The University of Idaho team of Tanner Mort of Moscow, Idaho, and Austin Turpin, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, won the FLW College Fishing Western Conference Invitational tournament on Clear Lake Sunday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 41 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“We were targeting rocky shorelines,” said Turpin. “We had about five spots that we cycled through. Timing was a big factor. We knew that at certain times we could go to certain spots and catch them. Some of the spots wouldn’t be good until the sun was straight overhead and the baitfish would come up, and some of the spots wouldn’t be good unless the wind was pushing the baitfish up on them.”
“We had a spot that we went to twice during practice and the first day of the tournament,” explained Mort. “We could roll up to it and make three casts and put 12 pounds in the boat. That spot didn’t produce for us today. Today, we didn’t have a good morning bite so we started drop-shotting a lot. Our biggest fish today actually came on the drop-shot. We were fishing the drop-shot in the same places, but a little deeper.”
The pair said that they used shad- and Spring Craw-colored Lucky Craft Fat CB B.D.S. 4 crankbaits, as well as a Sexy Shad-colored Strike King KVD HC 1.5 Squarebill. They said that their drop-shot baits of choice were Aarons Magic- and Margarita Mutilator-colored 4½-inch Roboworm Straight Tail Worms.
“It’s pretty surreal,” said Mort. “I don’t know if this has really hit me yet. Having the lead after day one really put the pressure on us. We knew we had the fish and the spots, we just had to put them in the boat.”
“It feels amazing to win,” said Turpin. “We’re a brand new club. We’re pretty excited to be the underdogs and come out and show what the University of Idaho can do.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University of Idaho – Tanner Mort, Moscow, Idaho, and Austin Turpin, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (10 bass, 41-11, $4,000)
2nd: Eastern Washington University – Jarred Walker and Nick Barr, both of Cheney, Wash. (10 bass, 35-1, $2,000)
3rd: San Jose State University – Adam McAndrews, Santa Clara, Calif., and Joey Fortina, Ben Lomond, Calif. (10 bass, 32-12, $1,000)
4th: California State University-Chico – Andrew Loberg, Rocklin, Calif., and Michael Braswell, Chico, Calif. (10 bass, 31-4, $1,000)
5th: Humboldt State University – Christopher Childers, McKinleyville, Calif., and Erich Coulter, Arcata, Calif. (eight bass, 27-6, $1,000)
6th: Oregon State University – Peter Kawamura and Eric Strickler, both of Corvallis, Ore. (10 bass, 26-11)
7th: Sonoma State University – Brent Nelson, Santa Rosa, Calif., and Jake Banuelos, San Pablo, Calif. (10 bass, 24-1)
8th: Oregon State University – Ryan Sparks, Gearhart, Ore., and Chase Cochran, Corvallis, Ore. (nine bass, 24-0)
9th: Eastern Washington University – Cy Floyd, Wenatchee, Wash., and Tyler Wasilewski, Cheney, Wash. (nine bass, 23-3)
10th: University of Oregon – Kyler Schneider, Beaverton, Ore., and Jacob Wall, Jacksonville, Ore. (seven bass, 18-10)
Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com.
The FLW College Fishing Western Conference Invitational was hosted by the Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina.
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.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors