The Georgia Southern University team of Justin Hewlett of North August, S.C., and Geoffrey Hill of Kennesaw, Ga. won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference event on Santee Cooper Saturday with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. They endured the longest fog delay in FLW history – nearly five hours, to claim the win. The victory earned the team $5,000, and advanced them to the Southeastern Conference Championship.
“We had a plan set up for the entire day, down to the minute” said Hewlett, a Construction Management major. “The fog delay really threw us off our plan today, though. We came up here to Santee on our Spring Break in early March, and that definitely was one of our keys to victory today. It allowed us the time to really learn the lake. One of our areas that we found on that trip produced three fish for us today.”
“It was a really slow morning,” said Hill, a Mechanical Engineering major. “We shot over to our first spot where we were confident that we could get a limit, but were only able to pull three out of there. Then we decided to fish an area near the boat landing across from the marina, and we were able to pull our last keeper out of there. We actually missed our fifth fish from there, as it got off just before we landed it. We were fishing Zoom baits all day. We caught our first 3 on watermelon-colored Zoom Swimming Flukes, and our last one on a baby bass-colored Zoom Super Fluke.”
Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Southeastern Conference Championship are:
- 2nd: Troy University – Connor Bedsole, Arab, Ala., and Hunter Graham, Troy, Ala. (two bass, 9-3, $1,500)
- 3rd: Tennessee Technical University – Kenneth Zainal, Cookeville, Tenn., and Matt Quinn, Brentwood, Tenn. (three bass, 8-11, $1,000)
- 4th: University of North Carolina-Charlotte – Shane Lehew, Charlotte, N.C, and Adam Waters, Denver, N.C. (four bass, 8-9, $1,500)
- 5th: Wake Forest University – Graham Rich, Winston-Salem, N.C., and Thomas Gravitt, King, N.C. (two bass, 7-14, $1,000)
Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com.
Four regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western. The top five teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championships, where the first-place team wins a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The top five teams from each conference championship advance to the national championship, where the first-place team wins $25,000 for their school and $50,000 cash plus a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard for their fishing club.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW 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.
The next National Guard FLW College Southeastern Conference tournament is scheduled for May 5 at Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala., and is hosted by the Marshall County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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 CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.