The Valdosta State University team of Grant Colson and Michael Harbach, both of Valdosta, Ga., won the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference event on Lake Seminole Saturday with three bass weighing 10 pounds even. The victory earned the club $2,000 and advanced the team to the FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference Invitational tournament.
“Man, it feels great,” said Colson, a junior undecided major. “Everybody gets lucky every once in a while and today was just our day. We started off trying to throw topwater and didn’t really have much success. Later on in the afternoon, we worked our way to some flats looking for sand and grass. We switched up to a Carolina rig with a ¾-ounce weight to keep it on the bottom.”
On the business end of the Carolina rig, both Colson and Harbach chose a Zoom Magnum Lizard in the green pumpkin color. They ended up catching all of their keepers on this setup, including their 5-pound kicker.
“We caught our first keeper around 11 o’clock,” Colson continued. “We didn’t pre-fish at all but we have both been on the lake before. The key was just not giving up. We got discouraged early because we couldn’t get anything to bite, but we stuck with it and kept trying new things. Finally we figured out the pattern on those fish and we were able to take advantage of our opportunities. Michael was able to catch that 5-pounder and that’s what really did it all for us.”
“It was pretty slow for the first part of the day,” said Harbach, a junior majoring in exercise physiology. “We tried to fish a frog early in the morning but it just wasn’t happening. So we went out to the main lake and that’s when we tied on a Carolina rig. Grant caught the first one on it and the bite turned off again for another hour and a half. We caught the last two just before we had to come in. I honestly didn’t think we had enough to win.”
The top 15 teams that advanced to the Southeastern Conference Invitational tournament are:
1st: Valdosta State University – Grant Colson and Michael Harbach, both of Valdosta, Ga. (three bass, 10-0, $2,000)
2nd: Auburn University – Timmy Ward, Childersburg, Ala., and Garrett Roberts, Cullman, Ala. (five bass, 9-3, $1,000)
3rd: University of South Alabama – Jennings Earnest and Ethan Wages, both of Mobile, Ala. (three bass, 9-1, $500)
4th: Tennessee Tech – Adam Goodwin, Hendersonville, Tenn., and Cody Gass, Lynchburg, Tenn. (four bass, 8-13, $500)
5th: Columbus State University – Nathan Griffin, Midland, Ga., and Brad Davis, Winder, Ga. (four bass, 8-12, $500)
6th: Florida State University – Nicholas Harris, Marianna, Fla., and Brooks Woodward, Thomasville, Ga. (five bass, 8-7)
7th: University of Tennessee – Jordan Burdette and Adam Wozek, both of Knoxville, Tenn. (four bass, 8-1)
8th: Mississippi State University – Drew Long, Starkville, Miss., and Justin Atkins, Columbus, Miss. (four bass, 7-9)
9th: Georgia Southern University – Dean Mullet, Marietta, Ga., and Dalton Anderson, Peachtree City, Ga. (four bass, 7-7)
10th: North Carolina State University – Tyler Mayhew, Lexington, N.C., and Josh Hooks, Raleigh, N.C. (four bass, 7-0)
11th: Florida Gulf Coast University – Hunter Bozeman, Ocala, Fla., and Ryan Duffey, Fort Myers, Fla. (three bass, 6-14)
12th: University of North Alabama – Dawson Lenz, Peachtree City, Ga., and Evan Horne, Florence, Ala. (one bass, 6-6)
13th: Santa Fe College – Cameron Petras, Gainesville, Fla., and Drew Cook, Quincy, Fla. (two bass, 6-6)
14th: Polk State College – Forrest Greenfield and Austin Bell, both of Winter Haven, Fla. (two bass, 6-3)
15th: Macon State College – Ethan Wallace and Taylor Kirby, both of Macon, Ga. (three bass, 5-12)
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 FLW College Southeastern Conference invitational tournament is scheduled for May 11-12 at Wheeler Lake in Rogersville, Ala., and is hosted by the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Bureau.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors