Sonoma State University team members Luke Haley (left) and Alex Christianson (right) show off their first-place check after capturing the FLW College Western Division team title at Lake Mead. (Photo by Gary Mortenson)
HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Sonoma State team of Luke Haley and Alex Christianson won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Division on Lake Mead recently with six bass weighing 11 pound, 11 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the university and the university's bass-fishing club.
The win also helped them advance to the Western Division Regional Championship where they could ultimately win a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine wrapped in school colors for their school's bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent.
"Luke really got our mojo flowing early when he landed his first monster smallie about 8:30 (a.m.)," said Alex Christianson, a junior business major. "After that we realized that the fish were bedding and went from there. We stayed within two miles of the marina, which was pretty protected all day, staying in coves with grassy areas with sandy bottoms. We stayed pretty shallow - 1 to 5 feet was it."
The team caught a mixed bag including the one kicker smallmouth weighing in at over 3 ½ pounds. The remaining five large mouths were all on beds; one was cruising and the rest were posted on the beds.
"This was my first tournament," said Luke Haley, a junior in physics. "I caught my first smallie on a drop-shot, and for the rest we just went sight fishing. Alex was amazing."
Rounding out the top five teams were California Poly - Scott Hellesen and Damian Bean., (six bass, 11-2, $5,000); University of Nevada, Reno - Seth Hofland and Ricky Nielsen, (six bass, 11, $4,000); San Jose State - Tyler Swasey and Anthony Lee, (four bass, 9-2, $3,000); Chico State - Thomas White and Allison Shaw., (four bass, 9, $2,000).
The next National Guard FLW College Western Division tournament is scheduled for June 12, at the California Delta in Stockton, Calif. College Fishing is free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW Outdoors and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each qualifying event advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Regional Championships.
The top five teams from each regional championship will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. The National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition.
About FLW Outdoors
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.