The Lamar University team of Brandon Simoneaux of Bridge City, Texas, and Josh Bowie of Port Neches, Texas, won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Invitational tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir Sunday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 5 ounces. The victory earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“After starting today in 15th place, this feels awesome,” said Simoneaux, a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering. “We had a good practice, and I knew that we were in the right areas that held big fish. We wasted too much time yesterday. We were running and gunning, and we were not happy to only weigh in 10 pounds.
“Today, we decided to change our gameplan and mainly stuck to one spot,” Simoneaux continued. “It was a tall grass flat, about 10 feet deep, and it seemed to have a better detailed edge or drop than other areas.”
The duo said that they Texas-rigged a sprayed grass-colored Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver and a red bug-colored Zoom Ol’ Monster worm Saturday to catch 10 to 12 keeper fish. Sunday, they switched their baits up and caught most of their quality keepers on a green and purple-colored 1¼-ounce Stanley jig trailered with a Strike King Rage Twin Tail Menace Grub.
“Making the change to the jig today was definitely the key to our win,” said Bowie, a senior majoring in Business Marketing. “When we were making the run back to weigh in, Brandon said that he thought we might have a chance to win. I thought he was crazy.”
Three Lamar University teams finished in the top 10, and the winning team of Simoneaux and Bowie credited their club with being crucial to their success.
“We always try to help one another out,” Simoneaux said of his fellow bass club members. “We don’t tell each other exact locations, but we try to give each other hints on what techniques or baits might be better. There are a lot of great fisherman in our club, so we try not to share all of our secrets.”
“I’m ready to go to Lake Murray and the National Championship right now,” Bowie went on to say. “I’m so pumped. We’re going to research all that we can online and study what patterns work best that time of the year. I can’t wait.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2015 FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Lamar University – Brandon Simoneaux, Bridge City, Texas, and Josh Bowie, Port Neches, Texas (10 bass, 29-5, $4,000)
2nd: Louisiana Tech University – Matthew Loetscher, Many, La., and Caleb Boudreaux, Doyline, La. (10 bass, 29-3, $2,000)
3rd: Colorado Mesa University – Kennedy Kinkade and Josh Worth, both of Grand Junction, Colo. (nine bass, 28-2, $1,000)
3th: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Blake Alford and Tyler Stewart, both of West Monroe, La. (10 bass, 26-0, $1,000)
5th: Arkansas Tech University – Brandon Rieve, Sheridan, Ark., and Sawyer Grace, Russellville, Ark. (10 bass, 26-0, $1,000)
6th: Lamar University – Quinton Evans, Orange, Texas, and Colby Ogden, Kountze, Texas (10 bass, 25-1)
7th: Southeastern Oklahoma University – Jonathan Furlong, Bixby, Okla., and Dwight Camp, Talihina, Okla. (10 bass, 24-8)
8th: Lamar University – Cameron Lafleur, Orange, Texas, and Justin Royal, Vidor, Texas (10 bass, 22-8)
9th: Nicholls State University – Trevor Leblanc and Jess Robertson, both from Houma, La. (10 bass, 22-6)
10th: East Central University – Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan, both of Ada, Okla. (10 bass, 22-5)
Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com.
The FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Invitational was hosted by the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce.
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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Image courtesy FLW Outdoors