The Hardin-Simmons University team of Randy Sullivan of Breckenridge, and Hubbell Allen of Abilene, won the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference Invitational on Sam Rayburn Reservoir Sunday with a five-bass limit weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces.
Their two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30-13 earned the club $4,000 and qualified the team for the 2014 FLW College Fishing National Championship.
The Cowboy bass club’s 2013 season has been one of the most successful campaigns ever recorded in College Fishing history. In the four events held in the Southern Conference this season, Sullivan and Allen have now won two and finished second in another.
“We started this club last year and we were not nearly as good as we thought we were going to be,” said Allen, a sophomore History major. “It was a bit of an eye-opener, and we were determined to change that this season. We have put in a lot of time this year — studying, graphing, pre-fishing — and it seems to be paying off for us.”
“We’ve been much smarter in managing our time this season,” said Sullivan, a junior majoring in Economics. “We’re doing our homework and when we start these tournaments I feel like I know exactly what we need to do.”
The Hardin-Simmons duo credited their Lowrance HDS electronics as being the key to their victory at Sam Rayburn.
“We spent a lot of time during practice staring at the StructureScan,” Sullivan continued. “We knew that the big fish would be out deep, so we concentrated on staying deep. Our key area was a clay point that had a deep 18- to 25-foot treeline. The big fish weren’t in the trees, but around them.”
“We had four or five other areas from our practice, but our main area was right near Twin Dikes Public Ramp,” Allen added. “A big cold front came through last night, and we couldn’t fish our areas nearly as good today, though. We were forced to go to plan B and just scratch out a limit. We only had two keepers and we were starting to worry, but we caught three keepers right around 1 p.m. and knew we had a good shot.”
Sullivan and Allen said the majority of their fish came this week fishing Chartreuse Sexy Shad-colored Strike King 6XDs, but a few came today via an unnamed green pumpkin-colored football-head jig.
“We’re not sure where the National Championship is going to be yet, but we’ll be ready,” Allen went on to say. “We’ll make sure to spend some time there pre-fishing and idling around just marking areas.”
The top 10 teams that advanced to the College Fishing National Championship are:
1st: Hardin-Simmons University – Randy Sullivan, Breckenridge, Texas, and Hubbell Allen, Abilene, Texas (10 bass, 30-13, $4,000)
2nd: University of Oklahoma – Landon Dixon, Hinton, Okla., and Paul Muzijakovich, Wagoner, Okla. (10 bass, 27-4, $2,000)
3rd: Dallas Baptist University – Trent Newman, Midlothian, Texas, and Jacob Sepeda, Roby, Texas (nine bass, 22-13, $1,000)
4th: Arkansas Tech University – Ryan Dorsett, Woodlawn, Ark., and Evan Barnes, Russellville, Ark. (10 bass, 22-8, $1,000)
5th: University of Louisiana-Monroe – Nick Ladart and Brian Eaton, both of Monroe, La. (nine bass, 19-10, $1,000)
6th: Texas A&M University – Cole Temple, Bryan, Texas, and Zachary Wymer, Southlake, Texas (nine bass, 19-6)
7th: Lamar University – Justin Royal, Evadale, Texas, and Colby Ogden, Kountze, Texas (eight bass, 18-1)
8th: Northern University of North Texas – Michael Worley, Bedford, Texas, and Branden Barnett, Denton, Texas (10 bass, 17-2)
9th: Henderson State University – Shane Stoddard, Hot Springs, Ark., and Cobey Wingfield, Malvern, Ark. (seven bass, 16-2)