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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 20, 2012 at 9:08 AM

Two Eastern Washington University fishing teams qualify for FLW West Regional Bass Championships

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Two Eastern Washington University Sportsman’s Club teams have each qualified for the FLW West Conference Regional Championship with fourth-place finishes at tournaments on California’s Lake Shasta and Arizona’s Lake Havasu.

If the bass-fishing teams of Jarred Walker and Robert Trukosiz and Nick Barr and Jesse Squires finish in the top-five at the regional competition then they have a chance to compete in the FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“This is huge. It’s the first time a team from Washington state has qualified two teams for a regional, period, and the first time our club has qualified,” said Barr, a sophomore majoring in business and the Sportsman’s Club president. “In both tournaments we’ve won cash for the club and qualified for the regional. In the next two tournaments we’re looking for a win and to bring home some money for the club.”

With the two top-five finishes the club was rewarded with $1,000 prizes. Regional winners are rewarded with a $25,000 Ranger 177TR bass boat equipped with a 90-horsepower motor; and the next four top teams receive either $3,000 or $5,000.

The national championship title is worth $50,000, the Ranger boat and $25,000 for their school. The championship team will also advance to the Forrest Wood Cup, the championship tournament for a nationwide professional bass-fishing circuit.

The EWU Sportsman’s Club hopes to introduce college-age students to the outdoors in general.

“In high school I was part of a club and it got people involved in the outdoors – camping, hunting, fishing, hiking -that wouldn’t have had the chance to do so otherwise,” said Barr, who attended Timberline High School near Lacey and who founded the EWU club last year.

To cover the costs of competitive bass fishing and local hunting and fishing trips the entire club participates in, members take part in fundraising events – the largest being this weekend’s Bighorn Show, where they sell raffle tickets for fully guided fishing trips, rods, reels and other outdoor equipment.

“The Sportsman’s Club is one of our most responsible and reliable clubs,” said Rick Scott, Coordinator of Club Sports at EWU. “They do a ton of fundraisers, community service projects, promotion and host quite a few events,”

This is the second year the club has participated in the FLW Collegiate Fishing Series.

The EWU Sportsman’s Club has volunteered to plant trees at the Turnbull Wild Life Refuge, helped state Fish and Wildlife at their Clear Lake Fishing Kids event, taught kids outdoor basics, volunteered for the Ronald McDonald House Meal Program, cooked dinner for families of children in local hospitals and has had members who teach seminars at local outdoors and boat shows.

“These guys deserve every bit of praise they receive,” said Scott.

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