Fishing & Boating News

Illinois State University Takes Lead On Day Two Of College Fishing National Championship

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

Illinois State University team of Bryce Wegman of Normal, Illinois, and Taylor Umland of Gridley, Illinois, weighed in a limit of bass totaling 17 lbs, 1 oz, to take the lead on day two.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Mar 18, 2016 - SENECA, S.C.)

The Illinois State University team of Bryce Wegman of Normal, Illinois, and Taylor Umland of Gridley, Illinois, weighed in a limit of bass totaling 17 pounds, 1 ounce, Friday to take the lead on day two of the FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Keowee presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup. The Redbirds duo have a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces and will lead the 10 teams that made the final-day cut into the last day of competition.

The three-day tournament, hosted by the Mountain Lakes Convention and Visitors Bureau, featured 54 of the top college bass fishing clubs from across the nation competing for a top award of a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower outboard engine and entry into the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.

“It’s crazy to be leading after we struggled yesterday,” said Wegman, a senior majoring in Construction Management. “We had found a few big largemouth in practice that we thought we were going to catch right away yesterday, but they had disappeared and we only ended up catching a limit of 2-pounders. Today we fished all new water and we ended up finding some big largemouth. ”

The duo said that they caught around 20 fish throughout the day, a mixture of spotted bass and largemouth, on two or three different baits. Although they caught both species, their limit consisted of five largemouth. They were not yet ready to name any specifics, but did mention that they were doing something very unique – they believe no other teams are doing it – and it was something that they could pattern very well.

“We ended up running to a bunch of different areas and we caught fish at almost all of them,” Wegman continued. “We’re going to go back out and do the same thing tomorrow. I’m ready to get out there again right now.”

“We were getting more and more excited as we kept culling throughout the afternoon,” said Umland, a senior majoring in Marketing. “We were in a big hole after starting the day in 28th place, but the weights were very stacked up and we knew if we found the largemouth we could jump up in the top 10. I had no idea we’d be leading, but this is just awesome.

“Our bass club has had some very high finishes, but this win would definitely be the biggest accomplishment that we’ve ever had,” Umland went on to say. “I’m definitely nervous – being in the lead means it’s ours to lose. Hopefully our pattern can do it again tomorrow and we can win this.”

The top 10 teams on Lake Keowee that will advance to the final day of competition are:
 1st:   Illinois State University – Bryce Wegman, Normal, Ill., and Taylor Umland, Gridley, Ill., 10 bass, 27-9
 2nd:  Auburn University – Timmy Ward, Childersburg, Ala., and Mitchell Jennings, Auburn, Ala., 10 bass, 26-8
 3rd:  Adrian College – Jarrett Martin, Gallipolis, Ohio, and Jacob Bayer, Westfield, Mich., 10 bass, 26-3
 4th:   Colorado Mesa University – Josh Worth, Grand Junction, Colo., and Kennedy Kinkade, Alpine, Utah, 10 bass, 26-1
 5th:  University of South Carolina – Chris Blanchette, Irmo, S.C., and Hampton Anderson, Anderson, S.C., 10 bass, 25-11
 6th:  Dallas Baptist University – Zackery Hines, Clyde, Texas, and Reed Foster, Combine, Texas, 10 bass, 25-10
 7th:  Kansas State University – Lance Maldonado, Junction City, Kan., and Ethan Dhuyvetter, Manhattan, Kan., 10 bass, 25-3
 8th:  University of North Alabama – Dawson Lenz, Peachtree City, Ga., and Andrew Tate, Florence, Ala., 10 bass, 25-2
 9th:  Henderson State University – Michael Gross, Gurdon, Ark., and Cobey Wingfield, Malvern, Ark., 10 bass, 24-13
 10th:  Texas A&M University – Josh Bensema, Willis, Texas, and Matthew McArdle, Crosby, Texas, 10 bass, 24-6

Overall there were 253 bass weighing 516 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 52 college teams Friday. The catch included 46 five-bass limits.
The FLW College Fishing National Championship awards the top team a $30,000 prize package, including a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower outboard engine and one entry into the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup. The Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, will be held August 4-7 on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Alabama, and will offer a collegiate angler the opportunity to compete for a top award of $300,000.

For the first time ever in FLW College Fishing competition, the winning team will compete against each other Sunday day in a one-day fish-off on an undisclosed body of water. The two anglers will weigh in prior to the final weigh in of the Walmart FLW Tour event at Lake Hartwell. The team member with the largest one-day stringer will advance to the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup.

The top 10 teams will take off Saturday from South Cove County Park, located at 1099 S. Cove Road, in Seneca at 7:30 a.m. EST. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at Green Pond Landing, located at 470 Green Pond Road in Anderson, at 3:15 p.m., prior to the day 3 weigh-in of the FLW Tour event at Lake Hartwell.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at Green Pond Landing prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and the opportunity to interact with professional anglers to learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.

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.

About FLW
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.