(Apr 30, 2016 - Waggoner, OK)
The Rogers State University duo of Dillon Roberts of Claremore, Oklahoma, and Bret Fite of Salina, Oklahoma, won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference event on Fort Gibson Lake Saturday with five bass weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the club $2,000 and qualified the team for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“To come here and win the tournament is the coolest feeling,” said Fite, a sophomore majoring in applied technology. “We’ve both fished a few local tournaments, but this was one of the biggest that we have ever competed in and to actually win, that’s what you dream about. It really hasn’t even sunk in yet.”
“Our morning was pretty crazy and we didn’t even know if we were going to be able to fish today,” said Roberts, a freshman majoring in business. “We were camping, and a bad storm came through last night. Apparently at some point there was a lightning strike and the electronics on our boat were fried this morning. We had to scramble and borrow a boat from my dad’s friend who happens to live nearby.
“Once we got on the lake, we had some trolling motor issues and had to spend some time fixing that,” Roberts continued. “Once we finally got everything working and started fishing we decided to commit our day to one stretch of water, put our heads down and go to work.”
The duo said they fished a mile-long stretch of bank, targeting postspawn fish that were moving up the rip-rap banks as the water levels were rising. They caught seven keepers throughout the day – four on a white ½-ounce Terminator Lures spinnerbait and three on a citrus shad-colored Strike King KVD HC Square Bill Silent Crankbait.
“A lot of the teams were still looking for prespawn fish, but the key for us was finding the postspawn fish,” Fite said. “They were still shallow, from 2½ to 3½ feet.”
“I think that the key for us was just staying focused,” Roberts said. “We had to overcome all of the obstacles this morning, and then just commit to our one area. We just started our bass club this year and this is a great way to get some exposure. We can’t wait to compete at the National Championship.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2017 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Rogers State University – Dillon Roberts, Claremore, Okla., and Bret Fite, Salina, Okla., five bass, 18-1, $2,000
2nd: Northeastern State University – Cody Metzger and Michael King, both of Wagoner, Okla., five bass, 17-12, $1,000
3rd: University of Texas-Tyler – Jimmy Powell, Tyler, Texas, and Caleb Young, Maud, Texas, five bass, 16-5, $500
4th: Tarleton State University – Justin Seeton, Midlothian, Texas, and Stetson Overton, Glen Rose, Texas, five bass, 15-15, $500
5th: Tarleton State University – Zach Ziober, Decatur, Texas, and Dakota Ebare, Denham Springs, La., five bass, 15-10, $500
6th: East Central University – Wyatt Smith, Depew, Okla., and Wyatt Ryan, Ada, Okla., five bass, 15-0
7th: Colorado Mesa University – Josh Worth, Grand Junction, Colo., and Kennedy Kinkade, Alpine, Utah, five bass, 14-9
8th: Texas A&M University – Josh Bensema, Willis, Texas, and Tyler Anderson, Austin, Texas, four bass, 14-0
9th: Rogers State University – Benny Boone, Collinsville, Okla., and John Gann, Salina, Okla., three bass, 13-13
10th: Abilene Christian University – Andrew Harruff and Tanner Sanderson, both of Abilene, Texas, five bass, 13-10
This FLW College Fishing Southern Conference event was hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce and was the second regular-season qualifying tournament in the Southern conference. The next event for Southern Conference anglers is a tournament scheduled for Oct. 8 on the Ouachita River in Monroe, Louisiana.
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.