FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Havasu Feb. 1 for the first Western Conference tournament of the season. Up to 50 college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the 2014 Western Conference Invitational.
“My favorite thing about Lake Havasu is the versatility,” said FLW Tour stalwart Brett Hite. “You can fish it like a reservoir or go up the Colorado River where it’s all tules and backwaters and strictly fish for largemouth. A guy can be flipping in 2 feet of water or catch them on 5-pound-test in 20 feet of water.”
Hite expected that because of Arizona’s unusually warm winter, the fish would be in a pre-spawn pattern and could be found less than 20 feet deep throughout the lake.
For college anglers, Hite said the most important thing was to know that it was a pre-spawn pattern.
“Because it’s pre-spawn, I would run some secondary points and throw some reaction baits and then slow down. But, with Lake Havasu you can just fish whatever your strong suit is. I would find some part of the lake that catered to my strengths. Depending on the conditions, because Havasu is very clear, you might be able to fish reaction baits or you might have to finesse them.”
Hite said reaction baits like crankbaits and swimbaits or finesse baits like a drop-shot rig, Texas rig, jigs or tubes could all be good bets in the reservoir part of the lake and that up-river flipping would be a popular way to target largemouth
“Because the event is on the last day of the Rayovac FLW Series the lake will be pretty beat up,” finished Hite. “I think somewhere around 15 pounds will win the tournament.”
Anglers will take off from Lake Havasu State Park located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., at 7:30 a.m. Weigh-in will be held at the Lake Havasu State Park starting at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Takeoff and weigh-in is free and open to the public.
Schools competing in the Lake Havasu tournament, which is hosted by the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau, include:
- Cal Poly – John Zeolla, Oak Park, Calif., and Kyle Greenlaw, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
- Cal Poly Pomona – Jonathon Fagot, San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Clayton Lauchland, Lodi, Calif.
- Chico State – Kevin Chen and Koulton Westbrook, both of Vacaville, Calif.
- Chico State – Andrew Loberg, Rocklin, Calif., and Michael Braswell, Chico, Calif.
- Chico State – James Rodgers, Willows, Calif., and Andrew Eslick, Pleasanton, Calif.,
- Chico State – Alex Klein, Oroville, Calif., and Jeff Karnthong, Antioch, Calif.
- CSU-Long Beach – Alex Cox, Long Beach, Calif., and Justin Gangel, Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Dixie State University – Mathew Baker and Nordel Erickson, both of St. George, Utah
- Eastern Washington University – Jarred Walker, Westerville, Ohio, and Nick Barr, Cheney, Wash.
- Eastern Washington University – Travis Opel and Steven White, both of Spokane, Wash.
- Northern Arizona University – John and Jim Herrero, both of Kingman, Ariz.
- Oregon State University – Eric Strickler, Corvallis, Ore., and Ryan Lampi, Warrenton, Ore.
- Oregon State University – Zach MacDonald, Willits, Calif., and Ryan Sparks, Gearhart, Ore.
- San Jose State University – Patrick Friedman, San Jose, Calif., and Travis Bounds, Roseville, Calif.
- Sonoma State University – Brent Nelson, Santa Rosa, Calif., and Ryan Bruce, Canyon Country, Calif.
- University of Nevada-Reno – Anthony Milano, Reno, Nev., and Brandon Cramer, Petaluma, Calif.
- University of Oregon – Daniel Marshall and Kaitlin Tanner, both of Eugene, Ore.
- University of Oregon – Kyle Schneider, Beaverton, Ore., and Jacob Wall, Jacksonville, Ore.
- University of Oregon – Mitchell Cole, Jefferson, Ore., and Eric Lee, Mather, Calif.
- Utah Valley University – Maegan Goodstein and Tyler Dabling, both from Orem, Utah
- Utah Valley University – Matt George, Orem, Utah, and Clif Gallagher, Eagle Mountain, Utah
- Utah Valley University – Stephen Johnson, Bluffdale, Utah, and Joseph Peterson, Orem, Utah
FLW College Fishing teams compete in three qualifying events in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top 15 teams from each regular-season tournament will qualify for one of five conference invitational tournaments. The top 10 teams from each conference invitational tournament will advance to the 2015 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.
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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