The University of North Carolina-Charlotte team of Eric Self of Lawndale, N.C., and Shane Lehew of Charlotte, N.C., won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference event on Lake Guntersville Saturday with five bass weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference Invitational tournament.
“This was the first time we have been to the lake in about a year,” said Lehew. “Both of us had fished the lake a few times before, so we just fished previous areas that we knew. We fished history and this time it worked out for us.
“We caught them all on an E.R. Lures Jig in Jason’s Magic Craw color pattern,” Lehew continued. “We were just fishing a rocky point and every fish that we weighed came off that same spot. The fish were at a wide range of depths. Some were right on the bank in about 3 feet of water but others were off the drop closer to 14 feet.
“Our major key to success was that we had to slow down to get our bites,” Lehew went on to say. “None of the fish were biting any of our moving lures. We really had to slow down. Early in the morning when we went got to our first spot we got one quick, but lost it right at the boat. After moving to our second spot the first bite we got was a 2 ½-pounder and the next two were both over 5 pounds. We decided to stay there and work that spot, over and over, for the rest of the day.”
Both Lehew and Self are seniors at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and are majoring in Criminal Justice. These two North Carolina natives are crazy about fishing and are no stranger to FLW competition. Lehew started fishing with FLW back in 2006 as a co-angler in EverStart Series competition and Self started with FLW College Fishing in 2009. Both are currently fishing BFL events in 2013, in addition to their college tournaments.
The top 15 teams that advanced to the Southeastern Conference Invitational tournament are:
1st: University of North Carolina-Charlotte – Eric Self, Lawndale, N.C., and Shane Lehew, Charlotte, N.C. (five bass, 23-14, $2,000)
2nd: Bethel University – Cody Ross, Jackson, Tenn., and Dewey Swims, Jackson, Tenn. (three bass, 19-0, $1,000)
3rd: University of Alabama-Birmingham – Frank Doganiero, Gardendale, Ala., and Gregory Cain, Trafford, Ala. (five bass, 17-10, $500)
4th: Auburn University at Montgomery – Tyler Strock, Slapout, Ala., and Dalton Darnell, Millbrook, Ala. (five bass, 16-5, $500)
5th: Daytona State College – Thomas Oltorik and Scott Heaberlin, both of Deland, Fla. (four bass, 13-4, $500)
6th: Birmingham-Southern University – Tim Trockenbrot, Roswell, Ga., and Matthew Oliver, Mount Olive, Ala. (three bass, 13-0)
7th: University of North Alabama – Robb Young, Rogersville, Ala., and Andrew Nutt, Lawrenceburg, Tenn. (three bass, 11-14)
8th: University of South Florida – Nick Ahearn, Sebring, Fla., and Matthew Reeves, Hilliard, Fla. (two bass, 11-14)
9th: Elon University – William Gilbert, Manchester, Vt., and Nathan James, Greensboro, N.C. (three bass, 11-8)
10th: Young Harris College – Grayson Payne, Blairsville, Ga., and Furman Thompson, Clayton, Ga. (four bass, 10-2)
11th: University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Parker Bacon, Nashville, Tenn., and Taylor Bolton, Chattanooga,Tenn. (three bass, 10-1)
12th: Middle Tennessee State University – Nolen Spencer, Bell Buckle, Tenn., and Jonathon Reese, Fayetteville, Tenn. (three bass, 9-13)
13th: Troy University – Connor Bedsole, Arab, Ala., and Bradley Norred, Morris, Ala. (two bass, 9-11)
14th: Tennessee Tech University – Matthew Townson and Will Stansell, both of Cookeville, Tenn. (three bass, 9-1)
15th: Southern Polytechnic State University – Zachary Dixon, Rome, Ga., and Daniel Byrd, Fairburn, Ga. (two bass, 7-12)
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 Southeastern Conference qualifying tournament is scheduled for April 6 at Lake Seminole in Bainbridge, Ga., and is hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors