Fishing & Boating News

Sam Houston State University Wins YETI FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Opener on Sam Rayburn Reservoir

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

The Sam Houston State University team of Dillon Harrell of New Caney, TX, and Dustin Moreno of Shepherd, TX, won with 5 bass weighing 22 lbs, 3 ozs.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Feb 6, 2017 - Lufkin, TX)

The Sam Houston State University team of Dillon Harrell of New Caney, Texas, and Dustin Moreno of Shepherd, Texas, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Southern Conference opener on Sam Rayburn Reservoir Saturday with five bass weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the club a $2,000 club scholarship and advanced the team to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“Dillon and I have been fishing together since we were 8-years-old,” said Moreno, a senior majoring in business. “We’ve always talked about competing like this when we were growing up, so this win feels like it has been a long time coming.”


“At 12 members, our bass club at Sam Houston is pretty small,” said Harrell, a sophomore majoring in agricultural business. “We’ve placed at college tournaments before, but have never won. I’d love to see this club grow to 30 members within the next couple of years and this win will definitely help.”
Harrell said the two primarily fished hydrilla and secondary points in 4 to 8 feet of water throughout the event. They said they ran through multiple areas, including locations near Mud Creek and the Highway 147 bridge.


“When we pulled up to our first area we found a lot of boat traffic from another tournament,” said Harrell. “We thought we could get a quick limit there, but only caught two fish. We targeted schooling fish and grinded out a limit at our second stop by 11 a.m.”


Moreno said they used a shad-colored 6th Sense Snatched 70 X Lipless Crankbait to catch their initial limit.
“Around 2 p.m., we focused on a secondary point and caught two bass that were close to 7 pounds apiece on an umbrella rig with Xcite Baits swimbaits,” said Moreno. “We culled out our two smallest fish and on the very next cast I caught a 4-pounder. We went from 12 pounds to 24 pounds in 15 minutes.”


“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Harrell. “I’ve fished in those areas for a lot of tournaments, but I’ve never doubled my weight in a matter of minutes. It was ridiculous.”


The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2018 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st:          Sam Houston State University – Dillon Harrell, New Caney, Texas, and Dustin Moreno, Shepherd, Texas, five bass, 22-3, $2,000 Club Scholarship
2nd:         Angelo State University – Ty Johnson, Bernet, Ill., and Will Curlee, Round Rock, Texas, five bass, 20-10, $1,000 Club Scholarship
3rd:          Tarleton State University – Tucker Sargent, Lipan, Texas, and Wyatt Young, Aledo, Texas, five bass, 19-8, $500 Club Scholarship
4th:          Angelo State University – Nolan Osmanski and Nathan Ahle, both of San Angelo, Texas, five bass,      18-3, $500 Club Scholarship
5th:          Texas A&M University-Texarkana – Blaine Weems, Bradley, Arkansas, and Lane Kennedy, Texarkana, Texas, five bass, 18-3, $500 Club Scholarship
6th:          Colorado Mesa University – Josh Worth and Brandon Lofton, both of Grand Junction, Colo., five bass, 17-14, $400
7th:          Louisiana State University-Shreveport – Jared Rascoe, Stonewall, La., and James Kimbrough, Bossier City, La., five bass, 17-12   
8th:          Harding University – Ethan Flowers, Dexter, Mo., and Cole Swede, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 17-2   
9th:          Louisiana Tech University – Taylor Tindall. Monroe, La., and Brennan Soileau, Ruston, La., five bass, 17-1              
10th:        Arkansas Tech University – Jake Dugger and Josh Dugger, both of Pottsville, Ark., five bass, 16-7


FLW also advances one additional team to the National Championship for every 10 teams over 100 that compete. A total of 132 teams participated in this event, so also advancing to the 2018 College Fishing National Championship are:
11th:        Texas A&M University – Bradley Fleming, Magnolia, Texas, and Josh Bensema, Willis, Texas, five bass, 16-5       
12th:        Tarleton State University – Cason Kelly, Stephenville, Texas, and Stetson Overton, Glen Rose, Texas, five bass, 16-4            
13th:        Lamar University – Luke Potter, Bridge City, Texas, and Stephen Thomas, Woodville, Texas, five bass, 16-2

This YETI FLW College Fishing Southern Conference opener was the first regular-season qualifying tournament of 2017. The next event for Southern Conference anglers is a tournament scheduled for May 6 on Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma.


YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three 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, along with an additional qualifier for every 10 teams over 100 that compete, along with the top 20 teams from the annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2018 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 that is recognized by their school.


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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.