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Upshaw and Watkins Set FLW College Fishing Record

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Photo courtesy of FLWOutdoors.com

The Stephen F. Austin team of Andrew Upshaw, Hemphill, Texas and  Ryan

Watkins, Rockport, Texas, won the National Guard FLW College Fishing

Texas Regional Championship Saturday in record setting fashion. Their

five bass limit set a new FLW Outdoors record for the heaviest one day five-bass-limit catch at a college fishing event, weighing in at 26 pounds, 6 ounces.

They had a three day total of 15 bass weighing 62 pounds, 6 ounces.

 

For their victory the team from Stephen F. Austin

won $50,000 to be split between the university and the university’s bass

fishing club – $12,500 and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower outboard

wrapped in school colors for the bass club and $12,500 for their

school. The team also earned their first berth in the National Guard FLW

College Fishing National Championship which will be held in April 2012.

Upshaw and Watkins beat their closest competitor, the Texas A&M

team of Shafer and Weston, by an incredible 9 pounds, 11 ounces.

 

“This feels great. To be able to represent our school, our families, the fans,†said Watkins. “It’s unbelievable.

 

“The story of the day was rocks. We started on rocks and

we finished on rocks,†Watkins went on to say. “Typically in the fall

the bass start a feeding frenzy and rocky areas provide large areas for

more fish to feed on. These areas tend to replenish faster so the bass

are constantly coming and going.

 

“We used three key baits and fished three key areas, Watkins continued. “The 6th

Sense 1.5 Square Bill in clear sexy shad, Strike Pro Big Bubba in

crawfish and Strike King Series 3 in sexy shad. We fished a rock bed

that was 4 to 6 feet deep, brush piles in 3 to 12 feet of water and a

back pocket that had a rock bottom.

 

“We lost a lot of fish today, it was ridiculous,†Watkins

added. “But then we caught the 7 ½ – pounder and we knew we had it won.

This is unbelievable.â€

 

Both Upshaw and Watkins graduated this spring but managed

to qualify for the Texas Regional, three times, prior to graduating. The

team placed second at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Feb., second at Toledo

Bend in March and third at Lake Texoma in May.

         

“The fish changed every day,†Watkins said. “We won by

chuckin’ and grinding every day. There was a lot of hard work that went

in to this victory. I do have to give props to Texas A&M. They are

excellent anglers and always bring a good game. We knew that we couldn’t

give them any slack.

 

 â€œWe wanted to fish this rocky bank all week,†Watkins

continued. “We knew there were some big fish in there and we saw both

Texas A&M teams in there. We just didn’t get the opportunity to fish

in there until today.

 

“This is something that you just can’t explain, Watkins

went on to say. “We lost a lot of fish today but we caught a lot of big

bass. Times like this are few and far between and you just have to thank

the man above for the blessing.â€

 

Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship are:

 

2nd: Texas A&M University – Andrew Shafer, College Station, Texas, and Weston Brown, Bryan, Texas, 15 bass, 52-11, $10,000

3rd:   Texas A&M University – Kyle Bates, and Cody Collins both of College Station, Texas, 14 bass, 47-5, $5,000

4th:   Louisiana State University – Timothy Morris,

Donaldsonville, La., and Richard Murdock, Lawrenceville, Ga., 14 bass,

39-1, $5,000

5th: Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi – Jacob

Heath, and Kennedy Schwartzburg, both of Corpus Christi, Texas, 12 bass,

36-1, $5,000

            For a complete list of final standings visit CollegeFishing.com.

 

Overall there were 21 bass weighing 71 pounds, 11 ounces with two five bass limits caught by the five teams.