There were lots of folks out fishing this weekend, but none did better than the University of Louisiana-Monroe team of Paul Clark of Monroe, La., and Brett Preuett of Pineville, Ala. The duo brought four bass to the scales Sunday totaling 12 pounds, 4 ounces to win the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship on Beaver Lake near Rogers, AR. Their three-day total of 14 bass weighing 40-3 gave them a slim 9-ounce margin of victory in a dramatic finish over the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
“I thought we blew it today by only bringing four fish to the scales,” said Preuett, who has a degree in business. “I really thought that I had lost it for us. I lost two good ones shallow today, and I felt horrible about it the whole time. I thought we were going to be losing by a couple of ounces. It’s been one heck of a ride, and it really hasn’t even sunk in yet.”
“I don’t know whether to laugh or cry right now, I’m so excited,” added Clark, a senior majoring in Construction Management.
Preuett said that the Warhawk bass club changed their strategies and techniques each day. He estimated that eight of the 14 bass that they brought to the scales came on a Yum Yumbrella Flash Mob Jr., with the rest of their catch falling prey to a Storm Wiggle Wart crankbait, jigs and shaky-head rigs trailered with a green pumpkin-colored crawfish.
“We hadn’t thrown a shaky head all week, but we went back into the very backs of the creeks and Paul pulled one out and started throwing it,” Preuett said. The decision proved to be the difference-maker for the Warhawks, as the shaky-head rig produced their fourth bass – an estimated five-pound largemouth that clinched the teams victory.
“We were not used to fishing deep, clear water,” Preuett continued. “We researched past tournament results and read about techniques that winning anglers have used here. We spent a lot of time studying maps and doing our homework.”
In addition to the $30,000 prize package, the team also qualified to fish for the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. Clark will represent the team on the pro side, while Preuett will compete in the co-angler division.
“I’ll be spending every weekend in Shreveport for the next three months,” said Clark. “We only live about an hour and a half away from theRed River. Brett and I are very familiar with the river, and we actually won a team tournament there last summer. I’m so pumped because I can’t believe that I will be fishing against the best anglers in the world. I’m going to give it everything that I’ve got.”
The top five team in the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: University Of Louisiana-Monroe – Paul Clark, Monroe, La., and Brett Preuett, Pineville, La., 14 bass, 40-3, $30,000 Prize Package + Entry into 2013 Forrest Wood Cup; 2nd: University of North Carolina-Charlotte – Shane Lehew, Charlotte, N.C., and Adam Waters, Denver, N.C., 15 bass, 39-10, $6,000; 3rd: Auburn University – Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., and Shane Powell, Dothan, Ala., 14 bass, 34-3, $3,000; 4th: University Of Alabama – Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., and Logan Johnson, Jasper, Ala., 13 bass, 32-15, $3,000; 5th: Angelo State University – Ethan George, San Angelo, Texas, and Josh Seale, Breckenridge, Texas, 14 bass, 32-9, $3,000.
Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com. Coverage of the FLW College Fishing National Championship, hosted by the Rogers Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs June 9 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.