Fishing & Boating News

Clear Lake Set for YETI FLW College Fishing Western Division Tournament Presented by Bass Pro Shops

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

The FLW College Fishing season will continue next week as college anglers prepare to compete May 12 at the YETI FLW College Fishing event at Clear Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 2, 2018 - Lakepoint, CA)

The FLW College Fishing season will continue next week as college anglers prepare to compete May 12 at the YETI FLW College Fishing event at Clear Lake presented by Bass Pro Shops. The tournament, hosted by the Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina, is the second of three regular-season events for anglers in the Western Conference, and will feature a top prize of a $2,000 club scholarship and a slot in the 2019 College Fishing National Championship.
“Right now the fish are in all three stages – prespawn, spawn and some are already postspawn,” said Joe Uribe Jr., of Surprise, Arizona, who has four top-10 finishes as a professional on Clear Lake. “The weather has been kind of hit-or-miss up there, and that’s going to dictate a lot of what the fish will do. The fish will be up shallow one day, and move off the next if a cold front comes in.


“The one thing that’s different this year on Clear Lake is the lack of grass,” continued Uribe. “The fish have had to resort to docks and tules, and that’s primarily what they’ll be holding on. When they come up to stage, they’ll be sitting up underneath docks or suspended in front of tules. As they’re spawning they’ll move closer to the dock pilings, or back in the pockets with tules. I think they’ll be spawning a little bit shallower than normal because they won’t have that outside grass to bed around.”


Uribe said he thinks finesse-type baits will be favored by competitors.


“I think a drop-shot rig and a Yamamoto Senko are going to be your bread and butter,” said Uribe. “Depending on the weather, jerkbaits or a small swimbait to mimic baitfish would be good, especially in the early morning or later in the afternoon if the wind picks up. Any type of bottom-fishing baits like a jig or a creature bait are good bets as well.”


Uribe predicted that it will take a five-bass limit in the 20-pound range to win the tournament.


“Someone could catch more, but again, the weather will dictate a lot,” said Uribe. “They’ll have to prepare for everything.”


Competitors will take off from the Konocti Vista Casino Resort & Marina, located at 2755 Mission Rancheria Road in Lakeport, at 7 a.m. PDT Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 1:30 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.


Schools are allowed to register up until the morning of the tournament. Entries may be made either by phone or at CollegeFishing.com.


Schools expected to compete in the Clear Lake tournament include:
California State University-Chico – Austin Crane and David Griswold, both of Oroville, Calif.
California State University-Chico – Chad Sweitzer, Chico, Calif., and Tyler Firebaugh, Danville, Calif.
California State University-Chico – Thomas Avilla, Oakdale, Calif., and Travis Gonsalves, Modesto, Calif.
Sonoma State University – Jacob Coons, Lockeford, Calif., and Anthony Parrino, Stockton, Calif.
Sonoma State University – Trenton Wells, Windsor, Calif., and Brock Trudeau, Lancaster, Calif.
University of California-Merced – Herbie Leblanc, Gilroy, Calif., and Tshu Xiong, Merced, Calif.


YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats. The 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship will take place May 30-June 1 on the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission & Red River Waterway Commission.


YETI FLW College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.


For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.


About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.