Kentucky Lake Readies for Third-Annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open
GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Kentucky Lake April 7-8 for the third annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open. The no-entry fee tournament, hosted by Moors Resort and Marina and the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, will allow registration from any eligible college team from across the United States, regardless of division. Anglers who finish within the top 20, along with one additional team for every 10 teams over 200 competing, will automatically qualify for the 2018 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship, and the champions will take home a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The first FLW College Fishing Open in 2015 drew a massive field of 194 college teams from around the country, shattering the record to become the largest collegiate fishing tournament ever held. The record was broken again in 2016 when the field grew to 203. Although a new record was set at an FLW College Fishing event on Lake Guntersville last month, event organizers still expect to again draw more than 200 boats, likely the largest field in FLW College Fishing Open history.
“This one is shaping up to be a good tournament,” said FLW Tour pro Dan Morehead of Paducah, Kentucky, a 15-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “The fishing could be lights out, on fire, if the fish are shallow and the bite is on. Barring some nasty weather, I think it could take 46 to 47 pounds over two days to win this event.”
Morehead said that simple spring-time baits would likely be heavily utilized by competitors – spinnerbaits, ChatterBaits and vibrating jigs and crankbaits. Soft plastics like a Zoom Brush Hog or a Yamamoto Senko could also play a role.
“There isn’t much flipping water yet – we’re still a couple of feet away from that – but the tournament is going to be hitting close to the spawn.
“If this was my first time to the lake, I’d launch, point my boat south on Kentucky and run an hour to start fishing,” Morehead said. “That’s where the tournament will be won and where they’ll catch the big 25-pound limits. I would be down fishing around Birdsong or New Johnsonville. There is a larger population of fish there, and they’re bigger. Down south is going to be the deal on Kentucky Lake.”
Schools are allowed to register up until the morning of the tournament. Entries may be made either by phone or at FLWFishing.com.
Schools currently registered to compete in the FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky Lake include:
Adrian College – Nickolas Marsh, Commerce Township, Mich., and Caleb Taylor, Zionsville, Ind.
Adrian College – Dalton Breckel, Onsted, Mich., and Alex Henderson, Mooresville, Mich.
Adrian College – John Franco, Clare, Mich., and Austin Fralick, Adrian, Mich.
Adrian College – Nicholas Czajka, Brighton, Mich., and Jack Hippe, Davison, Mich.
Arkansas Technical University – Philip Gottsponer, Morrilton, Ark., and Ethan Stokes, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Bellarmine University – Trevor Hulsey and Eric Shinkle, both of Louisville, Ky.
Bemidji State University – Austin Mau and Isaac Johnson, both of Bemidji, Minn.
Bemidji State University – Ross Kellermeier, Edina, Minn., and Chad Ziegler, Coon Rapids, Minn.
Bemidji State University – Thor Swanson and Mitchell Swanson, both of Blaine, Minn.
Bowling Green State University – Corey Miller, Perrysburg, Ohio, and Jason Bailey, Port Clinton, Ohio
Bryan College – Conner Fogg and Chandler Fogg, both of Kelso, Tenn.
Bryan College – Dylan Pritchett, Dayton, Tenn., and Conner Thompson, Fort Payne, Ala.
Bryan College – Matt Brown, Corbin, Ky., and D.J. Barber, Gardendale, Ala.
Bryan College – Dalton Price, Seymour, Tenn., and Francisco Colin, Dayton, Tenn.
Bryan College – Jonathan Peck, Louisville, Ky., and Hunter Thrasher, Kelso, Tenn.
Bryan College – Jacob Foutz, Cleveland, Tenn., and Jake Lee, Knoxville, Tenn.
Bryan College – Braden Marshall, Hixson, Tenn., and Jalen Smith, Dayton, Tenn.
Bryan College – Nathan Bell, Riceville, Tenn., and Cole Sands, Dayton, Tenn.
Eastern Kentucky University – Lucas Powell, Lily, Ky., and Seth Johnson, Winchester, Ky.
Faulkner University – Joseph Lacy and Breanna Wyatt, both of Pell City, Ala.
Faulkner University – Stewart Lucas and Brandon Acker, both of Wetumpka, Ala.
Indiana University – Jordan Mullis and Joe Long, both of Bloomington, Ind.
Iowa State University – Zachariah Beek, Bloomington, Minn., and Zachary Hartley, Minneapolis, Minn.
Manchester University – Austin LeClere, Cannelton, Ind., and Brady Forman, Hastings, Ind.
Middle Tennessee State University – Justin Lloyd and Anthony Jordan, both of Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Missouri State University – Matt Fielder, Springfield, Mo., and Hayden Lee, Jefferson City, Mo.
Murray State University – Austin Butler, Cary, Ill., and Will Gentry, Owensboro, Ky.
Murray State University – Lance Freeman, Eddyville, Ky., and Cameron Brooks, Greenville, Ky.
Northwest Missouri State University – Landon Paul, Fairmont, W. Va., and Krete Bullington, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Ohio State University – Jacob Miller, Thornville, Ohio, and Jaycen Newsome, Fairborn, Ohio
Polk State College – Trever Stephens, Auburndale, Fla., and Hunter Gadd, Bartow, Fla.
Polk State College – Austin Bell, Winter Haven, Fla., and Jerod Gadd, Bartow, Fla.
Purdue University – Drake Wuttke, Indianapolis, Ind., and Ivan France, Hillsdale, Ind.
Savannah College of Art & Design – Cody Stahl, Griffin, Ga., and Daniel Kennedy, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville – Justin Lowry, Moro, Ill., and Brendan Magruder, Edwardsville, Ill.
Saint Ambrose University – Cole Atkinson and Tanner Atkinson, both of Camanche, Iowa
Tennessee Tech University – Wilson Tanksley, Crossville, Tenn., and Travis Turner, Cookeville, Tenn.
University of Notre Dame – William Brauer, Edina, Minn., and Josh Anderson, Los Angeles, Calif.
University of South Carolina – Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C., and Tyler All, Dorchester, S.C.
University of South Carolina – Will Miller, High Point, N.C., and Ethan Ingle, West Columbia, S.C.
University of Tennessee-Martin – Dalton Bradford, Fairview, Tenn., and Dylan Fuller, Waverly, Tenn.
Vincennes University – Tanner Cheeseman, Bloomington, Ind., and Kurtis Bowsher, Delphi, Ind.
Vincennes University – Zachary Bauer, Martinsville, Ind., and Konnor Freese, Vincennes, Ind.
The registration meeting for the Open will take place Thursday, April 6, from 3-5 p.m. at Moors Resort and Marina located at 570 Moors Road in Gilbertsville, with a pre-tournament meeting following registration at 5:15 p.m. The entire field of competitors will compete both days of the tournament. Teams must provide their own boat in order to compete.
Anglers will take off from Moors Resort and Marina at 6:30 a.m. CDT each day. Weigh-in will be held lakeside each day beginning at 2:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats.
College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing. Visit FLWFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.