One of college fishing’s bigger tournaments is going to have a definite western Pennsylvania flair.
The FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Championship is set for Sept. 12-13 on the Chesapeake Bay. A number of local schools and local anglers have qualified to be there.
Teams advance to the conference title event by finishing in the top 15 at one of three regional qualifiers.
The third and final of those was held Aug. 1 on Lake Chautauqua in New York. It was won by a team from Christopher Newport University in Virginia.
But finishing in fifth place was a Penn State University team made up of Lance Brosious of Sunbury and Derek Horner of Port Matilda. Ninth was taken by another Penn State team, made up of Sean Cummins of Huntingdon and Maurice Hudson Jr. of Broomall, while 11th went to the Slippery Rock University team of Joel Hixon of Butler and Evan Kretz of Allison Park.
Finishing 19th – but qualifying for the conference championship anyway because some of the team ahead of them were already in – were Robbie Petrick of Imperial and Sam Tunnacliff of the University of Dayton.
Other local teams qualified for the championship earlier.
The second Northern Conference event was held July11 on Indian Lake in Ohio. It was won by a team from Miami University of Ohio.
Finishing 12th and qualifying was a Slippery Rock team made up of Kyle Brown of Wexford and Tyler Sheppard of Hermitage. Also making the cut at 15th was a Penn State team of Cummins and Brownsville’s Matt Bakewell.
The first of the conference qualifiers was held in May on Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia. There, Penn State’s Cummins and Broomall finished second, while the West Virginia University team of Jacob Marshall of Morgantown and Matthew Combs of Huber Heights, Ohio, finished sixth.
Finishing 15th and qualifying was a team from Mansfield University that included James Grassi of Cabot in Butler County.
Getting to the conference championship is a big deal.
Sixty teams compete from conferences across the country. The winning team gets tens of thousands of dollars and bass boats for its school.
One individual angler will have the chance to really cash in, though.
The members of the winning team then compete against each other in a one-day fish-off. The one that brings in the heaviest bag get a spot in the Forrest Wood Cup, FLW’s premier professional tournament, with a top prize of $500,000.
Slippery Rock anglers at the Lake Chautauqua weigh-ins.