Fishing & Boating News

FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Opens Season on Smith Mountain Lake

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Apr 13, 2016 - )

 FLW College Fishing is headed to Smith Mountain Lake on April 23 for the first of three regular-season bass-fishing tournaments in the Northern Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“Smith Mountain Lake is one of my favorite places to fish,” said Walmart FLW Tour pro Billy Shelton of La Crosse, Virginia, who has two top-10 finishes in FLW tournament competition on Smith Mountain Lake. “It’s a deep, clear lake right in the mountains of Virginia with a lot of boat docks. The fish are just starting to spawn, so the college anglers are going to be fishing for bass in all three stages – prespawn, spawn and postspawn.

“The boat docks are usually the key,” Shelton continued. “If I was fishing in the tournament, I’d be fishing docks with a wacky-rigged Zoom Trick Worm or a 3/8- or 1/2-ounce Shooter Jig. Shaky-head rigs will always get bites too. I usually prefer natural colors – green pumpkin and brown tend to get bit a little more.”

Shelton said that the smallmouth bass should also be beginning to spawn and predicted that quite a few teams would have a few brown fish in their limits. Although anglers will still be able to find staging prespawners, Shelton recommends keying on Smith Mountain’s numerous boat docks.

“I recommend trying to pattern boat docks on the lower end of the lake,” Shelton said. “Try to figure out where the fish are, whether it’s the first dock in a cut or the last dock in a cut. The lake is fishing well right now and I think the winning team will weigh in 18 to 21 pounds.”

Anglers will take off from Parkway Marina, located at 16918 Smith Mountain Lake Parkway in Huddleston, Virginia, at 6:30 a.m. EDT Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2:30 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.

Schools are allowed to register up until the morning of the tournament. Entries may be made either by phone or at

Schools currently registered to compete in the Smith Mountain Lake tournament, which is hosted by Visit Bedford, include:
Adrian College – Brandon Herzberg, Clarklake, Mich., and Zach Nelson, Northville, Mich.
Adrian College – Nickolas Marsh, Commerce Township, Mich., and Caleb Taylor, Zionsville, Ind.
Adrian College – Dalton Breckel, Onsted, Mich., and Chase Serafin, Highland, Mich.
Adrian College – Jarrett Martin, Gallipolis, Ohio, and Jack Hippe, Davison, Mich.
Anne Arundel Community College – Andrew Green, Crofton, Md., and Sam Schmidt, Davidsonville, Md.
Central Michigan University – Hayden Gosen, Sanford, Mich., and Cody Ankenbauer, Rochester, Mich.
Christopher Newport University – Pete Kenny, Ashburn, Va., and Taylor Godsey, Chester, Va.
Christopher Newport University – Tanner Knecht, Fredericksburg, Va., and Ben Haynes, Seaford, Va.
Ithaca College – Kurt Hoefig and Brandon Ho, both of Annandale, N.J.
Kent State University – Zachary Asher, Sunbury, Ohio, and Eric Lamb, Amherst, Ohio
Kent State University – Matthew Holsinger, Massillon, Ohio, and Dante Gramuglia, Middlefield, Ohio
Kent State University – Logan Willoughby, New Philadelphia, Ohio, and Trevor Gillett, Kent, Ohio
Liberty University – Landon Riggleman, Lynchburg, Va., and Alex Williamson, Gorham, Maine
Liberty University – Mike Healy, Hillsdale, Mich., and Ethan Craft, Forest, Va.
Liberty University – Zachary Phillips, New Hartford, Conn., and Andrew Johnson, Gainesville, Ga.
Marshall University – Drew Sallada, Hurricane, W. Va., and Jonathan Williams, Glade Spring, W. Va.
Marshall University – Joshua Rawson, Sissonville, W. Va., and Philip Miller, Catlettsburg, Ky.
Ohio State University – Kyle Waller and Jacob Miller, both of Thornville, Ohio
Pennsylvania State University – Derek Horner, State College, Pa., and Clayton Frey, York, Pa.
Pennsylvania State University – Kevin Barber, Enola, Pa., and Brian Wickens, State College, Pa.
Pennsylvania State University – Louis Mocniak, Washington, Pa., and Lance Brosious, Sunbury, Pa.
Pennsylvania State University – Sean Cummins, Huntingdon, Pa., and Maurice Hudson, Broomall, Pa.
Pennsylvania State University – Chris Trianosky, Phoenixville, Pa., and Stephen Jesso, Plymouth, Pa.
Ramapo College – Andrew Annuzzi, Old Bridge, N.J., and Marc Concato, Wayne, N.J.
Ramapo College – Lindsey Gray, Dumont, N.J., and Christopher Diehl, Bloomingdale, N.J.
Ramapo College – Ryan Worth, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and Andre Vicari, Wayne, N.J.
Rochester Institute of Technology  – Jason Karol and John Henderson, both of Rochester, N.Y.
Schoolcraft College – Anthony Gilmore, Livonia, Mich., and Clayton Hatton, South Lyon, Mich.
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania – Dan Cornelius, Glenmoore, Pa., and Colton Pifer, Telford, Pa.
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania – Tyler Sheppard, Hermitage, Pa., and Logan Pollman, Slippery Rock, Pa.
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania – Nathan Quince and Ryan Kozlowski, both of Pittsburgh, Pa.
State University of New York-Brockport – Austin Littler, Camden, N.Y., and Adam Kettle, Johnson City, N.Y.
University of Pittsburgh – Michael Dunn and Henry Colberg, both of Pittsburgh, Pa.
West Chester University – Thomas Arena, Carlisle, Pa., and Matthew Burgis, Chadds Ford, Pa.
West Virginia University – Bailey Gordon, Morgantown, W. Va., and Joseph Hall, Carlisle, Pa.
West Virginia University – Branden Newcome, Ellamore, W. Va., and Michael Shughart, Shippensburg, Pa.
West Virginia University – Steven Slayton, Manassas, Va., and Matthew Combs, Dayton, Ohio
Youngstown State University – Jared Latone and Jeffrey Grope, both of Youngstown, Ohio

FLW College Fishing teams compete in regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top 10 teams from each regular-season tournament 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 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.