Over 300 fisherman from across the nation will be on Kentucky Lake this weekend for what organizers hope to be the largest college bass tournament of all-time.
The inaugural FLW college tournament is open to all eligible college teams, regardless of division or location. The event is free to any college team.
Murray State University will be represented by Seth Brock and Lance Freeman.
Freeman, a senior from Eddyville, says even though there will be a lot of boats on the water, it probably won’t change any teams’ chances when it comes down to catching bass.
“There’ll be a lot of teams done here, a lot of teams on spring break, there’ll be a lot of competition but at the end of the day in the this sport, it’s just a matter of who gets the right bites at the right time,” said Freeman.
At weigh in each day, anglers will be scored on the poundage of bass caught no matter what type.
“It's the best five bass: large mouth, small mouth or spotted bass over 15 inches long," said Freeman. "This competition is two days, a Friday and Saturday event, so they take the top biggest weighs over two days. From just talking around, it’s going take a little over 20 pounds a day. So an average of 4.5 to 5 pound fish a day is what you’ll have to do to win this tournament.”
Anglers who finish within the top 10 qualify to move on to the 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
Freeman says recent flooding and erosion have turned the water a muddy brown, which will factor into each teams strategy for choosing spots.
"It's really muddy right now, the best equivalent I can put to it is like putting milk over Cocoa Puffs, it's just turned a chocolate brown," said Freeman. "But that's in the back of the bays, if you go into these bays where it's just solid rock and not much dirt, it's a lot clearer."
Freeman says it's great for the surrounding community that a tournament this size is taking place on Kentucky Lake, which he says is one of the premier fisheries in the nation.
“It holds more good, quality fish then just about anywhere," said Freeman. "Kentucky is a big offshore lake, that’s why everybody comes here. Comparing it to other lakes, we’ve fished from just where it takes a few fish to win to places where it’s taken thirty and Kentucky Lake is in the upper half of a lot of places and a lot of fun for anybody to come and fish.”
The registration meeting is Thursday, March 19 from 4-6 p.m. at Moors Resort and Marina, with a pre-tournament meeting following registration at 6:15 p.m. The entire field of competitors will compete both days of the tournament. Teams must provide their own boat in order to compete.
Anglers will take off from Moors Resort and Marina located at 570 Moors Road in Gilbertsville, at 7 a.m. CDT each day. Weigh-in will be held lakeside each day beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The tournament is hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau.