(Oct 3, 2017 - LAKEPORT, CA.)
The University of Oregon duo of Ryan Habenicht and Daniel Marshall, both of Eugene, Oregon, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Western Conference tournament at Clear Lake Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces. The victory earned the Ducks bass club $2,000 and the team will now advance to compete at the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship, scheduled for May 30-June 2 on the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana.
It was the second Western Conference victory of the season for Habenicht, who won the Lake Havasu tournament in February despite fishing the two-man team event solo. Marshall was registered to compete alongside Habenicht in that event but was unable to join his partner in Arizona due to travel issues. It was also the second-consecutive year that the duo from Oregon has won the annual FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake, joining Chico State as the only two-time winners on the fishery.
“I grew up fishing this lake and I feel like I’m usually in tune with what’s going on here,” said Habenicht, a senior business major. “We had an unbelievable practice and I thought we were going to crush them. Then the tournament rolls around and three hours into the day, we’ve got no bites. We had to scramble.”
Around 11 a.m. the duo finally got their first bite of the day off of a point – a 7-pounder – on a (bluegill) Z-Man Custom ChatterBait.
“Every fish that we caught in the tournament was not a spot that we practiced in and was on a different lure,” Habenicht said. “We ended up catching about 15 to 20 fish between 11 and 1:30. The 7-pounder was our biggest, but the best lure for us was a (Frenzy Baits) Wack-A-Sack jig with a 3-inch shad-colored (Reaction Innovations) Smallie Beaver.
“The key for us was figuring out that we needed to slow way down. Traditionally, we like to fish extremely fast. But the lake was fishing tough and we had to make multiple casts sometimes. At one point it took 11 casts to catch a fish off of a dock.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2018 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University of Oregon – Ryan Habenicht and Daniel Marshall, both of Eugene, Oregon, five bass, 18-15, $2,000
2nd: California State University-East Bay – Yuan Liu, Hayward, Calif., and Herbert Rounds, Oakley, Calif., five bass, 16-4, $1,000
3rd: California Polytechnic State University – Johan Eide, San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Colton Farquer, Oakdale, Calif., five bass, 15-2, $500
4th: California Polytechnic State University – Patrick Ellis, San Diego, Calif., and Sam Morita, Sebastopol, Calif., five bass, 14-6, $500
5th: California State University-Chico – Travis Gonsalves, Modesto, Calif., and Thoma Avilla, Escalon, Calif., five bass, 13-3, $900
6th: Oregon State University – Biagio Capp, Discovery Bay, Calif., and Joseph Billmaier, San Jose, Calif., five bass, 13-1
7th: California State University-Chico – Cole Lauchland, Chico, Calif., and Logan Schwab, Davis, Calif., five bass, 12-13, $200
8th: California State University-Chico – Nicolas Fortino, Chico, Calif., and Mason Van Wagoner, San Jose, Calif., five bass, 11-15
9th: California State University-Chico – Austin Crane and David Griswold, both of Oroville, Calif., five bass, 11-13, $200
10th: California State University-Chico – Tyler Firebaugh, Danville, Calif., and Chad Sweitzer, Chico, Calif., five bass, 11-9
This YETI FLW College Fishing Western Conference event at Clear Lake was hosted by the Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina and was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament for Western Conference anglers in 2017. The next YETI FLW College Fishing event will be a Central Conference tournament, scheduled for Oct. 7 on the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.
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 and the top 20 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship on the Red River, hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission & Red River Waterway Commission. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats.
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.
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 258 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.