FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Chickamauga Oct. 18-19 for the Southeastern Conference Invitational tournament. Forty-five college teams have qualified for this event and will be competing for a top award of $4,000 and a berth in the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“Chickamauga is fishing pretty tough right now,” said Walmart FLW Tour pro Michael Neal of Dayton, Tennesse, who has four top-10 finishes on Lake Chickamauga in FLW competition. “This fall has been the toughest fishing here in the past several years. There is twice as much grass as there has been in years past, and it has spread the fish out a lot more than usual. That being said, it’s bound to get better soon. It’ll be just like flipping a switch overnight one night and the fishing will get much better.
“All of the grass makes it much harder to get to a lot of areas, as far as actually getting your boat through it,” Neal continued. “The water levels seem to be on their way down, though, so the fish will be congregating up a lot more shortly. I’d tell the college anglers to go around and find the mats that have the slime on top of them, and the ones that have a lot of bream. You can hear them – they sound like Rice Krispies.”
Neal said that he thinks a two-day total of 38 pounds would be enough to win the tournament, and that if he was fishing in this event that he would not be conservative.
“If you’re trying to make the top-15 and qualify for the National Championship, you can’t be conservative,” Neal said. “A frog will win this tournament, no doubt about it. Be thorough, and concentrate on getting the fish that bite in the boat.
“It’s going to be frogs and topwater baits, all day long,” Neal continued. “I’d be throwing a Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog or a Heddon Zara Spook and I wouldn’t put it down.”
Anglers will take off from Chester Frost Park located at 2318 Gold Point Circle N. in Hixson, Tenn., at 7:30 a.m. each day. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at Chester Frost Park, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The top-15 teams will weigh in on Sunday at Walmart, located at 5764 Highway 153 in Hixson, starting at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Schools registered to compete in the Lake Chickamauga Invitational, which is hosted by the Greater Chattanooga Sports Committee, include:
Auburn University – Candler McCollum, Auburn, Ala., and William Bates, Suwannee, Ga.
Auburn University – Mitchell Jennings, Auburn, Ala., and Garrett Roberts, Cullman, Ala.
Auburn University – Ben Curry, Hayden, Ala., and Timmy Ward, Childersburg, Ala.
Auburn University-Montgomery – Tyler Strock, Slapout, Ala., and Dalton Darnell, Millbrook, Ala.
Auburn University-Montgomery – Josh Holley, Montgomery, Ala., and Philippe Brown, Millbrook, Ala.
Bethel University – Cody Ross and Dewey Swims, both of Jackson, Tenn.
Birmingham-Southern University – Matthew Oliver, Gardendale, Ala., and Garrett Whitworth, Huntsville, Ala.
Clemson University – Patrick Williford, Greensboro, N.C., and Calvin Bultz, Clemson, S.C.
Columbus State University – Brad Davis, Winder, Ga., and Michael Chambliss, Cataula, Ga.
Darton State College – Andrew Suggs and Chase Coker, both of Leesburg, Ga.
Daytona State College – Thomas Oltorik, Deland, Fla., and Zach Ford, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Florida Gulf Coast University – Christian Smith, Coral Springs, Fla., and Hunter Bozeman, Ocala, Fla.
Georgia College – Alex Schieman, Lawrenceville, Ga., and Clayton Faircloth, Milledgeville, Ga.
Georgia Southern University – Cody Shepherd and Luke Greenwell, both of Statesboro, Ga.
Jacksonville State University – Nate Killough, Sylacauga, Ala., and Will Bullen, Jacksonville, Ala.
Mississippi State University – Taylor Odom, Meridian, Miss., and Josh Cameron, New Orleans, La.
Mississippi State University – Justin Atkins, Columbus, Miss., and Grant Galloway, Houlka, Miss.
North Alabama University – Cody Harrison and Wesley Anderson, both of Moscow, Tenn.
North Alabama University – Evan Horne, Florence, Ala., and Dawson Lenz, Peachtree City, Ga.
North Carolina State University – Grayson Barber, Lenoir, N.C., and Tyler Faggart, Julian, N.C.
North Carolina State University – Bryce Owen, Carthage, N.C., and Dustin Millwood, Cherryville, N.C.
Polk State College – Luke Ferguson, Lakeland, Fla., and Wesley Wise, Lake Wales, Fla.
Seminole State College – Michael Skat, Sanford, Fla., and Phillip Heyde, South Bend, Ind.
Seminole State College – Kevin Lucas, Orlando, Fla., and Neal Combs, Osteen, Fla.
Southern Polytechnic State University – Grant Kelly, McDonough, Ga., and Daniel Harkness, Thomasville, Ga.
State University of West Georgia – Brian Redd and Justin Walton, both of Douglasville, Ga.
State University of West Georgia – Kenny Johnson, Newnan, Ga., and Bradley Rilling, Fayetteville, Ga.
Tennessee Tech University – Joe Ellis and Matthew Townson, both of Chattanooga, Tenn.
Tennessee Tech University – Matt Allen, Cookeville, Tenn., and Zach Youngblood, Silver Point, Tenn.
University of Alabama – Keith Kirkley, Northport, Ala., and Frankie Appaluccio, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
University of Alabama – Payton McGinnis, Jasper, Ala., and John Davis, Birmingham, Ala.
University of Alabama – Logan Shaddix, Cullman, Ala., and Charles Hurst, Arley, Ala.
University of Alabama-Birmingham – Kendall Pierce, Prattville, Ala., and Brandon Powell, Helena, Ala.,
University of Central Florida – Patrick Teaf, Tallahassee, Fla., and Chad Bass, Orlando, Fla.
University of Central Florida – Hunter McKamey, Geneva, Fla., and Kyle Oliver, Winter Garden, Fla.
University of Florida – Shelby Concon, Fruitland Park, Fla., and Kyle Smith, Macclenny, Fla.
University of Florida – Grant Bergeron, Longwood, Fla., and Stephen Carlisle, Gainesville, Fla.
University of Georgia – Byron Kenney, Griffin, Ga., and Will Treadwell, Buford, Ga.
University of North Carolina-Greensboro – Austin Frazier and Kenneth Vansparrentak, both of Randleman, N.C.
University of South Carolina – Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C., and Robert Brannon, Gaffney, S.C.
University of Tennessee – Jackson Minnich and Parker Hurst, both of Knoxville, Tenn.
University of Tennessee-Chattanooga – Tyler Watson, Sweetwater, Tenn., and Gavyn Bridges, Thompsons Station, Tenn.
Valdosta State University – Michael Harback and Taylor Minick, both of Valdosta, Ga.
Wake Forest University – Justin Cecil, Lexington, N.C., and Thomas Gravitt, King, N.C.
Western Carolina University – Austin Neary, Cullowhee, N.C., and Zack Hicks, Cherokee, N.C.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in three qualifying events in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top fifteen teams from each regular-season tournament will qualify for one of five conference invitational tournaments. The top ten 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.
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
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