The Hardin-Simmons University team of Randy Sullivan of Woodson, Texas, and Hubbell Allen of Graham, Texas, won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference event on Lake Amistad Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Invitational tournament.
“The weights were not at all what we expected,” said Sullivan, a junior Economics major. “We live about four hours from Amistad, and we’ve been down here the last two weekends practicing. We knew that the water levels dropping would have an effect on the fish, but it was definitely a lot slower than we thought it was going to be.
“We fished a creek channel that drops off to a point,” Sullivan continued. “It was a deep drop-off that went from 20 feet down to 70 feet. We were able to locate the fish using our Lowrance Structure Scan. That was crucial for us. The fish were deep; we were catching them around 40 to 50 feet.
“All of the fish that we weighed in came on a sexy shad-colored Strike King Sexy Spoon,” Sullivan went on to say. “We caught a few on a Berkley Hollow Belly Swimbait, but the spoon was definitely the main producer for us.”
“The cloudy weather definitely seemed to slow the deep bite for us,” added Allen, a junior History major. “We were worried that some of the other teams fishing shallow would do better than our deep pattern. Luckily, that didn’t happen.”
The Hardin-Simmons team credits the Lowrance HDS-10 as being the key to their victory.
“We never would have found them without it,” said Allen. “The side imaging and structure scan are amazing. We never would have been able to find the deep grass.
“We had some bad luck last year in this tournament,” Allen continued. “We had some mechanical problems and problems with our trolling motor and ended up with a really disappointing finish. We knew we were better than that and we really felt that we had to come back and redeem our bass club.
“This is definitely our club’s biggest win to date,” Allen went on to say. “We’re a smaller school and we’ve got around 20 members. We’re out fishing and practicing every weekend, and we’ll take anyone at our school out that is interested in fishing.”
The top 15 teams that advanced to the Southern Conference Invitational tournament are:
1st: Hardin-Simmons University – Randy Sullivan, Woodson, Texas, and Hubbell Allen, Graham, Texas (five bass, 17-13, $2,000)
2nd: Oklahoma State University – Jacob Fish and Cameron DeBorde, both of Stillwater, Okla. (five bass, 15-8, $1,000)
3rd: New Mexico State University – Nicholas DiCamillo, Las Cruces, N.M., and Jesse Wilkinson, Albuquerque, N.M.
(five bass, 13-12, $500)
4th: Angelo State University – Ryan Easterly and Ethan George, both of San Angelo, Texas (five bass, 13-10, $500)
5th: McMurry University – William Cooper, Fredericksburg, Texas, and Colt Carlton, Abilene, Texas (five bass, 13-0, $500)
6th: Stephen F. Austin University – Blaze Platt, Kennedale, Texas, and Kyle Turner, Tyler, Texas (five bass, 12-15)
7th: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Nick Ladart and Brian Eaton, both of Monroe, La. (five bass, 12-12)
8th: Tarleton State University-Stephenville – Hunter Edwards, Breckenridge, Texas, and Kehl Robbins, Stephenville, Texas (five bass, 12-12)
9th: Texas A&M University – Tyler Bradfield, Boerne, Texas, and Reid O’Connor, Cypress, Texas (five bass, 12-9)
10th: McNeese State University – Keith Suire Jr., Singer, La., and Brian Murphy, Sulphur, La. (five bass, 12-9)
11th: Baylor University – Joseph Garland, West, Texas and Alton Jones, Waco, Texas (five bass, 12-6)
12th: Louisiana Tech University – Matthew Loetscher, Many, La., and Caleb Boudreaux, Doyline, La. (five bass, 12-5)
13th: Texas A&M University-Kingsville – Cody Garrett and Colton Cavazos, both of Tomball, Texas (five bass, 12-0)
14th: Texas State University – Justin Chambers, Pilot Point, Texas, and Kevin Hoes, Austin, Texas (five bass, 11-15)
15th: University of Oklahoma – Landon Dixon, Hinton, Okla., and Paul Muzijakovich, Wagoner, Okla. (four bass, 11-14)
Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com.
Three regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western. The top 15 teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five two-day FLW College Fishing Conference Invitational tournaments, where the first-place team wins $4,000 for their club. The top 10 teams from each Conference Invitational advance to the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
College Fishing is free to enter. 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 FLW College Southern Conference qualifying tournament is scheduled for Feb. 16 at Toledo Bend Reservoir in Hemphill, Texas, and is hosted by Sabine County.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors