Fishing & Boating News

Utah Valley University Wins College Fishing Western Conference Event On Lake Havasu

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

The Utah Valley University team of Russell Behlings and Aaron Warner (left) took first place overall on Lake Havasu. For their efforts, the team won $5,000.
Photo by Gary Mortenson
The Northern Arizona University team of Nicole Albright (left) and Brent Perkins placed second.
Photo by Gary Mortenson
(Feb. 25, 2012 - LAKE HAVASU CITY, AZ)

The Utah Valley University team of Russell Behlings of Custer, S.D. and Aaron Warner of Orem, Utah won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference event on Lake Havasu Saturday with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the team $5,000. The win also helped them advance to the Western Conference Regional Championship.

"I'm on top of the world right now!" said Warner, an Exercise Science major. "What an awesome day! We started off hitting the channels, doing some sight fishing. We were able to get a couple of big bass off the beds, and had some luck. I was fishing a drop-shot with a beaver in about 20 to 25 feet of water. I kept telling Russ that we were going to get a buzzer-beater fish at the end, and we did. I caught our last one with just a few minutes left in the tournament, and we were able to cull a smaller one. That fish made the difference."

The day featured a slight breeze and warm, clear skies, and the team from Utah Valley won by 2 pounds, 1 ounce over their closest competitors.

"This is our first tournament we have fished," said Behlings, an Emergency Service Administration major. "I'm freaking out, man. We drove down last night, and I'm happy we did. We couldn't have asked for a better day. Sight fishing was a big deal for us today - definitely where we had our most success."

"Our club did a great job preparing us and getting us ready to fish this lake," Warner went on to say. "We weren't really familiar with this lake, but they gave us some great tips and we tried to do the best research we could. It's cold right now in Utah, so to be down here in this warm 70-plus degree weather is just awesome."

Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Western Conference Championship are:

2nd: Northern Arizona University Nicole Albright and Brent Perkins, both of Phoenix, Ariz. five bass 11-10 $1,500
3rd: California State University-Monterey Bay Matthew Diaz, Castroville, Calif., and David Hamblin, Morgan Hill, Calif. five bass 11-2 $1,000
4th: Eastern Washington University Nick Barr, Lacey, Wash., and Jesse Squires, Cheney, Wash. five bass 10-12 $1,000
5th: California State University-Chico State Nicholas Carrico, Chico, Calif., and Anthony Dayton, Walnut Creek, Calif. four bass 10-10 $1,000

The top five teams from each tournament qualify for the regional championship where the first-place team will win a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard wrapped in school colors for their fishing club. The top five teams from each regional tournament advance to the 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.

The next National Guard FLW College Western Conference tournament is scheduled for March 31 at the California Delta in Bethel Island, Calif., and is hosted by the City of Oakley.

FLW is the industry's premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport's richest payday and most coveted championship trophy - the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water," through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world's richest fantasy sports game - FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit the FLWOutdoors or FantasyFishing websites and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.
The California State University-Monterey Bay team of David Hamblin and Matthew Diaz (left) finished in third place overall.
Photo by Gary Mortenson
The top-five team finishers at the FLW College Fishing event on Lake Havasu acknowledge the crowd.
Photo by Gary Mortenson