Fishing & Boating News

CSU-Long Beach Leads National Guard FLW Western Conference Championship On Utah Lake

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

California State University-Long Beach team of Justin Gangel of Valley Center, Calif., and Alex Cox of Long Beach, Calif., caught four bass Thursday weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces to take the lead .
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Aug. 31, 2012 - PROVO, Utah)

The California State University-Long Beach team of Justin Gangel of Valley Center, Calif., and Alex Cox of Long Beach, Calif., caught four bass Thursday weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces to take the lead after day two of the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference Championship on Utah Lake. The team now holds a 1 pound, 13 ounce lead over the day one leaders, Chico State University. Teams are fishing in this event 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.

"I think that we did a good job today," said Gangel, an Environmental Science major. "Yesterday we were getting bites all day long, but today, it was every couple of hours. One bite here, one bite there, you really had to capitalize when you got one. We stayed on one stretch of bank for the entire day. We just went back and forth and grinded it out. We knew the fish were there, we just had to get the bites. We're both throwing only one main bait."

"The bait we are using is actually what I use back home at El Dorado Park in Long Beach," said Cox, a Kinesiology major. "When we came out to practice on Wednesday, I was looking at my tackle and figured it would be perfect for this lake. We shook off a lot of bites in pre-fish, then yesterday we threw it and we both caught good fish on it. We had six more packs of it shipped to our hotel today, so we're good to go for tomorrow. I'm confident in it."

Although the anglers wanted to keep their baits a secret, it's really no secret where they have been fishing on the vast body of water that is Utah Lake.

"We're fishing the south end of the lake," said Gangel. "The biggest key for us is just getting away from everybody else and the areas that have been pounded all week long. We had four fish today that were about a 1/4-inch too short, so we're going to have to wait until tomorrow to see how crucial those would have been for us. The main thing has been just to really slow it down. Fishing real slow has been crucial for us."

The weather Friday was cooler and overcast, a big change from the sun and heat on day one. When asked about their gameplan for tomorrow, the Long Beach team has one thing on their mind.

"Ideal conditions for us tomorrow would be hot and sunny," Gangel said.

"However, I don't think it's going to be that way. We're hoping for five, but if we can get three bites tomorrow I think it'll be looking pretty good for us."

"The gameplan for tomorrow is to win!" Cox said.

The top five teams fishing tomorrow and qualifying for the 2013 National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship are:

1st: California State University-Long Beach Justin Gangel, Valley Center, Calif., and Alex Cox, Long Beach, Calif. nine bass 14-3
2nd: Chico State University Anthony Dayton, Walnut Creek, Calif., and Nic Carrico, Oroville, Calif. five bass 12-6
3rd: Arizona State University Jason Karseboom, Tempe, Ariz., and Bobby Fletcher, Gilbert, Ariz. six bass 11-3
4th: Oregon State University Zach MacDonald, Willits, Calif., and Ryan Sparks, Haines, Alaska four bass 10-10
5th: University of California-Santa Cruz Sam Sayad, Carmel Valley, Calif., and Chris Rhoden, Pearlblossom, Calif. six bass 9-1

Overall there were 26 bass weighing 51 pounds even caught by college anglers on Friday. There were zero five-bass limits.

Final take off will be at 7 a.m. Saturday from Utah Lake State Park located at 4400 West Center St. in Provo, Utah, at 7 a.m. each morning. The final weigh-in 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 Saturday from noon-4 p.m. before the final weigh-in. 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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