The Hardin-Simmons University team of Randy Sullivan, a senior economics major from Breckenridge, Texas, and Hubbell Allen, a history major from Graham, Texas, won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Invitational on Sam Rayburn Reservoir this past Sunday.
The teams wrapped up the victory with a five-bass limit weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces. Their two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30-13 earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
“The Cowboy bass club’s 2013 season has been one of the most successful campaigns ever recorded in College Fishing history,” according to a news release from FLW. “In the four events held in the Southern Conference this season, Sullivan and Allen have now won two and finished second in another.”
Allen explains, “We started this club last year and we were not nearly as good as we thought we were going to be. It was a bit of an eye-opener, and we were determined to change that this season. We have put in a lot of time this year – studying, graphing, and pre-fishing – and it seems to be paying off for us.”
Sullivan says, “We’ve been much smarter in managing our time this season. We’re doing our homework and when we start these tournaments I feel like I know exactly what we need to do.”
Back in January, the team bagged the tournament at Lake Amistad when they pulled in five bass weighing 17 pounds, 13 ounces. The win advanced the team members to the FLW College Fishing Invitational Tournament held this weekend at Rayburn Reservoir.
Dr. Jana Wesson-Martin, associate professor of composition and director of the HSU Writing Center, says she’s proud of her students and is thrilled to be the faculty sponsor of the team, even though she personally does not consider herself much of a fisherwoman. She says she started sponsoring the club after Sullivan asked her to be the faculty sponsor back in 2012.
The first place victories have earned the club $7,000, which is used for club equipment and helps students with expenses incurred as they practice fishing skills. “We’re not sure where the National Championship is going to be yet, but we’ll be ready,” says Allen. “We’ll make sure to spend some time there pre-fishing and idling around just marking areas.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Hardin-Simmons University – Randy Sullivan, Breckenridge, Texas, and Hubbell Allen, Graham, Texas (10 bass, 30-13, $4,000)
2nd: University of Oklahoma – Landon Dixon, Hinton, Okla., and Paul Muzijakovich, Wagoner, Okla. (10 bass, 27-4, $2,000)
3rd: Dallas Baptist University – Trent Newman, Midlothian, Texas, and Jacob Sepeda, Roby, Texas (nine bass, 22-13, $1,000)
4th: Arkansas Tech University – Ryan Dorsett, Woodlawn, Ark., and Evan Barnes, Russellville, Ark. (10 bass, 22-8, $1,000)
5th: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Nick Ladart and Brian Eaton, both of Monroe, La. (nine bass, 19-10, $1,000)
6th: Texas A&M University – Cole Temple, Bryan, Texas, and Zachary Wymer, Southlake, Texas (nine bass, 19-6)
7th: Lamar University – Justin Royal, Evadale, Texas, and Colby Ogden, Kountze, Texas (eight bass, 18-1)
8th: Northern University of North Texas – Michael Worley, Bedford, Texas, and Branden Barnett, Denton, Texas (10 bass, 17-2)
9th: Henderson State University – Shane Stoddard, Hot Springs, Ark., and Cobey Wingfield, Malvern, Ark. (seven bass, 16-2)
10th: Baylor University – Tyler Torwick, San Diego, Calif., and Connor Case, Plano, Texas (five bass, 8-13)
FLW College Fishing teams compete in four qualifying events in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top 15 teams from each regular-season tournament will qualify for one of five conference invitational tournaments. The top 10 teams from each conference invitational tournament will advance to the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
College Fishing is free to enter and FLW 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.