martin, Gallipolis, Ohio, and Jacob Bayer, Westfield, Mich. (six bass, 13-6)
8th: Shenandoah University – Thomas Arens and Billy Arens, both of Purcellville, Va. (seven bass, 13-4)
9th: West Virginia University – Jacob Marshall, Catonsville, Md., and Matthew Combs, Huber Heights, Ohio (nine bass, 11-1)
10th: Lake Superior State University – Hunter Scharphorn, Grand Haven, Mich., and Jake Dorony, South Lyon, Mich. (four bass, 9-15)
The FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship was hosted by Cecil County Tourism.
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 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 most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.