Grand Valley State Wins College Tournament on Lake Erie

Grand Valley State Wins College Tournament on Lake Erie The Grand Valley State University team won the FLW College Fishing tournament on Lake Erie

SANDUSKY, Ohio (Sept. 10, 2018) – The Grand Valley State University duo of Lucas Murphy of Walker, Michigan, and Nolan Hitt of Midland, Michigan, won the FLW College Fishing tournament on Lake Erie Saturday with five bass weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the Lakers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, scheduled for June 4-6, 2019 at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland.


“Due to the wind, we were confined to fishing in just Sandusky Bay,” said Hitt, a recent Marketing graduate at Grand Valley State. “We found one large area in the northeast corner that had a lot of grass in it and decided to stick with what we’re good at – fishing grass for largemouth. We focused on areas near lily pads that had vegetation and eel grass blown into them.”


“We stuck with the largemouth because we figured that we could catch around 12 to 13 pounds, sneak into the top-10 cut and qualify for the National Championship,” said Murphy, a senior double-majoring in Marketing and Accounting. “We missed a lot of bites, but we ended up catching around 8 keepers throughout the day and brought five largemouth to the scale that were big enough to win.”


The duo said they spent their day flipping – a green-pumpkin Strike King Rodent in cleaner water and a black and blue-colored Strike King Rage Bug in dirty water.


“It was weird because there were pockets of super clear water, but they were surrounded by dirty water,” Hitt said. “We caught fish out of both, but we did have to adjust the baits that we were throwing.


“I would credit our rods as being one of the keys to us getting the win,” Hitt continued. “We were using a 7’11” extra heavy Denali Lithium flipping stick. It is by far the most sensitive rod I’ve ever used. The fish were biting very lightly, so you needed a sensitive rod to feel the bite but also with enough juice to horse them out. The Denali Lithium was the deal for us.”


“I think the key was just fishing our strengths,” Murphy went on to say. “We really thought that someone would catch them in the middle of the bay cranking to win. We were just trying to sneak into the top-10 cut so it was great that we got the right bites to get it done.”


The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2019 College Fishing National Championship are:

1st:          Grand Valley State University – Lucas Murphy, Walker, Mich., and Nolan Hitt, Midland, Mich., five bass, 19-2, $2,000

2nd:         Adrian College – Jack Hippe III, Davison, Mich., and Nickolas Marsh, Walled Lake, Mich., five bass, 15-8, $1,650

3rd:         University of Michigan-Dearborn – Zach Nelson, Northville, Mich., and Austin Klotz, Westland, Mich., five bass, 15-7, $500

4th:         Gannon University – Nolan Pyle, Eastlake, Ohio, and Aaron Bunting, Champion, Penn., five bass, 15-2, $500

5th:         Ohio State University – Jacob Miller, Thornville, Ohio, and Jaycen Newsome, Fairborn, Ohio, five bass, 14-7, $500

6th:         Slippery Rock University – Jason Frontino, Cranberry Township, Pa., and Cody Neal, Evans City, Pa., five bass, 14-6

7th:         State University of New York-ESF – Caleb Konrad, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Brandon Exner, Liverpool, N.Y., five bass, 14-6

8th:         University of Pittsburgh – Dominic Vitale, Shickshinny, Pa., and Henry Colberg, Pittsburgh, Pa., five bass, 14-2

9th:         Michigan State University – Kevin Lukens, Norton Shores, Mich., and Danny Sprague, Hastings, Mich., five bass, 13-3

10th:       Ramapo College – Ryan Worth, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and Alex Johnson, Milltown, N.J., five bass, 12-9

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