North Carolina State left no doubt who was the winner at the inaugural BoatU.S National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship as they dominated the other schools on the final day with a solid five fish limit that weighed 13.57 pounds. The winning team members for North Carolina State were Christopher Craven and Alexander Freeman used a variety of baits while keying on windy rocky and timber filled banks to target aggressive fish. Both anglers said they fished to win today and that without the assistance of their club "The North Carolina Bass Pack" and faculty advisor Jonathan Phillips none of this would have been possible. They also went on to thank Ranger Boats and Ron Enslen for their support. In addition they said a big key to their win was sponsors Secret Weapons Lures and J.B. Custom Rods. The North Carolina State team won $12,000.00 in scholarship funds with the win.
The Eastern Kentucky University team of Michael Blanton and Andrew Luxon took an early lead with a limit that topped the scales at 8.75 pounds but eventually had to settle for 2nd place overall and $6,000.00 in scholarships for their catch. They said they keyed on deeper bite much of the day while fishing several locations to get their limit but never did get that big kicker bite to give them the chance at the win. They thanked FOX College Sports and all the sponsors while on stage while saying this was the best event they had ever fished and they couldn't wait for next year!
Oklahoma State University was the last team to take the stage and after dominating the field the first two days it was apparent the North Carolina State team was worried. The event format had the schools from all over the nation sending in two person teams to compete for two days for an overall cumulative weight. After two days the top 5 schools/teams competed on one final day of the event for the title and scholarships. To add to the excitement on the final day each team competed out of a fully rigged Ranger boat Z-19s, powered by Evinrude outboards and rigged with Garmin electronics, Minn Kota trolling motors and Keelshields.
The Oklahoma State team of James Elam and Brandon Pedigo were confident going into the final round but high winds blew into their key area and with cameras rolling to capture the action they just couldn't get the bites they had hoped to with the waves literally breaking over the bow of their boat on some casts. The end result was a third place finish and $4,000 in scholarship winnings.
Rounding out the top five were two Northwestern State University teams who qualified in 3rd and 5th respectively after two days before settling in at 4th and 5th overall on the final day. Both of these teams had been keying on shallow aggressive fish using lipless crankbaits and other fast moving baits. Both of these were awarded scholarship monies as well for their efforts.
During the event plans were announced for the 2007 championship along with regional events across the nation to support the growth of collegiate bass fishing. In addition in 2007 FOX College sports will be launching an entire television series dedicated to collegiate bass fishing complete with campus visits, behind the scenes stories, tournament action from the event and insight from F.L.W. and B.A.S.S. professionals like Luke Clausen, Jeff Kriet and Kelly Jordon. The show will be hosted by Wade Middleton.
For a full update of the results and pictures go to www.myspace.com/fcsbass
North Carolina State University Christoper Craven- Alexander Freeman 13.57
Eastern Kentucky Michael Blanton-Andrew Luxon 8.75
Oklahoma State University James Elam-Brandon Pedigo 4.66
Northwestern State University Jarred Williams-Ryan Wiggins 3.86
Northwestern State University Kevin Jeane-Jonathan Bennett 3.55