BoatU.S., the nationís largest organization of recreational boaters has teamed with FOX College Sports to present the National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship. With 41 teams from all over the nation launching at Lake Lewisville for day 2 action the anticipation was high as the college anglers including schools from the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC were released from Sneaky Petes docks with a goal of qualifying for the final five spots.

DAY 2:
With drastically different weather conditions than day one many of the anglers were excited to hit the water and fish the many areas that they were unable to on day 1 due to the 15-25 mph north winds that hit the area.

As the sun rose on day two the forecast called for temps in the high 70ís and a southerly breeze as the event kicked off with cameras rolling, helicopters flying overhead and 82 fired up collegiate anglers hitting the waters in search of a five fish limit and shot at the $25,000.00 in scholarship money on the line for the top teams.

The format has the schools from all over the nation sending in two person teams to compete for two days for an overall cumulative weight. After two days the top 5 schools/steams will then compete on one final day of the event for the title. On the final day each team will compete out of a fully rigged Ranger boat Z-19s, powered by Evinrude outboards and rigged with Garmin electronics, Minn Kota trolling motors and Keelshields. In addition a camera team will be on each team the entire of the top five teams during the final days fishing capturing all the action for the television series to kick off in 2007. Also announced today were plans for 2007 to include regional events and a larger National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship event and supporting television series.

After the day two weigh in ended there was not a lot of change at the top of the leaderboard as the Oklahoma State University team of Jason Elam and Brandon Pedigo continue to sit in first place with a 5 fish limit weighing 10.16 pounds on day two to go with the 16.20 limit they had on day one giving them a two day 10 fish weight of 26.36 pounds. They are targeting a mix of cover ranging from rocks to hardwoods to catch fish all over the lake and are feeling confident going into the final days action.

Staying in 2nd place is the North Carolina State team of Christopher Craven and Alexander Freeman with an overall weight of 19.06 pounds. When pressed for information the team said they knew they were in and had saved fish for the final days action. Currently this team from orth Carolina State is only saying they are covering lots of water and fishing ultra shallow to catch their fish. Qualfying for the final day in 3rd place is the Northwester State University team of Jarred Williams and Ryan Wiggins who had 16.51 pounds over two days of fishing while targeting a mix of locations. In fourth place is the Eastern Kentucky University team of Michael Blanton and Andrew Luxon with 16.25 pounds who had one of the came from well back in the pack to qualify. Rounding out the top five whoíll fish on Saturday is the other Northwestern State University team of Kevin Jeane and Jonathan Bennett with a two day total of 15.09 after falling from 3rd place to 5th today.

North Carolina State left no doubt who was the winner at the inaugural BoatU.S National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship as they dominated the other schools on the final day with a solid five fish limit that weighed 13.57 pounds. The winning team members for North Carolina State were Christopher Craven and Alexander Freeman used a variety of baits while keying on windy rocky and timber filled banks to target aggressive fish. Both anglers said they fished to win today and that without the assistance of their club ďThe North Carolina Bass PackĒ and faculty advisor Jonathan Phillips none of this would have been possible. They also went on to thank Ranger Boats and Ron Enslen for their support. In addition they said a big key to their win was sponsors Secret Weapons Lures and J.B. Custom Rods. The North Carolina State team won $12,000.00 in scholarship funds with the win.

The Eastern Kentucky University team of Michael Blanton and Andrew Luxon took an early lead with a limit that topped the scales at 8.75 pounds but eventually had to settle for 2nd place overall and $6,000.00 in scholarships for their catch. They said they keyed on deeper bite much of the day while fishing several locations to get their limit but never did get that big kicker bite to give them the chance at the win. They thanked FOX College Sports and all the sponsors while on stage while saying this was the best event they had ever fished and they couldnít wait for next year!
Oklahoma State University was the last team to take the stage and after dominating the field the first two days it was apparent the North Carolina State team was worried. The event format had the schools from all over the nation sending in two person teams to compete for two days for an overall cumulative weight. After two days the top 5 schools/teams competed on one final day of the event for the title and scholarships. To add to the excitement on the final day each team competed out of a fully rigged Ranger boat Z-19s, powered by Evinrude outboards and rigged with Garmin electronics, Minn Kota trolling motors and Keelshields.

The Oklahoma State team of James Elam and Brandon Pedigo were confident going into the final round but high winds blew into their key area and with cameras rolling to capture the action they just couldnít get the bites they had hoped to with the waves literally breaking over the bow of their boat on some casts. The end result was a third place finish and $4,000 in scholarship winnings.

Rounding out the top five were two Northwestern State University teams who qualified in 3rd and 5th respectively after two days before settling in at 4th and 5th overall on the final day. Both of these teams had been keying on shallow aggressive fish using lipless crankbaits and other fast moving baits. Both of these were awarded scholarship monies as well for their efforts.

During the event plans were announced for the 2007 championship along with regional events across the nation to support the growth of collegiate bass fishing. In addition in 2007 FOX College sports will be launching an entire television series dedicated to collegiate bass fishing complete with campus visits, behind the scenes stories, tournament action from the event and insight from F.L.W. and B.A.S.S. professionals like Luke Clausen, Jeff Kriet and Kelly Jordon. The show will be hosted by Wade Middleton.

Final Standings:
North Carolina State University-Christoper Craven-Alexander Freeman 13.57
Eastern Kentucky-Michael Blanton-Andrew Luxon 8.75
Oklahoma State University-James Elam-Brandon Pedigo 4.66
Northwestern State University-Jarred Williams-Ryan Wiggins 3.86
Northwestern State University-Kevin Jeane-Jonathan Bennett 3.55

Additional sponsors of the BoatUS National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship include: FOX College Sports, Cabelas, Garmin, Ranger Boats, Evinrude, , Anglers Legacy Program, Keelshield, YoZuri, SebileUSA, Minn-Kota, Costa Del Mar, Nemire Lures, Stearns, American Rodsmith, City of Lewisville and Sneaky Petes. For more information and additional coverage on this event e-mail [email protected].

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