The Young Harris College team of Clint McNeal of Woodstock, Ga., and Brad Rutherford of Lavonia, Ga., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville Saturday with six bass weighing 19 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly …
The Young Harris College team of Clint McNeal of Woodstock, Ga., and Brad Rutherford of Lavonia, Ga., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division event on Lake Guntersville Saturday with six bass weighing 19 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the university and the universitys bass-fishing club. The win also helped them advance to the Southeast Division Regional Championship in Stanford, Fla., Nov. 21-23, where they could ultimately win a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for their schools club and $25,000 for the school they represent.
This is awesome, said Rutherford. I caught my first fish on my first or second cast this morning and it was a 6-pounder. It was tough fishing the rest of the day. We really had to work hard. We had most of our success on isolated grass patches using large swimbaits.
The storms that rolled through the Guntersville area on Friday evening did not dampen the fishing for the team from Young Harris College, who were both new to fishing on Lake Guntersville. Their commanding victory was a bit of a surprise to some of the local colleges.
We came here to win, said McNeal. We didnt catch too many fish, but the ones we did were keepers! We never fished deeper than 7-feet and kept to the edges of the grass patches. I am just pumped!
Rounding out the top five teams were Kennesaw State University Jake Akin of Powder Springs, Ga., and Thomas Frink of Kennesaw, Ga., (three bass14-11, $5,000); University of Tennessee Nick Tate and Phillip Hopper both from Knoxville, Tenn., (six bass, 14-3, $4,000); Auburn University Sam Rochell of Elkmont, Ala., and JT Murphy of Auburn, Ala., (six bass, 14-1, $3,000); Faulkner University Michael Eubanks of Montgomery, Ala., and John Nicks Galloway of Perry, Ga., (four bass, 13-5, $2,000).
FLW Outdoors announced the College Fishing trail in May 2008. The entire schedule, which is organized around the five Stren Series Divisions, can be found by visiting CollegeFishing.com along with rules, requirements and information on how to create a bass club.
Full-time students enrolled in four year colleges or universities are eligible to participate in the events. Schools can send two-person teams to each of the four qualifying events in their division, with each event limited to a maximum of 40 teams. Each team has the opportunity to win $10,000 for first through $2,000 for fifth place. Prize money is split evenly between the winning teams club and the school they represent. The tournaments are free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW 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.
Each school represented in a televised Regional Championship will have team shirts and boats provided by Ranger. The purse for each Regional Championship includes a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $25,000 for the school they represent. Awards of $6,000 also extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.
The National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided shirts and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The purse for the championship ranges from $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $50,000 for the school they represent to $15,000 for fifth, split between the club and school.
The winning team will be declared the National Guard FLW Collegiate National Champion and will qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta, Ga., which will be held at Lake Lanier. The winners will also receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for cup competition.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Players Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.