The Wake Forest team of Brad Silver and Ryan Casey, both of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference event on Lake Seminole Saturday with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 6 ounces. The victory earned the team $5,000. The win also helped them advance to the Southeastern Conference Regional Championship.

“We are so ecstatic right now,” said Silver, a Business major. “This was our last shot. We’ve been doing this for four years, and this is our last tournament that we were going to be eligible to fish. I had a fifth-place finish in an event last year, but it’s so nice to be able to leave college with a win. Now we’re fishing the regional.”

“We found a nice little point out in the reeds this morning and fished it all day,” said Casey, an Economics major. “We just let the wind push us around and we found a nice, white sandbar. It had a lot of peppergrass on one side, and lily pads on the other. You could just tell it was a migration area for the fish. It was loaded with spawning and post-spawning fish, and we just took a Senko and casted all day. I was fishing Texas-style, Brad was fishing wacky-style, and it just worked. We had around eight nice fish the entire day. This lake is awesome!”

The Wake Forest team prepared diligently for the event, even though neither angler had fished Lake Seminole before.

“We read everything we could about the lake,” Silver went on to say. “We found maps and reports on the internet and studied anything we could get our hands on.”

Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Southeastern Conference Regional Championship are:

2nd: Mississippi College – Chip Wells, Columbus, Miss., and Adam Horn, Madison, Miss. (five bass, 13-11, $1,500)

3rd:  Seminole State College – Kevin Lucas, Oppopka, Fla., and Neal Combs, Osteen, Fla. (five bass, 13-1, $1,000)

4th:  Auburn University-Montgomery – Dalton Darnell and Tyler Strock, both of Montgomery, Ala. (four bass, 11-1, $1,000)

5th:  Mississippi State University – Shane Howington, Hokes Bluff, Ala., and Chesley Heatherly, Vernon, Ala. (five bass, 10-15, $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 Southeastern Conference tournament is scheduled for April 21 at Santee Cooper in Sumerton, S.C., and is hosted by the Clarendon County Chamber of Commerce.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.

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