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Kansas State University wins YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Wheeler Lake

Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media
Published June 3, 2017

The Kansas State University team of Travis Blenn of Westmoreland, Kansas, and Kyle Alsop of Overland Park, Kansas, weighed a five-bass limit Friday totaling 11 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the 2017 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship on Wheeler Lake presented by Lowrance C-Map Genesis. The Wildcat duo's three-day total of 15 bass for 44-12 gave them the win by a 1-pound, 12-ounce margin over the 2015 National Championship winners, Patrick Walters and Gettys Brannon from the University of South Carolina, who finished second with 15 bass for 43-0.

"This is the last college fishing tournament of my career," said Alsop, a recent engineering graduate. "To go out like this is just unbelievable."

"We didn't think that we had enough," said Blenn, a junior at Kansas State University. "We were lucky enough to get the big bites the last two days, but we just didn't get them today. I was sure that we needed one more. But sure enough, it was enough."

The Wildcat duo said that their key bait throughout the week was a green-pumpkin-colored Zoom Brush Hog, rigged three different ways - Carolina-rigged, Texas-rigged and on a Big Bite Baits Swing Head. They said that they caught their fish out deep on ledges in Decatur, flipping docks and dragging the Brush Hog in and around brush piles in a creek.

"All week long we threw the Brush Hog," Alsop said. "Today when it slowed down we picked up a shaky-head rig with a Big Bite (Baits) Super Stick on it, but the Brush Hog was the key. We dyed the tails chartreuse."

Blenn and Alsop will now advance to compete Saturday in a one-day fish-off against each other on Wilson Lake. The two anglers will weigh in at 3:25 p.m. prior to the final weigh in of the BFL All-American championship at Pickwick Lake. The winner will advance to compete at the Forrest Wood Cup.

"No matter what happens tomorrow, me and Kyle are good enough friends that it will all be good," Blenn said. "And if by chance I do beat him tomorrow, I think he's a good enough stick to make it there on his own, eventually."

"I hope to make a career in professional fishing," Alsop went on to say. "I'm going to start working to qualify for the Tour next year and we'll see how far I can make it. Tomorrow Travis and I are just going to go out and get after them and we'll see what happens."

The top 10 teams on Wheeler Lake finished:

  1st:  Kansas State University - Travis Blenn, Westmoreland, Kan., and Kyle Alsop, Overland Park, Kan., 15 bass, 44-12, Ranger Z175 w/90-horsepower Evinrude Outboard, Entry into 2017 Forrest Wood Cup

  2nd:  University of South Carolina - Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C., and Gettys Brannon, Gaffney, S.C., 15 bass, 43-0, $5,000

  3rd:  Bethel University - Evan Owrey, Jackson, Tenn., and Kristopher Queen, Catawba, N.C., 15 bass, 42-11, $4,000

  4th:  University of Louisiana-Monroe - Tyler Stewart and Nicholas Joiner, both of West Monroe, La., 15 bass, 38-5, $3,000

  5th:  East Texas Baptist University - Brett Clark, Center, Texas, and Jacob Keith, Jefferson, Texas, 15 bass, 38-3, $2,000

  6th:  University of Missouri - Gabriel Dubois, Mason, Ohio, and Brandon Heizer, Saint Louis, Mo., 15 bass, 37-6

  7th:  Slippery Rock University - Logan Pollman, Slippery Rock, Pa., and Tyler Sheppard, Hermitage, Pa., 15 bass, 34-3

  8th:  Murray State University - Chandler Christian, Owensboro, Ky., and Lance Freeman, Eddyville, Ky., 15 bass, 31-13

  9th:  Lamar University - Brandon Simoneaux, Bridge City, Texas, and Colby Ogden, Sour Lake, Texas, 12 bass, 31-2

  10th:  University of Oregon - Ryan Habenicht, Auburn, Calif., and Daniel Marshall, Eugene, Ore., 10 bass, 24-6

Full results and standings for the remaining field can be found at FLWFishing.com.