Auburn, Ala. Sept. 1, 2011 – National Guard FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Harding Sept. 8-10 for the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division Regional. Twenty college teams will be competing for a top award of $50,000 with $12,500 of that for their school and $12,500 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat wrapped in school colors and a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard for their fishing club.
“It will be a little tough,” said former Auburn University angler Shaye Baker of Tallassee, Ala. “You just can’t tell this time of year. I mean, if you get a cold front that comes through it could really aggravate the fish and make it tough.”
Baker said teams will catch fish in a variety of ways on Lake Harding. An abundance of docks will give anglers ample opportunities to capitalize on the shad-related bite, and Baker said teams will employ shallow crankbaits, drop-shot rigs and shaky-head rigs to fill their limits.
“This tournament will really show you who the better teams are because you have to go out and change and adapt every day,” Baker said. “You may catch one in 25 feet of water and then catch one in 10 inches. You have to work hard and be really consistent and versatile to put together a good bag over the three days.
“I think 10 pounds a day the first two days will definitely get you in the top five,” Baker added. “And I think the team who gets 29 pounds will win it.”
Anglers will take off from Po-Boy Landing located at 158 County Road 335 in Salem, Ala., at 7 a.m. daily. Weigh-in will be held at Ag Heritage Park located at 411 South Donahue St. in Auburn, Ala., beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at 3 p.m. or upon completion of the Auburn University vs. Mississippi State Football game Saturday. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Auburn University will also be hosting a College Fishing Festival throughout the three-day tournament. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to the National Guard Warrior Challenge, a Ranger Boat simulator, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize give-aways. The festival will take place at Ag Heritage Park from 2-4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. until the kickoff of the football game on Saturday.
Schools that have qualified and will be competing in the tournament are:
- Auburn University
- Clemson University (2)
- Coastal Carolina
- Georgia Southern
- Kennesaw State University (2)
- Lagrange College
- Middle Tennessee State
- Mississippi State
- South Alabama
- Southern Polytechnic
- Tennessee Tech (2)
- University of Florida
- University of Georgia
- University of Montevallo
- UT-Chattanooga (2)
A National Guard Soldier Appreciation Tournament will also be held Saturday. Takeoff will be at 7 a.m. at Po-Boy Landing and weigh-in will be at 3 p.m. (subject to end of football game) at Ag Heritage Park.
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.
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.