UCF Knights Take BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship
Sonar Burghoff and Casey O?Donnell of the University of Central Florida were very confident heading into the final day of competition in the 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. Trailing the day one leaders by less than a quarter of a pound, the team believed they were on the fish to win the National Championship.
After weighing in 17.07 pounds on day one, Sonar and Casey caught one of only six, five bass limits recorded on the final day. They added 10.85 pounds to their day one weight for a total of 27.92 pounds, giving the team a comfortable margin of victory. The key to their tournament winning pattern was to concentrate on small pockets that featured deep water near the back. The team relied on the Navionics Platinum map chip to locate the productive pockets and Texas rigged Ouzo Chunky Monkeys as well as Secret Lures jigs to catch quality bass positioned around isolated dead willow trees. ?We expanded on our water as the tournament unfolded both days,? said Sonar. ?As we moved around the lake, we?d stop and fish isolated bushes positioned in pockets that had the right contour features.?
In an emotional moment, Sonar thanked Topwater Clothing, Jetworks Air Center and Business Air for their support. ?There?s no way I could fish competitively without their support,? he commented.
Starting the final day in 9th place with 12.39 pounds, Scott Jones and Andrew Sanders of the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff hauled a 13.28 pound limit to the scales and claimed second place with a total weight of 25.67 pounds. ?It feels good to do so well in an event of this magnitude,? said Scott. ?We never caught a fish prior to 11:00 either day but we persevered and it paid off.?
The key for Jones and Sanders was to concentrate on green bushes positioned in 2-3 feet of stained water and avoid the muddy water resulting from the strong winds. The team utilized ¾ ounce Texas rigged Sweet Beavers and 5/16 ounce Eakins jigs to entice the finicky Lake Lewisville bass to bite. The team wishes to thank Berkley, Abu Garcia, Poor Man Jigs, BoatUS and all of the event sponsors for their support.
Finishing day one in 17th place with 10.71 pounds, Cody McCrary and Neil Arnaud of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette rallied to claim third place on the strength of an 11.17 pound five bass limit, giving the team a two day total of 21.88 pounds. ?We just junk fished,? explained McCrary. ?We hit a bunch of spots based on previous experience and caught fish both shallow and deep.? The team used a variety of lures including a shaky head, Carolina rig, Texas rig and crankbait.
McCrary and Arnaud wish to thank their sponsors: Wildlife Energy Drinks, Concrete 79520, Courtesy Automotive Group, Don?s Specialty Meats, Seaguar, Lazer TroKar, Tony Chachere?s Foods, Duckett Fishing Rods and OCR Custom Rods.
Rounding out the top 10 is:
- 4th Louisiana-Monroe Nick LaDart & Daniel Echols 21.55
- 5th Wisconsin-Steven?s Point Adam Kolbeck & Tyler Gollakner 21.38
- 6th Arkansas Mook Miller & Kyle Billingsley 21.30
- 7th Tarleton State Matt Carr & Cody Morrison 20.09
- 8th Alabama Jeremy Christian & Logan Johnson 20.02
- 9th Alabama Dustin Connell & Keith Kirkley 19.38
- 10th Arkansas Tech Dustin Huggins & Evan Barnes 18.95
The 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship awarded scholarships, travel funds, incentive awards and merchandise prizes to the top finishers thanks to the support of numerous event sponsors such as BoatU.S. Angler, Cabela?s, Sperry Top-Sider, Columbia Sportswear, frogg toggs, Lazer TroKar, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Costa, Ranger Boats, Onyx, HydroWave, Gemini Sport Marketing, Big Bite Baits, Yamaha, Spro, Pepsi, and Sunline.
The 2011 Champions will advance to fish the 2012 Bass Federation National Championship where they?ll have the opportunity to win the ?Living the Dream? prize package and move on to compete in the Forrest Wood Cup.
The BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Series is sanctioned by the Association of Collegiate Anglers and will be televised on Versus, part of NBC Sports Group, by CarecoTV beginning the last Sunday in July at 2:00 p.m. ET. The weekly television series will showcase the 2011 series of tournaments including the Collegiate Bass Fishing Open presented by Pepsi which will be held June 27-30.
For complete standings, photo album and additional information, please visit www.CollegiateBassChampionship.com.