Fishing & Boating News

Chico State University Takes Lead At National Guard FLW Western Conference

Dayton, Carrico jump to top of leader board on Utah Lake

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

Chico State University team of Anthony Dayton of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Nic Carrico of Oroville, Calif., took the lead on day one
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Aug. 31, 2012 - PROVO, Utah)

The Chico State University team of Anthony Dayton of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Nic Carrico of Oroville, Calif., took the lead on day one of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference Championship on Utah Lake Thursday with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 5 ounces. The team holds a 2-pound lead over their nearest competitors, California State University-Long Beach. Teams are fishing for a top award of a Ranger Z117 bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and a berth in the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship tournament.

"It was a struggle today," said Dayton, a Public Administration and Communication major. "We were flipping, and we threw a lot of different baits trying to find whatever would work. All four of our fish came on a different bait. We knew what the other teams were throwing; we were just trying to switch it up and show them something different. We caught our first three in the first 40 minutes. Then our fourth came around 11 a.m."

"We stuck to the main areas near the north end of the lake," said Carrico, an Agricultural Science major. "It was really just a timing thing for us. We were fishing up on the bank, and all of our bites came out of a maximum of 2 feet of water. We just had to hit it at the right time and use the right technique for that situation."

"We were using a lot of dark colors," Dayton continued. "We were also throwing reaction baits today. It's really no secret - there's six really good spots on this lake, and those are the spots you need to hit. We launched in the No. 20 spot today, and when we got to our first spot there were already six boats in there. Tomorrow, we're going out in the No. 1 spot and hopefully that jump will give us an advantage."

It was a grind on Thursday for most of the competing teams under the hot Utah sun. Six of the 20 teams competing brought no fish to the scales, and five teams managed only one bass. With mid-90 degree heat being forecast again for tomorrow, the Chico State leaders are planning on more of the same.

"I think we can catch five tomorrow," said Carrico. "We're just going to go back to the drawing board tonight and try to figure out some new baits again. Last night I came up with something different that seemed to work out for us today. Maybe we can come up with something different again tonight. If we can get 7 pounds tomorrow, I'm confident we'll be fishing Saturday."

The top 10 teams after day one are:

1st: Chico State University Anthony Dayton, Walnut Creek, Calif., and Nic Carrico, Oroville, Calif., four bass 10-5
2nd: California State University-Long Beach Justin Gangel, Valley Center, Calif., and Alex Cox, Long Beach, Calif., five bass 8-5
3rd: California Polytechnic State University John Zeolla, Oak Park, Calif., and Kyle Greenlaw, Magalia, Calif., five bass 6-4
4th: Oregon State University Zach MacDonald, Willits, Calif., and William Sparks, Haines, Alaska two bass 5-6
5th: Utah Valley University Russell Behlings, Custer, S.D., and Aaron Warner, Orem, Utah two bass 4-12
6th: Humboldt State University Derrick Hicks, Sacramento, Calif., and Jen Edgar, Ukiah, Calif. one bass, 4-2
7th: Colorado State University Keane Velez, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Ben Robey, Pleasant Hill, Iowa two bass 3-10
8th: University of California-Santa Cruz Sam Sayad, Carmel Valley, Calif., and Chris Rhoden, Pearlblossom, Calif. two bass 2-13
9th: Sacramento State University Thomas Kanemoto, Elk Grove, Calif., and Robert Matsuura, Sacramento, Calif. two bass 2-11
10th: Eastern Washington University Nick Barr, Lacey, Wash., and Jesse Squires, Woodinville, Wash. one bass 2-9

Overall there were 31 bass weighing 57 pounds, 5 ounces caught by college anglers on Thursday. The catch included two five-bass limits.

Anglers will take off from Utah Lake State Park located at 4400 West Center St. in Provo, Utah, at 7 a.m. each morning. All weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 1355 Sandhill Road in Orem, Utah, beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public and are being hosted by the Utah Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Utah Lake Commission.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at Walmart on Friday from 2-4 p.m. and Saturday from noon-4 p.m. before the weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.

Four regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference - Central, Northern, Southeastern, Texas and Western. The top five teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championships, where the first-place team wins a Ranger Z117 bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The top five teams from each conference championship advance to the National Guard 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.

Coverage of the Western Conference Championship will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when "FLW" airs Nov. 4 from 1-2 p.m. ET. "FLW College Fishing" is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing on Facebook at Facebook/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter/FLWFishing. Visit the CollegeFishing website to sign up or to start a club at your school.

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