The West Virginia University team of Mathew Gibson of Morgantown, West Virginia, and Edward Rude III of Falling Waters, West Virginia, won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Invitational tournament on the Potomac River Sunday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
Gibson and Rude were the only team to bring a limit over 16 pounds to the scale during the tournament, and they managed to do it twice en route to back-to-back FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Invitational wins.
The pair caught all but one of the bass they weighed-in off of one key spot.
“It was the mouth of a smaller creek in one of the main creeks,” said Rude. “There were a ton of crawfish there, and the grass was in isolated clumps instead of a big flat. We caught fish all day long, but when the tide was going out they would feed like crazy.
“Saturday we caught most of our limit there, but we left early to try and save fish,” Rude explained. “Today we went back and spent the whole day there and burned it out.”
“(Rude) is familiar with the river and wanted to check the spot in practice,” said Gibson. “He knew that in the fall the bass can really stack up in there.”
“It feels really good to win,” said Rude. “I consider the Potomac to be my home water, and I really wanted to win at home.”
“As soon as we started fishing together we knew we would be sticking together for a while,” said Gibson. “It feels great to win and qualify for the National Championship. But, it is bittersweet because that will be my last College Fishing tournament.”
The pair said that they landed more than 20 bass over 2 pounds on the second day of the tournament and caught almost all of their fish on brown craw-colored Mann’s Baby 1-Minus crankbaits in 1 to 3 feet of water.
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: West Virginia University – Mathew Gibson, Morgantown, W.Va., and Edward Rude III, Fallings Waters, W.Va. (10 bass, 34-2, $4,000)
2nd: Radford University – Justin Witten, Radford, Va., and Will Bowling, Fincastle, Va. (10 bass, 28-2, $2,000)
3rd: Liberty University – Travis Rulle, Huntersville, N.C., and Caleb Eppler, Sachse, Texas (10 bass, 27-1, $1,000)
4th: Shippensburg University – Kevin Hollasch, Marriottsville, Md., and Hunter Chamberlin, Shippensburg, Pa. (eight bass, 22-9, $1,000)
5th: Kent State University – Greg Perry, Cortland, Ohio, and Trevor White, Newton Falls, Ohio (nine bass, 20-13, $1,000)
6th: Christopher Newport University – Peter Kenny, Ashburn, Va., and Cody Griffey, Smithfield, Va. (nine bass, 18-15)
7th: Rutgers University-New Brunswick – Kyle Genova, Millstone Township, N.J., and Andrew Ridinger, Thorofare, N.J. (10 bass, 17-6)
8th: Mansfield University – Alec Engleman, Milton, Pa., and Matt Novitski, Kingston, Pa. (seven bass, 17-4)
9th: Shenandoah University – Thomas Arens and Billy Arens, both of Winchester, Va. (six bass, 16-4)
10th: Ramapo College – Andrew Zapf and Joseph Zapf, both of Whippany, N.J. (seven bass, 15-12)
Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com.
The FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Invitational was hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners.
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