The Emmanuel College duo of Seth Jenkins of Townville, South Carolina, and T.J. McKenzie of Andrews, South Carolina, won the MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the Harris Chain of Lakes Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 14 ounces. The victory earned the Lion’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2023 MLF College Fishing National Championship.
A total of 189 teams participated in this event, which was the largest season-opening field in MLF College Fishing history.
The Emmanuel College team had hoped to bag a limit of 30 pounds during competition, but their five fish weighed enough to give them a 1-ounce victory over Webber International University.
“We had the mindset that we didn’t want to come in with less than 30 pounds, because that’s what usually wins these college tournaments,” Jenkins said. “That was our complete drive all week.
“We had two offshore spots that we fished all day, and we alternated between those two spots every hour and a half,” Jenkins added. “We had people fishing down our stretches all day, but they were power-fishing and we were fishing slow. We probably spent a minute and a half on each cast.”
Jenkin said his bait of choice was a 6th Sense Ridge Worm, while McKenzie focused on a Zoom Speed Worm.
“We know for a fact there are bigger fish where we were fishing,” Jenkins said. “I think if we would have had two more hours we probably would have caught a fish over 8 pounds. But that didn’t happen.
“Our whole conversation idling back through the canal was that we were expecting a top-10 finish. We weren’t expecting to win, but we kept grinding all day.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:
- 1st: Emmanuel College – Seth Jenkins of Townville, South Carolina, and T.J. McKenzie of Andrews, South Carolina, five bass, 25-14, $2,000
- 2nd: Webber International University – Vincent Maffei, Lake Wales, Fla., and Andrew Ready, Auburndale, Fla., five bass, 25-13, $1,000
- 3rd: Florida Gateway College – Zack Barrera, Morriston, Fla., and Bryson Osteen, Live Oak, Fla., five bass, 25-9, $500
- 4th: University of Montevallo – Nicholas Dumke and Easton Fothergill, both of Grand Rapids, Minn., five bass, 22-1, $500
- 5th: University of Montevallo – Jack Alexander, Mountain Brook, Ala., and Brody Robison, Dawson, Ala., five bass, 20-14, $500
- 6th: Florida Gateway College – Seth Slanker and Jackson Swisher, both of Lake City, Fla., five bass, 20-3
- 7th: Carson Newman University – Ben Cully, Rockwall, Texas, and Hayden Gaddis, Dandridge, Tenn., five bass, 18-9
- 8th: Emmanuel College – Brooks Anderson, Marietta, Ga., and Parker Guy, Ocilla, Ga., five bass, 18-3
- 9th: Erskine College – Jeremy Dellinger, Denver, N.C., and Adam Seagle, Lincolnton, N.C., five bass, 18-1
- 10th: Florida State University – Luke McDaniel, Fort Myers, Fla., and Tanner Scarborough, Winter Haven, Fla., five bass, 17-15
MLF also advances one additional team to the National Championship for every 10 teams over 100 that compete. A total of 189 teams participated in this event, so also advancing to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:
- 11th: University of Montevallo – Ryan Branch, Chelsea, Ala., and Kopeland Rosser, Helena, Ala., five bass, 17-9
- 12th: Auburn University – James Cobbs and Conner Crosby, both of Auburn, Ala., five bass, 17-1
- 13th: Georgetown College – Cameron Cornelius, Mount Vernon, Ky., and Tyler Greenlee, Paris, Ky., five bass, 16-6
- 14th: University of Montevallo – Tyler Cory, Amherst, Wis., and Scott Sledge, Greenwood, Ind., five bass, 16-3
- 15th: University of Tennessee – Garrett Lewis, Knoxville, Tenn., and Chad Sentell, Cottontown, Tenn., five bass, 16-2
- 16th: Bryan College – Caleb Bridges and Jacob Davidson, both of Lebanon, Tenn., five bass, 15-14
- 17th: Emannuel College – Kollin Smith, Bowersville, Ga., and Gabe Sowash, Gainesville, Ga., five bass, 15-4
- 18th: Bryan College – Andrew Fisher, Calhoun, Ga., and Elijah Kirk, Chattanooga, Tenn., five bass, 15-1
Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the Harris Chain of Lakes was hosted by Lake County, Florida. It was the first of three regular-season tournaments for Southeastern Conference anglers. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Toledo Bend, Jan. 21 in Many, Louisiana.
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.
For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com.