Lake Texoma site for FLW collegiate bass tournament
A full field of college teams, including anglers representing seven Oklahoma schools, will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Southern Conference Championship tournament.
"The water levels are low right now," said Walmart FLW Tour pro Tom Redington of Royse City, Texas. "Texas is in a drought and a lot of the cover that is normally in play is out of the water. Anglers are going to have to choose whether to target smallmouth in the clear water near the lower end of the lake or run way up the arms into the stained water to target largemouth.
"The smallmouth seem to bite a lot better on the windy and nasty days," Redington said. "On the southern end of Texoma there are a lot of rocky banks and huge boulders, and you can kind of visually tell where the smallmouth live.
"The Alabama rig is always a big factor with the smallmouths. You can get so many good fish on it if they're biting it. Jerkbaits and finesse jigs are both good this time of year as well. Teams can also slow down with shaky head- or dropshot-rigs. The thing about the smallies, though, is that they're here today, gone tomorrow. You could locate them in practice, but they'll have disappeared by the time the tournament rolls around.
"The largemouth should be a little bit steadier, as it's classic winter prespawn tactics," Redington continued. "There are quite a few boat docks, so flipping docks could be a strong pattern. Or, you can target the little cover that remains with squarebill crankbaits, flipping jigs, pitching Texas rigs, spinnerbaits and ChatterBaits - classic power fishing."
Redington said that Lake Texoma will be a fun lake for college anglers because any team could win if they find the right fish, and estimated that the winning team would likely bring a stringer between 16 to 20 pounds to the scale.
"Teams aren't going to be offshore graphing honey holes to win this tournament," said Redington. "It's going to be mostly shallow-water power fishing. If it looks good - a dock, a laydown, a riprap bank - hit it. If there's nothing there, hit it an hour later, because something might have moved in."
Anglers will take off from Highport Marina located at 120 Texoma Harbor Drive in Pottsboro, Texas, at 7 a.m. Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Schools are allowed to register up until the morning of the tournament. Entries may be made either by phone or at CollegeFishing.com.
Schools currently registered to compete in the Lake Texoma tournament, which is hosted by the Denison Area Chamber of Commerce, include:
Colorado Mesa University - Josh Worth, Grand Junction, Colo., and Kennedy Kinkade, Midvale, Utah
East Central University - Wyatt Ryan and Hunter Fulton, both of Ada, Okla.
Harding University - Brayden Shelby, Memphis, Tenn., and Lane Carger, Searcy, Ark.
Henderson State University - Michael Gross, Gurdon, Ark., and Cobey Wingfield, Malvern, Ark.
Henderson State University - Theron Asbery, Grove, Okla., and William Stone, Arkadelphia, Ark.
Louisiana Tech University - Dustin Browning, Jonesboro, La., and Christopher Vallillo, Ruston, La.
Louisiana Tech University - Adam Forester, Pineville, La., and James Mathews, Ruston, La.
Northeastern State University - Devin Duncan and Dylan Duncan, both of Kansas, Okla.
Oklahoma State University - Spencer Randolph, Broken Arrow, Okla., and Cameron Deborde, Sapulpa, Okla.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University - J.C. Thompson and Cory Johnson, both of Calera, Okla.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University - Dwight Camp, Talihina, Okla., and Jonathan Furlong, Bixby, Okla.
Southern Arkansas University - Charles Swilley Jr., Cashdown, Ark., and Troy Elliott, Waldo, Ark.
Southern Arkansas University - Hunter Bruce, Paris, Texas, and Steven Self, Kirby, Ark.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University - Collin McFeeters, Thomas, Okla., and Chris Bradley, Osage, Okla.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University - Jeremy Guest, Collinsville, Okla., and Kenneth Kellems, Weatherford, Okla.
Southwestern Oklahoma State University - Mitchell Decker, Coweta, Okla., and Dalton Warrington, Thomas, Okla.
Stephen F. Austin State University - Jay Lawson, Corrigan, Texas, and Matthew Anthony, Colleyville, Texas
Stephen F. Austin State University - Tyler Woods, Mansfield, Texas, and Taylor Barton, Montgomery, Texas
Stephen F. Austin State University - Blake Schroeder, Cypress, Texas, and Alec Castonguay, Rockwell, Texas
Tarleton State University - Stetson Overton and Justin Seeton, both of Glen Rose, Texas
Tarleton State University - Marshall Hughes, Port Neches, Texas, and Tanner Crim, Devine, Texas
Texas A&M University - Garrett Nance, Pearland, Texas, and James Wittenborn, Haskell, Texas
Texas A&M University - Josh Bensema, Willis, Texas, and Matthew McArdle, College Station, Texas
Texas A&M University-Galveston - Garrett Goettee, Tomball, Texas, and Hugh Keller, Houston, Texas
Texas A&M University-Texarkana - Caleb Young, Maud, Texas, and Michael Wicks, Atlanta, Texas
Texas A&M University-Texarkana - Josh Cole and Logan Byrd, both of Texarkana, Texas
Texas State University - David Cosner, San Jose, Calif., and Sam Stone, Austin, Texas
Texas Tech University - Joseph Smith, Midland, Texas, and Donald Peters, Los Cruces, N.M.
University of Arkansas - Blake Kubiak, Crossett, Ark., and Drew Watt, Fayetteville, Ark.
University of Arkansas - Drew Porto, Colleyville, Texas, and Travis Harriman, Huntsville, Ark.
University of Central Oklahoma - Easton Ramsey, Oklahoma City, Okla., and Tanner McColl, Edmond, Okla.
University of Louisiana-Lafayette - Justin Mann, Lafayette, La., and Colby Drago, Livonia, La.
University of Louisiana-Lafayette - Jed Hebert and Neil Arnaud, Lafayette, La.
University of Oklahoma - Landon Dixon, Hinton, Okla., and Alex Edgeman, Sandpoint, Idaho
FLW College Fishing teams compete in qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences - Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western.
The top 15 teams from each regular-season tournament will qualify for one of five Conference Championship tournaments. The top 10 teams from each of the five Conference Championship tournaments will advance to the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
College Fishing is free to enter. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a fishing club recognized by their college or university.