HUDDLESTON, Va. – The East Carolina University duo of Bryce Fowler of Clayton, North Carolina, and Austin Woody of Burlington, North Carolina, won the MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Smith Mountain Lake Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 8 ounces. The victory earned the Pirates’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2023 MLF College Fishing National Championship.
“We came into this with no practice,” Fowler said. “We talked about it, and we just wanted to come into it and see what happened. We knew how to fish it and knew what they were going to be doing; we just had to make it all come together.
“We fished around a bit, and about noon we had a limit of 12 or 13 pounds,” Fowler added. “We were able to throw a topwater on rock piles to catch four fish over 4 pounds.“
Fowler said the team focused on rocky banks and rock piles around the Blackwater River area and caught about 30 fish during the day, 15 of which were keepers.
“This feels pretty incredible,” Fowler said. “To do it as seniors and leave a legacy for our team is special.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: East Carolina University – Bryce Fowler of Clayton, N.C., and Austin Woody of Burlington, N.C., five bass, 20-8, $2,000
2nd: Adrian College – Matthew Davis, Saint Joseph, Mich., and Sam Shoemaker, Martinsville, Ind., five bass, 19-3, $1,000
3rd: Erskine College – Jeremy Dellinger, Denver, N.C., and Adam Seagle, Lincolnton, N.C., five bass, 17-1, $500
4th: King University – Tyler Altizer, Abingdon, Va., and Dylan Thomson, Shady Valley, Tenn., five bass, 16-11, $500
5th: Adrian College – Russel Buffa, Fenton, Mich., and Matt Mosby, Dryden, Mich., five bass, 15-9, $500
6th: Penn State University – Eric Wawrzyniak, Lebanon, Pa., and Jason Zubris, Plains, Pa., five bass, 15-0
7th: Virginia Tech – Ryan Feehan, Haymarket, Va., and Daniel Weber, Fredericksburg, Va., five bass, 14-14
8th: Radford University – Ruth Caudle, Pulaski, Va., and Alex Moss, Lambsburg, Va., five bass, 14-13
9th: Western Michigan University – Kurt Antonowitsch, Kalamazoo, Mich., and Cole Zagrzebski, Steven’s Point, Wis., five bass, 14-11
10th: Liberty University – Wyatt Kelley, Altavista, Va., and Broderick Luckey, Roanoke, Va., five bass, 14-8
Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Smith Mountain Lake was hosted by Destination Bedford. It was the second of three regular-season tournaments for Northern Conference anglers. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the Mississippi River July 29 in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
MLF College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top 10 teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open will advance to the following season’s National Championship. The 2022 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI National Championship Presented by Lowrance will be held on Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma, March 29-31, and is hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce.
Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.
For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.