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.
â€œThe story of the day was rocks. We started on rocks and
we finished on rocks,â€ Watkins went on to say. â€œTypically 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.
â€œWe used three key baits and fished three key areas, Watkins continued. â€œThe 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.
â€œWe lost a lot of fish today, it was ridiculous,â€ Watkins
added. â€œBut 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.
â€œThe fish changed every day,â€ Watkins said. â€œWe 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.
continued. â€œWe 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.
â€œThis is something that you just can’t explain, Watkins
went on to say. â€œWe 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 â€“ Andrew Shafer, College Station, Texas, and Weston Brown, Bryan, Texas, 15 bass, 52-11, $10,000
3rd: Texas A&M University â€“ Kyle Bates, and Cody Collins both of College Station, Texas, 14 bass, 47-5, $5,000
4th: Louisiana State University â€“ Timothy Morris,
Donaldsonville, La., and Richard Murdock, Lawrenceville, Ga., 14 bass,
5th: Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi â€“ Jacob
Heath, and Kennedy Schwartzburg, both of Corpus Christi, Texas, 12 bass,
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.