CARBONDALE, Mo., Oct. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Northwestern team of Jimmy Morrow, Arlington Heights, Ill., and Matthew Kestufskie, Evanston, Ill., failed to weigh a bass on Saturday, but had enough weight from the previous two days to win the National Guard FLW College Fishing Central Regional Championship with a three day total of five bass weighing 12 pounds, 14 ounces. For their victory Northwestern University won $50,000 to be split between the university and the university's bass fishing club - $12,500 and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower outboard wrapped in school colors for the bass club and $12,500 for their school. The team also earned their first berth in the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship which will be held in April 2012. Morrow and Kestufskie beat their closest competitor, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, by a mere 4 ounces.
"This is amazing, amazing, amazing," said Morrow, a junior marketing major. "This is one of the coolest moments of my life. I can't believe we actually won! It has been an emotional roller coaster all day long.
"What a heartbreaking day," Morrow continued. "I have felt like throwing up all day long. We lost two 4-pound fish and both times it was like I saw the boat drive away from us. Especially when we heard there was a team that had three fish, I was sure we wouldn't pull this off."
Morrow and Kestufskie started the Northwestern Bass Club last year and remain the only two charter members. Having no boat for the club the team is looking forward to being able to do some practice fishing from their new Ranger boat wrapped in Wildcat purple. The team double qualified for the Regional Championship by placing fourth at Lake of the Ozarks in Mar. and second at the Detroit River tournament in July.
"We lost two big fish today," Kestufskie, an undecided sophomore went on to say. "I have never been more depressed in all my life. I never dreamed we could win. Driving in I was just hoping for second place.
"It has been a weird tournament all around. It was tough fishing all week. The fish are there, you can see them. But between the 16 inch size limit and the warm weather we have had it was just tough getting the right size fish to bite. All our fish were caught with frogs and Senkos. As a matter of fact our biggest fish I caught on a frog and lost it. We could see where it landed so Jimmy picked up his rod and dropped a Senko right there. He pulled it in and it still had the feet in its mouth.
"This is just amazing, I am so stoked!"
Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the 2012 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship are:
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point - Ted Johnson and Jody Derks, both of Waupaca, Wis., five bass, 12-10, $10,000
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville - Brad Lemasters, Maryville, Ill., and Justin Skinner, Taylorville, Ill., four bass, 10-3, $5,000
Kansas State University - Ryan Patterson, Goddard, Kan., one bass, 9-3, $5,000
Indiana University - Dustin Vaal, Bloomington, Ind., and Steven Bressler, Fremont, Ind., three bass, 8-7, $5,000
For a complete list of final standings visit CollegeFishing.com.
Overall there were 4 bass weighing 9 pounds, 14 ounces caught by the five teams.
The top five teams from each of the five regional tournaments will advance to the national championship where the first-place team will win a top award of $100,000; $25,000 for their school and $50,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club.
Coverage of the FLW College Central Regional Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. "FLW Outdoors," will air Nov. 20 from 1 – 2 p.m. ET. "FLW Outdoors," hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW Outdoors provides boats and drivers for each competing team along with travel allowances. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduate students at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.
Kyler Chelminiak and Nicholas Peterson from Whitnall High School, Wisconsin won the High School Central Regional tournament held on Kinkaid Lake Saturday. TBF along with FLW Outdoors held the high school tournament in conjunction with the FLW College Fishing Central Regional.
Whitnall High School had three bass weighing 9 pounds, 9 ounces to beat Tipton High by 5 pounds, 12 ounces.
Chelminiak said the team used Mann's Flippin' Craw to catch their fish Saturday.
"I used one bait and one rod, actually it was a flipping rod, to catch all my fish," Chelminiak said. "It was slow all day long. We only got one bite every two hours."
"We were flipping in heavy milfoil all day, Peterson added. "We were just lucky to get the big bites that we got."
Rounding out the top five teams were:
Indiana's Tipton High, Andy Hinkle and Keegan Gray, one bass, 3-13
Minnesota's Northfield and Edina High Schools, James Stein and Nick Montilino, one bass, 2-9
Michigan's Hastings High School, Daniel and Clayton Sprague, one bass, 2-7
Missouri's Glendale High, Andrew Guilliams and Brian Pahl, one bass, 2-6
The winning team was determined by the heaviest weight for a maximum of five bass. Winning teams from each of five regional championships advances to the 2012 High School Fishing National Championship for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship ($5,000 to each team member).
For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWCollegeFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/CollegeFishing. Visit CollegeFishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS
FLW Outdoors is the best in fishing, on and off the water. Anglers worldwide can compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world's richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player's Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com.
SOURCE FLW Outdoors