The University of Tennessee-Martin team of Matthew Lamastus of Hornbeak, Tennessee, and Dylan True of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, won the third annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky and Barkley lakes Saturday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 44 pounds, 4 ounces. The victory earned the club a $27,000 prize package which includes a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard and advanced the team to the 2017 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship.
Lamastus, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, said that the pair didn’t expect to catch the fish they did and their main goal going in was to qualify for next year’s championship. Mission accomplished, but they also won the Ranger/Evinrude boat package and prizes furnished by such sponsors as YETI, Costa, Plano and Zoom.
Tournament leaders always worry, and True and Lamastus sweated through their share of angst as Saturday wore on and it became apparent that they weren’t going to duplicate Friday’s stringer.
“It was slow Friday, and even slower Saturday,” said True, a junior majoring in agricultural business. “We caught our fish in Jonathan Creek Friday, but it sort of dried up and we decided to run to another place we found in Blood River. As it turned out, we caught seven keepers, compared to six on Friday. But the size definitely wasn’t there. I think the bigger fish pulled out some because the water was a little cooler.”
Strike King 2.5 and Series 5 crankbaits produced for the team in the opening round, but as many other anglers discovered, the fish wanted slower-moving baits on Day Two. After going about an hour and a half without boxing a fish, True decided to switch to a Carolina rig with a green-pumpkin-colored 5-inch Strike King Rage Lizard. They caught four of the bass they weighed on it, and the other on the Series 5 crankbait.
“Mainly we just kept the boat in about 10 feet of water, casted to the bank and dragged the Carolina rig out real slow,” added True.
The top 20 teams on Kentucky Lake finished:
1st: University of Tennessee-Martin – Dylan True, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and Matthew Lamastus of Hornbeak, Tenn., 10 bass, 44-4
2nd: University of North Alabama – Koby Littrell, Florence, Ala., and Martin McCravy, Killen, Ala., 10 bass, 40-8
3rd: Murray State University – Nick Montilino, Edina, Minn., and Brock Spencer, Waynesfield, Ohio, 10 bass, 39-15
4th: Bryan College – Nathan Bell, Riceville, Tenn., and Cole Sands, Calhoun, Tenn., 10 bass, 36-12
5th: University of Tennessee – Bradley Devaney, Oliver Springs, Tenn., and Saxton Long, Pulaski, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-5
6th: University of North Alabama – Austin Mize, Sheffield, Ala., and Ethan Goodwin, Warrior, Ala., 10 bass, 34-9
7th: Bethel University – Tyler Black, Catawba, N.C., and Ryan Winchester, Powell, Tenn., nine bass, 34-0
8th: Adrian College – Nicholas Czajka, Brighton, Mich., and Jack Hippe III, Davison, Mich., 10 bass, 33-10
9th: Bethel University – Brian Pahl, Wildwood, Mo., and John Coble Garrett, Union City, Tenn., 10 bass, 33-0
10th: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Thomas Soileau and Hunter Freeman, both of Monroe, La., 10 bass, 32-13
11th: University of Kentucky – Hunter Fulcher, White Plains, Ky., and Austin Elswick, Virgie, Ky., nine bass, 32-10
12th: Murray State University – Austin Butler, Murray, Ky., and Ryan Kirkpatrick, Lindenhurst, Ill. 10 bass, 32-3
13th: Texas A&M University – Evan Cook, College Station, Texas, and Bradley Fleming, Magnolia, Texas, 10 bass, 31-13
14th: Illinois State University – Justin Schick, Morton, Ill., and Tyler Rocke, Peoria, Ill., 10 bass, 31-9
15th: Ohio State University – Ben Wiley, Newbury, Ohio, and Colin Bope, Rushville, Ohio, 10 bass, 31-1
16th: Bethel University – Carter McNeil, Abbeville, S.C., and Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, nine bass, 30-14
17th: Murray State University – Hunter Mills, Mayfield, Ky., and Hunter McKinley, Murray, Ky. 10 bass, 30-13
18th: Bemidji State University – Thor Swanson and Mitchell Swanson, both of Blaine, Minn., nine bass, 30-11
19th: University of South Carolina – Hunter Buice, Pacolet, S.C., and William Bond, Moncks Corner, S.C., 10 bass, 30-11
20th: Campbellsville University – Nick Ratliff, Vine Grove, Ky., and Luke Patterson, Middleburg, Ky., 10 bass, 30-7
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
This YETI FLW College Fishing Open was hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Moors Resort & Marina. The next event for FLW collegiate anglers is a Northern Conference tournament scheduled for April 29 on Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston, Virginia.
YETI 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, along with an additional qualifier for every 10 teams over 100 that compete, along with the top 20 teams from the annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
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.
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.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.