UNIVERSITY of GEORGIA BULLDOGS COME FROM BEHIND TO WIN 2010 BOATU.S. COLLEGIATE BASS FISHING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
University of North Carolina - Charlotte and Western Kentucky Round Out Top Three
Bo Page and Ben Cleary from University of Georgia
In what was easily the most dramatic final day in the five year history of the event, the University of Georgia outweighed the University of North Carolina-Charlotte by 2.85 pounds to win the 2010 BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship.
The anglers endured blistering heat described as brutal by many as temperatures climbed into the mid 90's every day with very little wind both days. The more than 300 collegiate anglers from across the nation registered to compete in the event this year showcased their fishing skills in this year's national championship despite the challenging conditions.
Ben Cleary and Bo Page of the University of Georgia turned in an impressive performance as they came from third place to claim the national championship title with the most consistent performance of any team in the field in recent history. "It really means a lot to win the biggest collegiate bass fishing event ever held," said Cleary and Page "It hasn't even fully sunk in yet." After weighing in 18.34 pounds on day one, the pair accumulated 18.07 pounds on day two, giving them a total weight of 36.41 pounds and a comfortable margin of victory. On day one they were able to coax the Lake Lewisville bass into biting by swimming a watermelon/red Git-Bit football jig. After catching a 5 pounder on a Pop R first thing on day two, a much slower presentation with Texas rigged watermelon/red Zoom Baby Brush Hogs dipped in JJ's Magic soft plastic dye was required to get bites. Cleary reported catching a 6 pounder and a 3 pounder when he popped his Texas rig free from the rocks that were scattered on the bottom. As it turned out, their consistent creel of over 18 pounds per day resulting from six keeper bites each day proved to be more than enough to take the trophy home to Georgia.
When the scales settled on day one, Eric Self and Tyler Beam representing the University of North Carolina - Charlotte were in 12th place with 15.81 pounds. Their day two haul of 17.75 pounds landed them in the hot seat where they sat until the University of Georgia claimed it. The team endured an extremely tough practice that only yielded 4 small keepers in two days. "We started on the dam rip rap that produced the keepers in practice and ended up catching our three biggest bass there on day one," explained Self. We only caught one off of it on day two but it was our biggest." To finish their limit each day, Self and Beam skipped ER jigs in oyster blue and watermelon craw colors under marina catwalks and any other cover that offered shade in about 5 feet of water. The team thanks ER Lures and The Great Outdoors for their support.
Sitting in second place after day 1 with 19.68 pounds, Andy Southard and David Stephens of Western Kentucky we're concerned about the number of competitors they saw fishing their key area. Due to the crowded conditions on day 2, the team abandoned the spot and pursued their backup pattern which involved pitching wacky worms to standing timber in about 8 feet of water. "We fished as slow as molasses," said Southard "We'd just cast over and over to the same spot. Southard and Stephens also reported that they missed 7 key bites on day one and 6 on day two. They added 10.92 to their day one weight for a total of 30.60 pounds which was enough to secure third place. The team wishes to thank the following sponsors: Renegade Marine, Slongs Fishing Lures.
5th - Eastern Kentucky University - Richard Cobb V & Tyler Moberly - 28.86
6th - Tarleton State Univ. - John Anderson & Brandon Foard - 28.85
7th - Texas A & M Univ. - Andy Shafer & Matt McArdle - 28.67
8th - Georgia College & State Univ. - Matt Henry & Walker Smith - 27.82
9th - Oklahoma Univ. - Chip Porche' & Mark Johnson - 27.58
10th - Louisiana State Univ. - Shreveport - Zach Caudle & Joe Landry - 27.17
The 2010 BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship featured over $100,000.00 in scholarships, travel funds, incentive awards and merchandise prizes presented to the top finishers via numerous sponsors such as BoatU.S. Angler, Cabela's, Sperry Top-Sider, Columbia Sportswear, frogg toggs, Lazer TroKar, Wohali Rods, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Costa, Ranger Boats and Gemini Sport Marketing.
The 2010 champions will advance to fish the 2011 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 Forest Wood Cup.
In addition to the full lineup of prizes listed above, Pure Fishing also recognized the top 3 entries in the Berkley Conservation Institute College Angler of the Year program. Anglers in this program provided a formal presentation that consisted of their ideas to better support and conserve the outdoors. The winners of this prestigious award are:
1st place - Cody Salzman - Univ. of Wisconsin-Steven's Point
2nd place - Shawn Stamps - Northwest Shoals Community College
3rd place - Alex Craw - Univ. of Tennessee-Chattanooga
The BoatU.S. Collegiate Bass Fishing Series is sanctioned by the Association of Collegiate Anglers will be televised on Versus by Careco Mulitmedia beginning in August of 2010. The weekly television series will showcase the year long lineup of events leading up to the championship including the inaugural Collegiate Bass Fishing Open presented by Pepsi which will be held in June.