29 College Bass Teams Fish in First Lone Star Spring Breakout


Mar 11, 2001
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Twenty-Nine College Bass Teams Fish in First Lone Star Spring Breakout


BELTON, Texas ) - The inaugural Lone Star Collegiate Spring Breakout bass tournament presented by BoatU.S. Angler held on Lake Belton last Friday had its start delayed nearly two hours due to early morning fog, but neither the wait nor the blanket of cover curbed the enthusiasm of the 29 teams representing 12 schools that were here to participate.

By day's end, it was the Texas A&M (College Station) team of Justin Rackley and Kenny Stewart that won the event with a five bass limit weighing 13.40 pounds. Their weight was one-half pound better than the Texas Tech (Lubbock) team of Jacob Szot and Dustin Cotton, who finished second with 12.90 pounds. Rackley was also on the Texas A&M team that won the BoatU.S. National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship last Fall on Texas' Lake Lewisville.

"We concentrated on finding pockets of warmer water and found some in the 62-64 degree range," said Rackley about his team's strategy. "That's where we'd find the shad and we caught our fish on baits in shad colors. Some came on Lake Fork Tackle's Magic Shad swimbait and a Bomber 5A crankbait, but we also caught some quality keepers on spinnerbaits and Mizmo Big Boy white tubes that we flipped around timber and lay-downs up in the Cowhouse Creek area. We had a fun day of fishing."

Rounding out the top five places were: 3rd - Stephen F. Austin State University's (Nacogdoches) Kyle Turner and Greg Fletcher with 12.56 pounds, 4th - Tarleton State University's (Stephenville) Cole Koenig and Kyle Barfield with 12.15 pounds, and 5th - Texas A&M's Arthur Potts and Scott Edmonds with 11.80 pounds.

The one-day tournament was scheduled to coincide with spring break for most Texas universities, but the fact that it also attracted teams from Kentucky, Louisiana and Missouri once again serves as proof that collegiate bass fishing is becoming an institution of its own. The tournament is one of several regional college bass events being held around the country in 2008, and this one was filmed for television by Careco Multimedia, to be aired starting in September on FOX College Sports.

Among the Lake Belton participants were four teams from Texas A&M, one from Texas A&M - Kingsville, four from Stephen F. Austin, six from Tarleton State, three from Texas Tech, three from the University of Texas (Austin), one from the University of Texas - Arlington, one from North Central Texas College (Corinth), two from Baylor University (Waco), one from Drury University (Springfield, Mo.), two from the University of Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) and one from Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, La.).

A "team" consists of two persons fishing from the same boat, but in certain cases one angler is allowed to fish upon approval by the tournament director due to extenuating circumstances affecting a partner's participation.

Most of the teams found the fishing on Lake Belton to be extremely good, with 16 teams catching their five-fish limits. Although the lake is relatively small, it offers a diversity of structure and cover, allowing anglers to fish a wide variety of techniques and baits. Big bass honors - a 4.14 pound fish - for the tournament went to the Stephen F. Austin team of Kendell Wleczyk and Ben Newsom, earning each an American Rodsmith rod and Abu Garcia Revo baitcast reel.

While catching fish and beating rival schools are the main objectives of most college bass fishing teams in competitions such as this, there are also often prize rewards for many of the top finishers. In the Texas Spring Breakout event, the top five places received Cabela's gift cards. Plus, teams that finished in fifth through ninth were awarded Sperry sport shoes. Tenth place was awarded a Sebile gift pack of quality fishing lures, and the 15th place team received two Aviva Fishin' Buddy remote controlled fishing boats.

Several of the teams reported they were taking full advantage of spring break to get some other fishing in, too, especially on two popular Texas-Mexico border lakes. The Kentucky teams said they had been on Lake Falcon prior to this tournament, while many of the Texas teams said they were headed straight to Lake Amistad following the Belton weigh-in.

"No doubt about it, these kids love to fish," said collegiate tournament director Wade Middleton. "I can't say enough about how refreshing it is to see the high level of passion these college students have for the sport. With what I'm seeing from these young anglers, I'm thinking bass fishing and the outdoor industry is going to be in good hands for a long time."

The Lone Star Spring Breakout event was sponsored by BoatU.S., BoatU.S. Angler, Cabela's, Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Garmin, Costa Del Mar, Pioneer Beef Jerky, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Fenwick, Sperry Top-Sider, Stearns, EGO Nets, Sebile, American Rodsmiths, Aviva Fishin' Buddy, Biosonix, Bill Lewis Lures, Gene Larew Lures, Nemire Lures, Power Pole, Gary's Marine, and the Belton Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about college bass fishing and other upcoming regional tournaments, visit www.collegiatebasschampionship.com.

Media Contact:
Gary or Crystal Dollahon (866) 907-1605

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