The Southern Illinois University team of Ryan Dunn, Harrisburg, Ill., and Brandon Ringer, Carbondale, Ill., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Conference event on Table Rock Lake Sunday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the team $5,000. The win also helped them advance to the Central Conference Regional Championship.
“This was both mine and Brandon’s first time on the lake,” said Dunn, a junior biology major. “We really didn’t know what to expect so we started out fishing on the main lake using jerkbaits. At 10 a.m. we didn’t have a bite so decided that clearly wasn’t working so we moved up into some secondary points and pockets and that’s when things started to happen for us.
“We had the boat in about 20 feet of water and were casting to the bank,” Dunn continued. “Most of our fish came on Brown Craw Wiggle Warts. The big one (5-pounder) Brandon caught with the Alabama rig.”
Less than two weeks ago tornadoes ravished the Branson area forcing this tournament to be rescheduled from March 3 to today. Wind and rain prevailed again today, however, this time they were welcomed by the anglers and according the team from SIU helped improve the bite.
“We came in to this tournament blind,” said Ringer. “We really didn’t expect to win not having fished here before; I think we got pretty lucky. I was throwing the Alabama rig and that is what we got our kicker fish on. We fished hard all day and never gave-up.
Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Central Regional Championship are:
- 2nd: Winona State University – Cade Laufenberg, Stoddard, Wis., and Sam Schollmeier, Rochester, Minn. (five bass, 16-3, $1,500)
- 3rd: Georgetown College – Mike Huff, Corbin, Ky., and Nick Huff, Georgetown, Ky.
- (five bass, 15-14, $1,000)
- 4th: Southern Illinois-Edwardsville – Justin Skinner, Taylorville, Ill., and Brad Lemasters, Edwardsville, Ill. (five bass, 15-11, $1,000)
- 5th: Eastern Illinois University – Dan Martin, Elmhurst, Ill., and Michael March, Chicago, Ill. (five bass, 14-8, $1,000)
Complete results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
The top five teams from each tournament qualify for the regional championship where the first-place team will win a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club. The top five teams from each regional tournament advance to the national championship.
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 Central Conference tournament is scheduled for May 12 at Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Ky., and is hosted by Marshall County Tourist Commission.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishingFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.