CARBONDALE, Ill. Oct. 6, 2011 – The University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point team of Ted Johnson and Jody Derks, both of Waupaca, Wis., took the lead on day one of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Regional championship hosted by Southern Illinois University (SIU) on Kinkaid Lake Thursday with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces. The team holds over a three pound lead over their nearest competitor, SIU, Edwardsville. Teams are fishing for a top award of $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.
“It was tough out there today,” said Derks, a junior fisheries major. “I knew it was going to be tough, but I never expected it to be this tough and I never dreamed we would be leading the tournament with only three fish. We caught about 25 fish today. There are plenty of fish out there, but getting those 16 inchers is challenging. We had a couple that were 15½ inches that we had to through back and that hurt.
“The fish seemed to be pretty confused right now,” Derks went on to say. “I guess a cold front went through a couple of weeks ago so the patterns that existed then are no longer in play with this warm front that is going through. The fish aren’t sure if they should be in their summer or fall pattern. They are just all over the place.
The University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point qualified for the Central Regional by finishing second at the Wolf River Chain event in June.
“We worked hard all day long,” said Johnson a sophomore majoring in political science. “I am physically and mentally exhausted. The key for us today was keeping our lines in the water and having an open mind. We basically went junk fishing in all depths. There was no one thing that worked better than anything else for us. It was a crap shoot out there today.
“This is my first time on Kinkaid, my first time fishing in Illinois,” Johnson added. “We were late getting to practice yesterday. As a matter of fact I had to call a friend of mine to buy a lake map for us because neither Jody nor I had ever been on or seen this lake before. It was probably to our advantage because from what I am hearing the guys that were here practicing a couple of weeks ago are struggling because the lake has changed so much.
“I am pretty nervous going into tomorrow, Johnson continued. “Every fish caught tomorrow will be huge. It is still anybody’s ballgame if a limit is caught. We could still stumble. Looks like it will be another sleepiness night on an already weary week.”
Rounding out the top 10 teams are:
- 2nd: Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville – Brad Lemasters, Maryville, Ill., and Justin Skinner, Taylorville, Ill, two bass, 5-3
- 3rd: Eastern Kentucky – Kyle Raymer, Brandenburg, Ky., and John Smith, London, Ky., two bass, 4-15
- 4th: Kansas State University – Ryan Patterson, Goddard, Kan., two bass, 4-10
- 5th: Northwestern University – Jimmy Morrow, Arlington Heights, Ill., and Matthew Kestufskie, Evanston, Ill, two bass, 4-7
- 6th: Indiana University – Dustin Vaal, Bloomington, Ind., and Steven Bressler, Fremont, Ind., one bass, 3-14
- 7th: University of Missouri – Scott Dooley, Columbia, Mo., and Duron Netsell, Columbia, Mo., one bass, 2-14
- 8th: Purdue University – Ryan Spicer, Arcola, Ind., and Chris Kaiser, Carmel, Ind., one bass, 2-4
- 9th: University of Arkansas, Little Rock – Trent Gephardt, Benton, Ark., and Carter Norman, Benton, Ark., one bass, 2-4
- 10th: University of Missouri – Taylor Knight, Columbia, Mo., and Champ Caldwell, Perry, Mo., one bass, 2-1
Anglers will take off from the Kinkaid Lake Marina located at 2063 Marina Road in Murphysboro, Ill., at 7 a.m. each morning. All weigh-ins will be held outside the SIU Arena located at 1400 Arena Drive in Carbondale. Friday’s weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m., and Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at 5 p.m., or upon the completion of the SIU vs. North Dakota State football game. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
SIU will be hosting a College Fishing Festival Friday and Saturday. Students and fishing fans alike will be treated to a Ranger Boat simulator, Sony PS3 Gaming Trailer, tailgate games, a sports zone along with contests for cash and several prize give-aways. The festival will take place outside the SIU Arena from 2 – 4 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday. The first 50 students at the festival Friday will receive a free rod and reel. There will also be a Sports Marketing seminar at 2 p.m. each day on the college fishing stage. On Saturday, free pizza will be available following the football game and just prior to the final weigh-in.
The top five teams from each of the five regional tournaments will advance to the national championship where the first-place team will win a top award of $100,000; $25,000 for their school and $50,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club.
Coverage of the Central Regional Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors,” will air Nov. 20 from 1 – 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
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.