LSU-Shreveport Wins MLF College Fishing Tournament on Lake of the Pines

November 14, 2022
College Fishing Tournaments Archive

JEFFERSON, Texas (Nov. 14, 2022) – The Louisiana State University-Shreveport duo of Marlee Churchman of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Ty Gentry of Lockesburg, Arkansas, won the MLF College Fishing tournament on Lake of the Pines Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Pilots’ bass club $3,000 and a slot in the 2023 MLF College Fishing National Championship.

With the win, Churchman, an 18-year-old freshman, became the first female event winner in MLF College Fishing history.

“We had an early boat number, and we had a deep point on the lake we wanted to try to hit before everybody else did,” Churchman said. “We pulled up and stayed there for 30 minutes and realized it wasn’t working. We had a couple of shallow spots up north we knew we could get bit on, so we rolled up there, and in the first 30 minutes we had two fish for nine pounds.”

The team decided to fish that same 100-yard stretch of water the rest of the day, fishing in water so shallow they had to pull the trolling motor up to avoid hitting bottom. They used an Owner Flashy Swimmer tipped with a swimbait, and targeted shad hitting the surface in a shell-bed ditch with grass to catch their bass. However, storms moved in around 1 p.m., and the team had to make a run back south to avoid bad weather.

“We went back to the point we started on, but we only caught a couple of short fish there,” Churchman said. “We caught 15 to 20 fish all day, and probably 10 keepers, but the big fish came early. The keepers we caught later in the day didn’t help us out.”

“I’m not going to lie; this win feels good,” Gentry said. “I won several events in high school, and I’ve fished Lake of the Pines a lot because it’s pretty close to my house. It has served me humble pie many, many times, and it just feels really good to finally win there.”

“I’m still speechless,” Churchman went on to say. “We had a decent practice, but if you told us we were going to have 19 pounds, I would not have believed you. I knew we had a good bag, but I didn’t think we had the winning bag.”

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:

                1st: Louisiana State University-Shreveport – Marlee Churchman, Shreveport, La., and Ty Gentry, Lockesburg, Ark., five bass, 19-9, $3,000
                2nd: Arkansas Tech University – Grant Bearden, Hot Springs, Ark, and Jade Craft, Paragould, Ark., five bass, 19-4, $1,000
                3rd: Blue Mountain College – John Berry, Mount Olive, Miss., and Blake Bullock, Seminary, Miss., five bass, 18-0, $500
                4th: Angelo State University – Ty Smoot and Robert Vance, both of San Angelo, Texas, five bass, 17-6, $500
                5th: Drury University – Caleb Coleman, Desoto, Mo., and Cade Lipham, Montgomery, Texas, five bass, 17-2, $500
                6th: East Texas Baptist University – Dylan Benson, Atlanta, Texas, and Austin Rose, Mena, Ark., five bass, 17-0
                7th: University of Montevallo – Briggs Alavezos, Manteca, Calif., and Solomon Glenn, Lakeville, Minn., five bass, 16-13
                8th: University of Montevallo – Tyler Cain, Bessemer, Ala., and Cole Dodson, Gardendale, Ala., five bass, 16-10
                9th: East Texas Baptist University – Cody Ross, Livingston, Texas, five bass, 16-4
                10th: Dallas Baptist University – Michael Postlewait, Astoria, Ore., and Andrew Rickman, Canton, Texas, five bass, 16-4

MLF also advances one additional team to the National Championship for every 10 teams over 100 that compete. A total of 138 teams participated in this event, so also advancing to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:

                11th: Texas A&M – Reed Allen and Caleb Bomer, both of Athens, Texas, five bass, 16-4
                12th: University of Nebraska-Lincoln – Logan Greeno, Kearney, Neb., and Elijah Strom, Creighton, Neb., five bass, 16-1
                13th: East Texas Baptist University – Kaden Proffitt, Marshall, Texas, and Cason Ragsdale, Winnsboro, Texas, five bass, 15-5