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“To get the win after the after the tournament that we have had is just amazing,” said Hines, a senior majoring in Marketing. “Yesterday morning we launched and ran about 10 minutes from takeoff when we lost our lower unit. I felt the outboard lose power and knew immediately what had happened.”
The duo used their trolling motor to pull into the first cut that they could and ended up fishing there for the entire day.
“Losing the lower unit turned out to be one of the reasons that we won the tournament,” said Foster, a junior majoring in Nursing. “Many of our competitors were fishing fast with crankbaits and spinnerbaits and they seemed to be struggling. Normally, we’d be fishing fast right alongside them. Losing the lower unit forced us to really slow down and fish with more finesse.”
The adjustment turned out to be key for the Texas duo as they caught a solid seven keepers on the day. FLW College Fishing rules state that as long as one of the team members stays with the disabled boat, the other team member is allowed to hitch a ride to the landing to weigh in their fish. After all teams had weighed in, Hines and Foster’s 10-pound, 5-ounce five-bass limit had them starting day two in fifth place.
“Our teammates didn’t make the top-15 cut, so they let us use their boat today,” Hines said. “We started right back in the same cut that we were in yesterday and caught two keepers early. We were able to move around the lake much more today and caught 12 to 15 keepers today.”
The Dallas Baptist club said that their key bait was a watermelon-red-colored Yamamoto Senko, fished Texas- or wacky-rigged. They caught all of their fish on the first day using the Senko, as well as the majority of their fish on the second day. On day two they also caught a few keepers on a Mexican Heather- and Kathy’s Bluegill-colored Santone Lures jigs.
“This is our second year fishing together as a team,” Foster went on to say. “We didn’t qualify for the National Championship last year, but we seem to have worked our kinks out and we ended up having an awesome season.”
The University of Arkansas duo of Drew Porto and Colten Hutson had already qualified for the 2016 College Fishing National Championship via their win earlier this year at the inaugural FLW College Fishing Open tournament on Kentucky Lake. Because they finished in third place, the 11th-place duo of John Ledet and Justin Cooper from Northwestern State University will also advance to the National Championship.
The top 11 teams that advanced to the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Dallas Baptist University – Zackery Hines, Clyde, Texas, and Reed Foster, Combine, Texas, 10 bass, 25-3, $4,000
2nd: University of Central Oklahoma– Brock Enmeier, Enid, Okla., and Colten Hutson, Edmond, Okla., nine bass, 22-7, $2,000
3rd: University of Arkansas – Drew Porto, Colleyville, Texas, and Zachary Pickle, South Lake, Texas, 10 bass, 19-15, $1,000
4th: Stephen F. Austin State University – Shelby Hutchens, Spring, Texas, and Brian Blades, Terrell, Texas, nine bass, 19-0, $1,000
5th: Southeastern Oklahoma State University – Dwight Camp, Talihina, Okla., and Jonathan Furlong, Bixby, Okla., nine bass, 17-14, $1,000
6th: Colorado Mesa University – Josh Worth, Grand Junction, Colo., and Kennedy Kinkade, Alpine, Utah, eight bass, 17-7
7th: Texas A&M University – Josh Bensema, Willis, Texas, and Matthew McArdle, College Station, Texas, seven bass, 16-10
8th: Tarleton State University – Jacob Beyer and Dakota Ebare, both of Stephenville, Texas, seven bass, 15-12
9th: University of Oklahoma – Charles Vang, Tulsa, Okla., and Landon Dixon, Hinton, Okla., seven bass, 14-10
10th: Henderson State University – Michael Gross, Gurdon, Ark., and Cobey Wingfield, Malvern, Ark., six bass, 12-14
11th: Northwestern State University – John Ledet, Natchitoches, La., and Justin Cooper, Pelican, La., six bass, 12-8
The FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Championship was hosted by the Grand Lake Association.
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 most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
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