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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 19, 2009 at 10:37 AM

WSU team wins the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Division tournament

The Washington State University team of Ryan Bernsen of Burbank and Kyle Wright of Pasco won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Division tournament on Lake Oroville this past weekend.

Bernsen and Wright caught six bass weighing 10 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the school and the school’s bass-fishing club. They plan to purchase some new rod and reels and additional gear for their club with the winnings.

The team now advances for the Western Regional Championship in September.

The other top five teams were: Chico State – Mike Reis and Marshal Smith of Chico, Calif. (six bass, 9-15, $5,000); Sonoma State University – Alex Christianson and Alan Kuramura of Cotati, Calif. (six bass, 9-11, $4,000); UC Davis – Steve Reed and Ken Gunderson of Chico, Calif. (three bass, 9-6, $3,000); and San Jose State University – Nick Burggraff and Alex Thiemann of San Jose, Calif. (six bass, 9-5, $2,000).

Full time students enrolled in four year colleges or universities are eligible to participate in the events. Schools in each division can send two-person teams to each of the four qualifying events in their division, with each event limited to a maximum of 40 teams. Each team will have an opportunity to win $10,000 for first and $2,000 through fifth place.

The prize money will be split evenly between the winning team’s club and the school they represent. The tournaments are free to enter, boats and drivers will be provided and all collegiate teams will receive a travel allowance. The top five teams in each of the qualifying events will advance to one of five televised three-day FLW National Guard Regional Championships.

Each school represented in a televised Regional Championship will have team shirts and boats provided by Ranger. The purse for each Regional Championship will be a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors for the winning club and $25,000 for the school they represent. Awards of $6,000 will also extend through fifth place for the club and school to split evenly.

The FLW National Guard College Fishing National Championship will be a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. The teams will be provided with team shirts and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition. The purse for the championship will range from $25,000 cash and a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Yamaha outboard wrapped in school colors and $50,000 for the school they represent to $15,000 for fifth, split between the club and school.

The winning team will be declared the FLW National Guard Collegiate National Champion and will qualify for the $2.5 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol in 2010. The winners will also receive use of a wrapped boat and Chevy truck for the Forrest Wood Cup.

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