(Jan 30, 2016 - Bunnel, FL)
The University of Central Florida team of Hunter McKamey of Geneva, Tennessee, and Kyle Oliver of Winter Garden, Florida, won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference opener on Crescent Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“It feels great to win this tournament and bring some prize money back to campus,” said McKamey, a junior majoring in marketing. “We felt confident coming into today and everything seemed to work out the way we wanted.”
“It’s Hunter and I’s last season together, so to qualify for the College Fishing National Championship is really exciting,” said Oliver, a junior majoring in business management. “Our college fishing career has been quite a run, but I think we’ve got some more left in us.”
The duo said they primarily flipped Cypress trees in Dunn’s Creek just north of Crescent Lake. They said they used one bait – a Backatya-colored Gambler Why Not – to put together their winning stringer.
“We hit a 300-yard stretch of water about six or seven times,” said McKamey. “We also focused on steeper banks, especially ones that were dropping off into 18 to 20-foot depths.”
The team said they caught 11 of 12 keepers along the stretch, with their kicker coming with just 30 minutes left in the event, from an isolated grass mat near the takeoff ramp.
“We used a ½-ounce weight on the Why Not which seemed to trigger a better reaction from the bass compared to the smaller weights that we heard other teams were throwing,” said Oliver. “The water was a little cold for this time of year, but the fish were still aggressive. Luckily the bigger ones pulled up for us.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2017 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University of Central Florida – Hunter McKamey, Geneva, Tenn., and Kyle Oliver, Winter Garden, Fla., five bass, 22-3, $2,000 Club Scholarship
2nd: Florida Gulf Coast University – Beau Clymer and Hunter Bozeman, both of Ocala, Fla., five bass, 15-3, $1,000 Club Scholarship
3rd: East Carolina University – Austin Warmus and Michael Corbishley, both of Raleigh, N.C., five bass, 14-1, $500 Club Scholarship
4th: University of South Carolina – William Miller, High Point, N.C., and Ethan Ingle, West Columbia, S.C., five bass, 13-14, $500 Club Scholarship
5th: University of South Alabama – M.J. Vihnanek, Walnut Hill, Fla., and William Knapp, Birmingham, Ala., four bass, 13-12, $500 Club Scholarship
6th: Daytona State College – James Oltorik and Thomas Oltorik, both of DeLand, Fla., five bass, 13-10
7th: Appalachian State University – Matthew Reid, Clayton, N.C., and Kelly Johnson, Sherrill’s Ford, N.C., five bass, 13-2
8th: University of Central Florida - John Larsen, Oviedo, Fla., and Justin Brown, Margate, Fla., five bass, 12-14
9th: Georgia College & State University – Zachary Bennett, Loganville, Ga., and Chase Williams, Milledgeville, Ga., three bass, 12-14
10th: Southwest Mississippi Community College – Logan Morel and Cole Nunnery, both of Smithdale, Miss., four bass, 12-10
This FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference event was the first regular-season qualifying tournament in the Southeastern conference. The next event for Southeastern Conference anglers is a tournament scheduled for May 21 on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 15 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2017 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 college fishing club.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.