CARBONDALE, Ill. Oct. 8, 2011 – Spc. Aaron Conner, Murphysboro, Ill., won the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament held on Kinkaid Lake Saturday. Fishing with National Guard FLW College angler Cody Napier, Western Kentucky University, the pair caught two bass for a total of 5 pounds, 6 ounces to take the title and bragging rights amongst their peers.
“This was full contact fishing,” said Conner who is also a student at Southern Illinois University and a member of their bass club. “Fishing was tough. There is not one pattern that is working right now. Kinkaid really didn’t show her true colors.
“But we had fun out there today. Cody and I got to share a boat and some good information about college fishing.”
Each of the participants in the National Guard FLW Soldier Appreciation Tournament are members of the Illinois National Guard and most have had at least one tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. In this tournament, National Guard FLW College Fishing anglers took teams of one or two, which consist of members of the National Guard, fishing to compete amongst their peers. Each team was allowed to bring in three bass. FLW Outdoors is operating the tournaments in conjunction with the National Guard to show appreciation to our service members of the National Guard.
“What an awesome day,” said Napier. “This entire week has been an incredible experience and to be a part of this soldier tournament today was a real honor.”
A total of 11 service men, six teams, participated in the tournament. Rounding out the teams were:
- 2nd: Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Krajefska, Salem, Ill., and Sgt. 1st Class Graham Young, Marion, Ill., fishing with National Guard FLW Tour co-angler Staff Sgt. Adam Lock, Metropolis, Ill., one bass, 3-11
- 3rd: 1st Sgt. Keith Rogers, Eldorado, Ill., and Staff Sgt. Collin Childers, Cobden, Ill., fishing with National Guard FLW College angler, Anthony Southard, Western Kentucky University, one bass, 2-2
- 4th: Lt. Col. Rodney Thacker, Sorento, Ill., and Staff Sgt. Randy Thacker, Sorento, Ill., fishing with National Guard FLW College angler Duron Netsell, University of Missouri, 0 bass, 0-0
- 5th: Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Dennison, Rochester, Ill., and Sgt. Chris Willig, Springfield, Ill., fishing with National Guard FLW College angler, Scott Dooley, University of Missouri, 0 bass, 0-0
- 6th: Brig. Gen. Johnny Miller, Tams, Ill., and Maj. Loren Easter, Chatam, Ill., fishing with EverStart FLW pro Shaye Baker, Reeltown, Ala., 0 bass, 0-0
The Soldier Appreciation Tournament was held in conjunction with the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship on Kinkaid Lake hosted by Southern Illinois University.
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