Georgia Southern Victorious at Lake Eufaula
The Georgia Southern team of Jed Thigpen of Waycross, and Wesley Maples of Statesboro, won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division event on Lake Eufaula Saturday with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 14 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split between the university and the university's bass fishing club - $7,500 for the bass club and $2,500 for their school. The win also helped them advance to the Southeast Division Regional Championship.
"The key to our win was leaving the grass alone," said Maples, a senior geography major. "We didn't fish grass until the last cast of the day when I threw over next to some lily pads and caught a keeper that actually culled."
Maples said the team caught the rest of their fish on Zoom Mag II worms paired with 3/8-ounce Tru-Tungsten sinkers fishing offshore brush piles in 5 to 15 feet of water. Maples said the team stayed in an area from Cowikee Creek to the Hwy. 82 bridge. Maples boated three of the weigh fish, while Thigpen landed the other two.
"This is awesome," said Thigpen, a junior biology major. "I mean, this is our playoffs. Somebody could have easily weighed in a 15- or 20-pound bag if they had got in the right group of fish in the right area. We knew we had a decent bag from what we had gotten in practice, and we knew we had done what we could do, and that was it. As far as winning it, we really didn't think we had a shot at it."
Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Southeast Regional Championship are:
- 2nd:University of Georgia - Randy Tolbert Jr., Rome, Ga., and Chase Simmemon, Alto, Ga. (five bass, 9-2, $3,000)
- 3rd: South Alabama - Taylor Ramey, Hattiesburg, Miss., and John McGraw, Wilmer, Ala. (two bass, 8-0, $2,000)
- 4th: Clemson University - Chase Stewart, Seneca, S.C., and Jonathon Ball, Clemson, S.C. (five bass, 6-14, $2,000)
- 5th: Southern Polytechnic - Zachary Dixon, Kennesaw, Ga., and Edward Thomas, Gainesville, Ga. (three bass, 6-12, $2,000)
The top five teams from each tournament qualify for the regional championship where the first-place team will win $12,500 cash for their school and $12,500 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90 horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club. The top five teams from each regional tournament advance to the national championship where the first-place team will win $25,000 for their school and $50,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. 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.
The next National Guard FLW College Southeast Division tournament is scheduled for June 11 at Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala., and is hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWCollegeFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/CollegeFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.