FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake of the Ozarks March 16 for the first of four stops in the Central Conference. Fifty college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Central Conference Invitational tournament.

“It’s looking like its going to be cold,” said Chevy pro Dion Hibdon of Sunrise Beach, Mo. “We just recently got a couple of snowfalls and it has cooled the water temperature way down. But the fish bite pretty well here when it’s cold, so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. Normally the cold weather doesn’t even bother the bite, but it’s the temperatures that will dictate what depths the fish are holding in.

“A lot of stuff can change based on the weather a few days before the tournament,” Hibdon continued. “A few sun-shining days can make a huge difference this time of year. It can move the bass up into 5 feet of water in the blink of an eye. But if it stays good and cold, they might be out there holding in 10 to 15 feet. If it does warm up a bit, those shallow fish are the ones that you want to be chasing. They are up there looking for something to eat. The tournament will probably be dominated by a crankbait and jerkbait bite.

“The lake is full of bass and it’s good anywhere you stop your boat,” Hibdon went on to say. “You just have to figure out the fish in that area. I believe the tournament can be won just about anywhere on the lake, and history has shown that quite frequently. It never surprises me where a tournament is won. My advice to anglers would be to just settle down and figure out the fish at a spot that looks good to you.”

Anglers will take off from the Grand Glaize Recreation Area located at 711 Public Beach Road in Osage Beach, Mo., at 7 a.m. Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the takeoff site beginning at 1 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.

Schools competing in the Lake of the Ozarks tournament, which is hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association, include:

Alder School of Professional Psychology – Cody Hartke, Effingham, Ill., and Lee Buehnerkemper, Teutopolis, Ill.

Bemidji State University – Aaron Wilson, Brooklyn Park, Minn., and Matt Veech, Centerville, Minn.

Central Christian College – Michael Shayne-Baxter, Olathe, Kan., and Brady Sherman, McPherson, Kan.

Eastern Illinois University – Tyler McCune, Saint Joseph, Ill., and Dan Martin, Elmhurst, Ill.

Eastern Kentucky University – John Smith, Harlan, Ky., and Kyle Raymer, Brandenburg, Ky.

Georgetown College – Nick Huff and Mike Huff, both of Corbin, Ky.

Illinois State University – Stephan Jurgens, Batavia, Ill., and Anthony Cancelli, Normal, Ill.

Indiana State University – Nicholas Gallina, Griffith, Ind., and Steve Judson, Terre Haute, Ind.

Indiana University – Derrick Hoffman, Saint Charles, Ill., and Sean Gillenwater, Bloomington, Ind.

Iowa State University – Michael Bills, Jefferson, Iowa, and Shane Weinberg, Plainfield, Iowa

Kansas State University – Nathen Kozlowski and Lance Maldonado, both of Junction City, Kan.,

Marian University – Justin McDonald, Noblesville, Ind., and Joel Bone, Decatur, Ind.

Missouri Southern State University – Micky Bullard, Dewar, Okla., and Justin Cobb, Carl Junction, Mo.

Missouri State University – Joe McBride, Springfield, Mo., and Brent Stock, Buckner, Mo.

Missouri University of Science and Tech – Drew Shrader, Rolla, Mo., and William Kleine, Saint Charles, Mo.

Morehead State University – Brandon Johnson, Salt Lick, Ky., and Zachary Fletcher, Lowmansville, Ky.

Milwaukee School of Engineering – James Simonson, Fargo, N.D., and Eric Logisz, Mount Prospect, Ill.

Murray State University – Cody Sieben, Belle Plaine, Minn., and Therron Shaw, Madisonville, Ky.

Northern Illinois University – Derek Malanowski, Woodridge, Ill., and Chris Kosior, Palos Hills, Ill.

Northern Kentucky University – Brandon Houston, Burlington, Ky., and Darian Ginter, Maplewood, Ohio.

Northwest Missouri State University – Adam Almohtadi, Blue Springs, Mo., and Chris Echele, Saint Charles, Mo.

Northwestern University – Matthew Kestufskie, Georgetown, Ill., and Jimmy Morrow, Arlington Heights, Ill.

Purdue University – Elliot Myers, Anderson, Ind., and Garrett Vankirk, Ferdinand, Ind.

Saint Cloud State University – Anthony Skoglund, St. Cloud, Minn., and Korey Sybrant, Rush City, Minn.

Southern Illinois University – Ryan Dunn, Harrisburg, Ill., and Aaron Connor, Murphysboro, Ill.

Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville – Zach Hartnagel, Edwardsville, Ill., and Brad Lemasters, Springfield, Ill.

Saint Ambrose University – Daniel Butler, Houston, Texas, and Kyle Gates, Decatur, Ill.

University of Central Missouri – Darren Smith, Saint Peters, Mo., and Andrew Schoenekase, Labadie, Mo.

University of Dubuque – Drew Decap, Geneseo, Ill., and Brandon Feldman, Sherril, Iowa

University of Evansville – Nick Uebelhor and Eric Keiffner, both of Jasper, Ind.

University of Illinois – Matthew Sells, Elk Grove Village, Ill., and Zach Wienhoff, Carlinville, Ill.

University of Iowa – Tony Mehrl, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Brandon Madison, Bronson, Iowa

University of Kentucky – Ryan Collins, Lebanon, Ohio, and Marty Ballard, Winchester, Ky.

University of Louisville – Russell Deakins, Louisville, Ky., and Erik Cox, Georgetown, Ind.

University of Minnesota – Joe Ponessa, Saint Paul, Minn., and Mark Shirley, Saint Cloud, Minn.

University of Missouri – Mark Kern Jr., Saint Ann, Mo., and Nick Russell, Ballwin, Mo.

University of Nebraska – Will McCabe and Everett Ridderbos, both of Lincoln, Neb.

University of Nebraska-Omaha – Ben Milliken, Bennington, Neb., and Ben Kroeger, Omaha, Neb.

University of North Dakota – Nick Lindner, Brainerd, Minn., and Kyle Harren, Eagan, Minn.

University of Saint Thomas – Bryan Billeadeau, Circle Pines, Minn., and Michaela Anderson, Lino Lakes, Minn.

University of Southern Indiana – Brady Houghland, Fulda, Ind., and Josh Koester, Chicago, Ill.

University of Wisconsin – Levi Warner, Shiocton, Wis., and Kevin Yeska, Wild Rose, Wis.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse – Nathan Hettinga and Dustin Genrich, both of Wausau, Wis.

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh – Mark Juedes, Deforest, Wis., and Chad Janke, Marshall, Wis.

University of Wisconsin-Platteville – Ryan Gilbert, Sterling, Ill., and Jared Kelly, Walnut, Ill.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point – Jason Hawksford, Hudson, Wis., and Cody Lincoln, Okauchee, Wis.

University of Wisconsin-Stout – Jeremy Anibas, Colfax, Wis., and Ryan Helke, Menomonie, Wis.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater – Paul Taylor, Whitewater, Wis., and Tyler Zimmerman, Roscoe, Ill.

Winona State University – Cade Laufenberg, La Crosse, Wis., and Kody Mattson, Blair, Wis.

Western Kentucky University – Jordan Bozarth, Lewisport, Ky., and Jacob Hopkins, Lewisburg, Ky.

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.

Image courtesy FLW Outdoors

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