The LaGrange College team of Torre Pike and Ryan Wakenigg won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division on Lake Seminole Saturday with six bass weighing 24 pounds, 4 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the university and the university’s bass-fishing club. The win also helped them advance to the Southeast Division Regional Championship where they could ultimately win a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine wrapped in school colors for their school’s bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent.
“We were just hoping to make the top-5 and beat Auburn,” said Pike, a freshman History major. “My home lake is Guntersville so I am used to grass fishing and had a lot of confidence coming in to this tournament.”
The team from LaGrange dominated the tournament and won by 10 pounds over their closest competitor, the recently crowned National Champions from the University of Florida. The team fished grass beds with spinnerbaits and baby brush hogs. They were expecting a slow bite so buckled down and fished the same area all day long using slow retrievals to thoroughly comb the area.
“This is insane!” said Wakenigg, a freshman Business major. “I can’t wait to get my jersey at regionals! It was pretty intimidating seeing the University of Florida drive up in their boat and truck, I said to Torre, that’s what we need.
“We just had great day today; I never dreamed we would win this tournament by so much. I am not used to fishing in grass, but Torre really helped me out and one fish was bigger than the next. After last night’s rain we were expecting a good top water bite, but that didn’t happen. We were very fortunate to find an area that was loaded with big hawgs.”
Rounding out the top five teams were University of Florida – Jake Gipson and Matthew Wercinski, (six bass, 14-4, $5,000); Kennesaw State – Jake Akin and Thomas Frink, (four bass, 12-14, $4,000); Middle Tennessee State – Nolen Spencer and Tyler Barnes, (five bass, 12-12, $3,000); Florida Gulf Coast – Drew Underwood and Garrett Farmer (six bass, 11-3, $2,000).
The next National Guard FLW College Southeast Division tournament is scheduled for Sept. 18, at Lake Chickamauga in Hixson, Tenn. College Fishing is free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW Outdoors and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each qualifying event advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championships.
The top five teams from each regional championship will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. The National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition.
Visit CollegeFishing.com for a complete list of scheduled events.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com. FLWOutdoors.com