Two Local Fishermen Win Divisional TournamentPosted: Updated:
OROVILLE, Calif. (May 16, 2009) - The Washington State team of Ryan Bernsen of Burbank, Wash., and Kyle Wright of Pasco, Wash., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Division tournament on Lake Oroville Saturday with six bass weighing 10 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the school and the school's bass-fishing club.
"This feels great," said Bernsen. "It was a long drive down here, so this definitely made it worth our while."
Wright said their first half hour was really slow. "We didn't get into them right away, but then we were on them for about three hours. We caught about 25 fish throughout the day, but mainly in the morning."
"We caught most of our fish drop shotting a Roboworm," said Wright. "We were also throwing crankbaits and topwaters, but the drop shot is what worked."
Bernsen and Wright said they plan to purchase some new rod and reels and additional gear for their club with the winnings.
They also said that it will be difficult to prepare for the Western Regional Championship in September being so far away. "We are going to fish the tournament at the end of May on the California Delta," said Wright. "We will see what we can do and come back in the fall and go from there."
Rounding out the top five teams are Chico State - Mike Reis and Marshal Smith of Chico, Calif. (six bass, 9-15, $5,000); Sonoma State University - Alex Christianson and Alan Kuramura of Cotati, Calif. (six bass, 9-11, $4,000); UC Davis - Steve Reed and Ken Gunderson of Chico, Calif. (three bass, 9-6, $3,000); and San Jose State University - Nick Burggraff and Alex Thiemann of San Jose, Calif. (six bass, 9-5, $2,000).
The team of Reed and Gunderson from UC Davis won the National Guard FLW College Fishing event on Clear Lake in Kelseyville, Calif., earlier this season qualifying them for the Western Regional Championship. Since they have already qualified, the sixth place team of Jeremy Pennell of Tempe, Ariz., and Brent Perkins of Phoenix, Ariz., representing Arizona State University will advance to the Western Regional Championship.
Reed has also won at FLW Fantasy Fishing. In 2008, the inaugural season for Fantasy Fishing, Reed placed third overall and won a brand new Chevy Silverado valued at $39,565.
FLW Outdoors unveiled the College Fishing trail in 2009. The entire schedule, which is organized around the five Stren Series Divisions can be found by visiting CollegeFishing.com, along with the rules, requirements and information on how to create a bass club.
Full time students enrolled in four year colleges or universities are eligible to participate in the events. Schools in each division can send two-person teams to each of the four qualifying events in their division, with each event limited to a maximum of 40 teams. Each team will have an opportunity to win $10,000 for first and $2,000 through fifth place. The prize money will be split evenly between the winning team's club and the school they represent. The tournaments are free to enter, boats and drivers will be provided and all collegiate teams will receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each of the qualifying events will advance to one of five televised three-day FLW National Guard Regional Championships.
Each school represented in a televised Regional Championship will have team shirts and boats provided by Ranger. The purse for each Regional Championship will be a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $25,000 for the school they represent. Awards of $6,000 will also extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.
The FLW National Guard College Fishing National Championship will be a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. The teams will be provided with team shirts and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The purse for the championship will range from $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors and $50,000 for the school they represent to $15,000 for fifth, split between the club and school.
The winning team will be declared the FLW National Guard Collegiate National Champion and will qualify for the $2.5 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol in 2010. The winners will also receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for the Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Player's Advantage for only $10 to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.