Sept. 10, 2011 – The University of Georgia team of Randy Tolbert, Jr. of Rome, Ga., and Chase Simmemon of Alto, Ga., went wire-to-wire to win the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional Championship presented by Evinrude and hosted by Auburn University on Lake Harding Saturday with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces for a three-day total of 24-4. The team beat their closest competitor, Clemson University, by 7 pounds, 8 ounces and won $50,000 to be split between the university and the university’s bass fishing club – $12,500 and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower outboard wrapped in school colors for the bass club and $12,500 for their school.
“This is unbelievable,” said Tolbert, a senior fisheries and aquaculture major. “The guys in this region are tough and they’re good. We’re friends with a lot of them and we compete against them all the time, and we love to beat them. When we do it’s awesome.
“We’ve never led every day of a tournament and won,” Tolbert added. “That makes this awesome.”
Tolbert and Simmemon said Friday they would change their strategy on the final day of competition to try to catch a bigger stringer.
“We hit a completely new area first thing this morning and it paid off,” said Simmemon, a junior wildlife biology and fisheries and aquaculture major. “We caught a 2-pounder real quick. That’s the only fish we caught in that area, so we went back to our game plan that was our game plan for the past two days and that’s where we would go try to get a limit real quick.”
Simmemon said the team caught a number of fish during the course of the day but managed to boat only five keepers. The team used a drop-shot rig tipped with a Roboworm and flipped shallow water with creature baits such as a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver and a Big Bite Bait Fighting Frog to try to bag bigger largemouth.
Tolbert said the team now has their eyes on the national championship.
“We’re going to put the time and work in that it takes,” Tolbert said. “If everything falls into place we’ll catch them. We’re going to fish for the win. That’s all you can do.”
Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
- 2nd: Clemson University – Andy Wicker, Pomaria, S.C., and Harold Turner, Sumter, S.C. (11 bass, 16-12, $10,000)
- 3rd: Kennesaw State University – Thomas Frink, Woodstock, Ga., and Justin Marlow, Kennesaw, Ga. (12 bass, 16-6, $5,000)
- 4th: Georgia Southern – Wesley Maples, Rocky Face, Ga., and Jed Thigpen, Statesboro, Ga. (11 bass, 13-2, $5,000)
- 5th: Auburn University – Jordan Lee, Vinemont, Ala., and Matt Lee, Auburn, Ala. (11 bass, 12-10, $5,000)
For a complete list of final standings visit CollegeFishing.com.
The top five teams from each regional advance to the national championship where the first-place team will win $100,000 with $25,000 of that for their school and $50,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat wrapped in school colors and a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard for their fishing club.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.
Coverage of the Southeast Regional Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors,” will air Oct. 23 from 1 – 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
Dalton Anderson and Dawson Lenz from Georgia’s McIntosh High School won the High School Southeast Regional tournament held on Lake Harding Saturday. TBF along with FLW Outdoors held the high school tournament in conjunction with the FLW College Fishing Southeast Regional.
McIntosh High School had four bass weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces to beat Fuquay-Varina High by 1 pound, 15 ounces.
Lenz said the team used a Texas-rigged green pumpkin Senko weightless in the grass as well as a Texas-rigged 8-inch Lake Fork ribbontail worm to catch their fish Saturday.
Anderson said he fished the Senko from the bow of the boat and Lenz was in the back flipping in an effort to cover two zones of water.
“It worked out for us,” Anderson said. “We tried to capitalize on every bite we could.”
Rounding out the top five teams were:
- 2nd: North Carolina’s Fuquay-Varina High, Michael McDonald and Michael Beverley, four bass, 4-0
- 3rd: Alabama’s Vernon High School, Kophen Sudduth and Dillon Tucker, two bass, 2-14
- 4th: Mississippi’s Houlka Attendance Center, Blake Galloway and Dillon Easley, one bass, 1-0
- 5th: South Carolina’s T.L. Hanna High, Hampton Anderson and Harrison Bramlette, one bass, 0-14
The winning team was determined by the heaviest weight for a maximum of five bass. The winning team from each of five regional championships advances to 2012 High School Fishing National Championship for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship ($5,000 to each team member).
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWCollegeFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/CollegeFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS
FLW Outdoors is the best in fishing, on and off the water. Anglers worldwide can compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.