West Virginia Leads College Fishing Championship Tournament on Potomac River

West Virginia Leads College Fishing Championship Tournament on Potomac River The University of West Virginia leads the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship tournament on the Potomac River

CHARLES COUNTY, Md. (June 4, 2019) – The University of West Virginia duo of Nolan Minor of Charlottesville, West Virginia, and Thomas Raines of Oxon Hill, Maryland, grabbed the early lead Tuesday after Day One of the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship tournament on the Potomac River. The Mountaineers team brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 5 ounces, giving them a 9-ounce cushion over the second place team of Jarrett Martin and Nickolas Marsh from Michigan’s Adrian College.


“We fished north of takeoff, mainly fishing around the bridge area and just looking for docks, grass – anything that looked good,” said Raines, a senior majoring in landscape architecture. “We hit about seven different areas and it was all new water, nothing we practiced.”


“We caught around 12 keepers,” added Minor, a junior majoring in marketing. “We didn’t have a good practice, so it kind of allowed us to just fish free. If something looked good, we fished it. I wouldn’t call it junk fishing, but it was pretty close to it. We caught several 2½-pound fish today and on one spot we pulled up and caught four between 2½ to 3 pounds in 10 minutes. We hadn’t practiced there, and we left them biting hoping that they might help us later.”


Although the duo was tight-lipped about specific presentations, they did mention that they caught their fish using just two different baits. Their limit was anchored by a big largemouth estimated to weigh between 5 to 6 pounds.


“We feel good about where we are at,” Minor said. “I’d like to figure out that big bite again, because that fish was not doing what the others were.”


“We definitely laid off on some spots, so I’m hoping that we can have another good day tomorrow,” Raines went on to say. “We’re going to fish everything that we fished today and our backup plan is to hit our practice holes if we have to.”


The three-day event features the top college bass fishing teams from across the nation competing in an internationally-televised no-entry fee tournament for the top prize of up to $50,000, including a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 115-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2019 FLW Cup, held August 9-11 on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas.


The full field of 148 teams compete on Tuesday and Wednesday, with only the top-10 – based on two-day cumulative weight – advancing to Championship Thursday. The National Champions will be crowned Thursday based on the cumulative three-day weight total.


The top 10 teams after Day One on the Potomac River are:

 1st:  West Virginia University – Nolan Minor, Charlottesville, Va., and Thomas Raines, Oxon Hill, Md., five bass, 18-5
 2nd:  Adrian College – Jarrett Martin, Gallipolis, Ohio, and Nickolas Marsh, Walled Lake, Mich., five bass, 17-12
 3rd:  Bethel University – Tristan McCormick, Burns, Tenn., and Dakota Pierce, Ava,  Mo., five bass, 17-7
 4th:  SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry – Patrick Durand, Cherry Hill, N.J., and Benjamin Schultes, Ontario, N.Y., five bass, 17-2
 5th:  University of Tennessee – Jordan Burdette, Knoxville, Tenn., and Saxton Long, Pulaski, Tenn., five bass, 16-15
 6th:  Sam Houston State University – Dillon Harrell, New Caney, Texas, and Taylor Harp, Porter, Texas, five bass, 16-15
 7th:  Murray State University – Adam Puckett and Blake Albertson, both of Bloomington, Ind., five bass, 16-13
 8th:  University of Montevallo – J.T. Russell, McCalla, Ala., five bass, 16-7
 9th:  Bethel University – Brian Pahl, Eureka, Mo., and John Coble Garrett, Union City, Tenn., five bass, 16-5
 10th:  University of Pittsburgh – Dominic Vitale, Shickshinny, Pa., and Henry Colberg, Pittsburgh, Pa., five bass, 16-0 


Overall there were 575 bass weighing 1,472 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 141 college teams Tuesday. The catch included 86 five-bass limits.

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