Lamar University Team Takes Texas Regional Championship Crown
David A. Brow The Lamar University team of Matt Morrison of Silsbee, Texas, and Danny Iles of Hemphill, Texas, led all three days of competition at the National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Division Regional Championship on Sam Rayburn Reservoir and weighed a day three six-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 6 ounces for a three-day total of 51-4 to win a top prize of $50,000, which includes a Ranger boat and outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $25,000 for the school they represent. The team also qualified for the National Championship.
"This is really nice," Iles said. "Our goal coming into this was to win it, and we accomplished that."
Even though they led the first two days of competition and carried a 6-pound, 2-ounce lead into the final day of competition, Morrison said he wasn't confident they had claimed the championship title.
"I didn't know what anybody else had, so I was sweating it the entire time," Morrison said.
Morrison said their limit came "fairly quickly" on the second day of competition, but he didn't catch his third keeper of the final day until an hour before check-in.
Iles said the team fished a creek channel in 15 to 16 feet of water in the main lake and tried to fish a sweet spot for large keeper bass. Iles said a ½-ounce Falcon Lures spinnerbait with Indiana blades and the crankbait were key baits on the second day of competition.
"We didn't have any reason to change," Iles said. "They really bit the spinnerbait good."
Morrison credited the lack of wind later in the second day as a critical factor in their weight. On the first day of competition the team had difficulty achieving the proper casting angle because of high winds.
"Danny keeps the boat positioned how it needs to be positioned, and I think that was the main thing," Morrison said.
Rounding out the top five teams, who also qualified for the National Championship, are:
2nd: Texas A&M - Paul Manley, College Station, Texas, and Andrew Shafer, Bryan, Texas, 42-5, $25,000
3rd: University Of Texas-Tyler - Matthew McClellan, Tyler, Texas, and Tyler Fisher, Flint, Texas, 42-2, $11,000
4th: LSU-Shreveport - Zach Caudle, Shreveport, La., and Joe Landry, Shreveport, La., 37-7, $8,000
5th: Stephen F. Austin - Blaze Platt, Weatherford, Texas, and Ryan Watkins, Nacogdoches, Texas, 36-15, $6,000
Each school team represented in the televised regional championship had team shirts and boats provided by Ranger. The purse for each regional championship includes 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 extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.
The top five teams from each regional championship, 25 teams total, will advance to the 2011 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship that will be hosted by Murray State University on Kentucky Lake, April 7-9, 2011. The National Championship is a three-day televised event. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The first-place team will win $100,000 with $50,000 of that for their school and $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat for their fishing club along with a berth in the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.
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.