GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Kentucky Lake April 1-2 for the second annual FLW College Fishing Open. The tournament, which is hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Moors Resort & Marina, will allow registration from any eligible college teams, regardless of division or location. Anglers who finish within the top 15 automatically qualify for the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship while the champions take home a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard.
Last year’s inaugural Open drew a huge field of 194 college teams from around the country, shattering the record to become the largest collegiate fishing tournament ever held. The University of Arkansas duo of Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto weighed a two-day total of 10 bass totaling 43 pounds, 12 ounces to earn the win.
“I expect Kentucky Lake to fish well for this event,” said 21-year Walmart FLW Tour veteran Terry Bolton of Paducah, Kentucky. “We’ve got a lot of big females that are starting to warm up and come shallow, so prespawn patterns are going to dominate.
“I think the tournament will be won offshore – that’s typically where the largest schools are,” Bolton continued. “Anglers won’t be fishing very deep, though. I’d say it’ll be won in less than 10 or 12 feet of water, but that could be in the middle of the lake or in a creek mouth. We’ll also see some decent ones caught off of the bank. Lipless crankbaits and umbrella rigs will definitely produce in these areas.”
Bolton said that the water on the west side of the lake is stained, while the east remains fairly clear. He said that red and Spring Craw-colored baits should be favored in these conditions.
“I think bass will be keying on the gizzard shad as they come shallow, so large, shad-colored jerkbaits should also do well,” said Bolton. “It’s all going to depend on water clarity.”
The Kentucky pro went on to say that a two-day catch worth 46 to 48 pounds should be enough to take top honors.
“We’ve seen some large stringers caught on Kentucky Lake the past couple of weekends,” said Bolton. “These collegiate teams are going to have a lot to work with.”
Schools are allowed to register up until the morning of the tournament. Entries may be made either by phone or at FLWFishing.com.
Schools currently registered to compete in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake include:
Adrian College – Brandon Herzberg, Clarklake, Mich., and Nickolas Marsh, Commerce Township, Mich.
Adrian College – Caleb Taylor, Zionsville, Ind., and Ben Barrus, Blissfield, Mich.
Adrian College – Zack Nelson, Northville, Mich., and Jarrett Martin, Gallipolis, Ohio
Arkansas Tech University – Ethan Stokes, Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Philip Gottsponer, Morrilton, Ark.
Bellarmine University – James Kuhns, Louisville, Ky., and Joseph Allgeier, Bardstown, Ky.
Bellarmine University – Matthew Smith, Bardstown, Ky., and Kathleen Guice, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Bellarmine University – Patrick Clark and Trevor Hulsey, both of Louisville, Ky.
Bemidji State University – Thor Swanson and Mitchell Swanson, both of Blaine, Minn.
Bowling Green State University – Corey Miller, Perrysburg, Ohio, and Walter Rauterkus, Avon, Ohio
Bryan College – Chandler Fogg and Conner Fogg, both of Kelso, Tenn.
Bryan College – Cole Sands, Dayton, Tenn., and Caleb Luzader, Cleveland, Tenn.
Bryan College – Conner Thompson, Fort Payne, Ala., and Christopher Kanute, Warrior, Ala.
Bryan College – Jalen Smith and Dylan Pritchett, both of Dayton, Tenn.
Bryan College – Nathan Bell, Riceville, Tenn., and Dylan Kear, Clinton, Tenn.
Bryan College – Robert Gibson, Decatur, Tenn., and A.J. Barnes, Harrison, Tenn.
Bryan College – Thomas Peck, Louisville, Ky., and Tyler Chumley, Lafollette, Tenn.
Coastal Carolina University – John Duarte and Jonathan Kelley, both of Middle River, Md.
Colorado State University-Pueblo – Austin Miles, Pueblo, Colo., and Tyler Hassler, Fountain, Colo.
Eastern Illinois University – Ian Snowden and Jacob Daily, both of Mattoon, Ill.
Eastern Kentucky University – Gavin Draper, Stanford, Ky., and Tate Clements, Brodhead, Ky.
Eastern Kentucky University – Shaw Owens and Corey Owens, both of Barbourville, Ky.
Harding University – Riley Mason, Searcy, Ark., and Jacob Frawley, Nolensville, Tenn.
Haywood Community College – Ryan McLaughlin and Justin St. Onge, both of Fairview, N.C.
Johns Hopkins University – Sanli Wang, Baltimore, Md., and Qiurun Chen, Haidian, Beijing, China
Liberty University – Zachary Phillips, New Hartford, Conn., and Andrew Johnson, Gainesville, Ga.
Marshall University – Johnathan Williams, Glade Spring W. Va., and Drew Sallada, Hurricane, W. Va.
Marshall University – Joshua Rawson, Sissonville, W. Va., and Philip Miller, Catlettsburg, Ky.
McKendree University – Jordan Ledbetter, Carlyle, Ill., and Taylor Schmitt, Belknap, Ill.
McKendree University – Reece Ellerbusch, Belknap, Ill., and Austin Chapman, Blue Mound, Ill.
McKendree University – Shane Campbell, Summerfield., Ill. and Phillip Germagliotti, Highland, Ill.
McKendree University – Trent Robinson, Carlyle, Ill., and Brock Wilke, Saint Rose, Ill.
Missouri State University – Cody Hamacher and Hayden Lee, both of Jefferson City, Mo.
Milwaukee School of Engineering – Marshall Sandretto, Winthrop Harbor, Wis., and Zach Regnier, Hager City, Wis.
Milwaukee School of Engineering – Patrick Schmidt and Zachary Ottman, both of Oshkosh, Wis.
Moraine Valley Community College – Kristopher Iodice and Ryan Kwiecinski, both of Oak Forrest, Ill.
Murray State University – Chandler Christian, Owensboro, Ky., and Lance Freeman, Eddyville, Ky.
Ohio State University – Jay Gramlich, Pickington, Ohio, and Jacob Miller, Thornville, Ohio
Roane State Community College – Kyler Hagler and Tavin Napier, both of Rockwood, Tenn.
Saint Ambrose University – Cole Atkinson and Tanner Atkinson, both of Camanche, Iowa
Saint Ambrose University – Michael Wolthusen, Stickney, Ill., and Blake Vincent, Kewanee, Iowa
Saint Cloud State University – Erik Quanrud, Cambridge, Minn., and Daniel Carlson, Milaca, Minn.
Saint Cloud State University – Joachim Speldrich, Paynesville, Minn., and Tyler Gromberg, Saint Cloud, Minn.
Saint Cloud State University – Seth Cupersmith, Minneapolis, Minn., and Alex Almich, Buffalo Lake, Minn.
Schoolcraft Community College – Clayton Hatton, South Lyon, Mich., and Anthony Gilmore, Livonia, Mich.
State University of New York-Brockport – Austin Littler, Camden, Ky., and Ronald Penders, Rochester, N.Y.
Tennessee Technological University – Travis Howard, Sparta, Tenn., and Jesse Garren, Lenoir City, Tenn.
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith – Kalen Peters, Alma, Ark., and Justin Harris, Elkins, Ark.
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith – Tyler Hammers, Poteau, Okla., and Michael Rowe, Barling, Ark.
University of Louisville – Grant Drexler and Corey Skaggs, both of Louisville, Ky.
University of North Carolina-Greensboro – Ryan Rainey, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Alex Thornton, Kernersville, N.C.
University of South Carolina – Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C., and Gettys Brannon, Gaffney, S.C.
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse – Colby Wolff and Pat Bowers, both of Hudson, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Stout – Cole Hefty, Madison, Wis., and Patrick Rohlfing, Eagle Lake, Minn.
University of Wisconsin-Stout – Conrad Fox, Prescott, Wis., and Colin Salchow, Lake Elmo, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Stout – Drew Miller, Eau Claire, Wis., and Michael Tesch, Frederic, Wis.
University of Wisconsin-Stout – Justin Guarnaccio, Libertyville, Ill., and Myles Urness, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
University of Wisconsin-Stout – Kai Guthrie, Chanhassen, Minn., and Jacob Carlson, Chaska, Minn.
University of Wisconsin-Stout – Tad Harnack, Brodhead, Minn., and Sam Wosika, Forest Lake, Minn.
The registration meeting for the Open will take place Thursday, March 31, from 4-6 p.m. at Moors Resort and Marina located at 570 Moors Road in Gilbertsville, with a pre-tournament meeting following registration at 6:15 p.m. The entire field of competitors will compete both days of the tournament. Teams must provide their own boat in order to compete.
Anglers will take off from Moors Resort and Marina at 6:30 a.m. CST each day. Weigh-in will be held lakeside each day beginning at 2:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
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.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. Visit FLWFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.