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Arkansas Collegiate Series 2016 Summary

Posted by Scott Jones on July 28, 2017 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Arkansas River at Pine Bluff - 8/27/16


Mason Williams and Ty Towers with Henderson State University win the first Arkansas Collegiate Series qualifier on the Arkansas River at Pine Bluff with 9.54 lbs! Twenty-seven teams from nine institutions were met with what looked like ideal conditions; cooler weather with cloud cover in the morning and light flow on the river. The bite turned out to be more difficult than anticipated with many teams having a hard time finding keeper-sized fish. Only five teams were able to weigh limits. Rounding out the top-three teams were Zach Hines and Reed Foster with Dallas Baptist University with 8.68 lbs, and Justin Lambert and Cole Sanders with the University of Arkansas at Monticello with 8.47 lbs. The next event will be on Bull Shoals launching out of the Boat Dock ramp on September 24, 2016.


Click here for complete results

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Bull Shoals - 9/24/16


Ethan Stokes and Phillip Gottsponer with Arkansas Tech University win the largest Arkansas Collegiate Series tournament ever at Bull Shoals with a gorgeous bag of smallmouth weighing 14.97 lbs! Bull Shoals was generous this weekend considering the number of boats on the water. Thirty-nine collegiate teams from thirteen institutions in Arkansas, Texas and Missouri shared water with another tournament on a beautiful, warm day. Fifteen teams weighed limits of largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass. Two consecutive 3rd place finishes for Justin Lambert and Cole Sanders with the University of Arkansas at Monticello, including a 13.69 lb bag today, puts them on top of the Team of the Year pile, for now, with a one point lead. Chad Paulson and Jared Penton with East Texas Baptist University finished 2nd with a solid 14.57 lb limit, which included today's big bass of 3.91 lbs. The final qualifier for the 2016 season will be on Lake Ouachita launching from Crystal Springs on October 15th.


Click here for complete results

Click here for cumulative standings

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Ouachita - 10/15/16


Taylor Culbreath and Travis Cross from the University of Arkansas at Monticello win the final Arkansas Collegiate Series Qualifier for 2016 on Lake Ouachita with 11.63 lbs! The team survived a dead fish penalty to hold off University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's Cody Salzmann and Justin Thomas's 11.15 lb day. Shelby Hutchens and Jose Hernandez finished up third with 10.16 lbs. Twenty-six teams from nine institutions in Arkansas and Texas participated with over $1,300 worth of cash and prizes awarded. Next is the two-day, School-of-the-Year sanctioned, Championship on Lake Dardanelle November 5th and 6th.


Click here for complete results

Click here for final standings

Click here for photos


CHAMPIONSHIP

Lake Dardanelle - 11/5/16 - 11/6/16


The 2016 Team of the Year, Zach Hines and Reed Foster from Dallas Baptist University, dominate the Arkansas Collegiate Series Championship leading wire to wire! Drama and surprises were in store for the 29 teams that took off Saturday morning for day one of the two-day Championship. Hines and Reed were the only constant, one of only two teams to weigh a limit in every single day of competition this season. They jumped on the day one lead with a solid 16.28 lb limit. Jordan Ogle and Samuel Scott from Arkansas Tech University locked down to bag their 15.21 lb limit, which included what would be the big bass of the weekend at 5.64 lbs, good enough for second place after day-one. Tyler Hammers, fishing solo, from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith settled into third with a 13.21 lb limit.


The story of day two was who at the top of the standings would be able to hold on to their position, and who would successfully navigate the lock system. Ogle and Scott gave up on the south pool early after seeing that barge traffic was going to put their 3:00 weigh-in time at risk. Although their decision was a wise one, they were not able to replicate their success in the Dardanelle pool, weighing three fish for 5.45 lbs and a two-day total of 20.66 lbs and settling in to third. Hammers also only brought three in on day two, but they were good ones, for 9.68 lbs and a two-day total of 22.89 lbs. Hines and Foster struggled on day two, but they managed to hang on with a limit weighing 7.87 lbs and a two-day total of 24.15 lbs. Every river-tournament angler's nightmare came true for Trent Newman and Nathan Wood from Dallas Baptist University. Their 12.37 lb day-two bag was completely wiped out by a 13 minute late penalty from being held up at the lock due to barge traffic... they would have won the tournament with a two-day total of 24.59 lbs. Instead, they finished 9th.


This concludes the 2016 Arkansas Collegiate Series season. We averaged 31 boats at each event, and nearly $4,000 in cash and prizes was awarded at the Championship alone. If you are a college angler in Arkansas, or neighboring states, we would love to see you next fall! Find us on Facebook by searching Arkansas Collegiate Tournament Series or check out the Arkansas Collegiate Series page on the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Fishing Team's website.


We are grateful for support from several sources including: the Association of Collegiate Anglers, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture and Fisheries Department, Appollo's Shield, Big Bite Baits, BoatUS, Booyah, Cabela's, Costa Del Mar, Dobyns, Frogg Toggs, Hi-Seas, Lew's, Lockett Lures, Mustang Survival, Sebile, Sunline, Trokar, and Gary Yamamoto Baits.


Click here for complete results

Click here for photos


Each year, a comprehensive evaluation of the Arkansas Collegiate Series is performed to make sure that the ACS is serving its anglers the best it can each year. This evaluation is a critical step in the ACS's adaptive philosophy. Responses to the angler survey made available at the end of each season guide rule and procedural changes for the following year.


Click here for a PDF version of the 2015 ACS Program Evaluation

UAPB Fishing Team Now Represents Dobyn's Rods

Posted by Scott Jones on March 28, 2017 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

UAPB Fishing is happy to represent Dobyns Rods! Dobyns has become one of the industry leaders in quality and technique-specific rods. They are best known for their incredible premium rod lines, the Champion Extreme ($339.99 - $359.99) and Champion ($229.99 - $289.99). However, their new mid-grade line, the Sierra ($159.99 - $179.99) which is replacing the highly popular Savvy line, provides the feel of a premium rod without the premium price. The $109.99 - $119.99 Fury line features many of the most popular actions from the premium lines with a much lower price. Check out the different lines available on their website and feel the Dobyns difference by visiting Arkansas (and nearby) retailers: (Trader Bills 1530 Albert Pike Rd., Hot Springs, AR 71913, Phone: 501-623-8403) (Fish N Stuff 6506 Warden Rd., Sherwood, AR 72120, Phone: 501-834-5733) (Bass Mafia Tackle 3005 West Parkway Dr., Russelville, AR 72802, Phone: 479-890-1697) (Sportsmans Warehouse 130 Marathon Way, Southhavent, MS 38671, Phone: 662-349-5500) (Elite Fishing 5839 Lilien Bend, Arlington, TN 38002, Phone: 901-451-0151) (Baits & Blades 3302 Richmond Rd., Texarakana, TX 75503, Phone: 903-832-4545)

Alumni Finish 32nd in 2016 Bassmaster Toyota Bonus Bucks Team Championship

Posted by Scott Jones on March 28, 2017 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

UAPB Fishing Team alumni Scott Jones (also current team adviser) and Dustin Cauthon (2014 graduate) still have it, finishing 32nd out of 186 teams in the 2016 Bassmaster Toyota Bonus Bucks Team Championship held on Kentucky Lake out of Paris, TN! The team earned entry to this event by finishing 3rd in overall points in the 2016 Arkansas Bass Team Trail. Full results here: https://www.bassmaster.com/sites/default/files/final_champ_standings.pdf

Arkansas Collegiate Series 2015 Summary

Posted by Scott Jones on July 11, 2016 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Arkansas Collegiate Series 2015

Arkansas River at Pine Bluff - 8/29/15

 

Arkansas Tech wins the opening qualifier for the 2015 Arkansas Collegiate Series!

 

A great field of 22 collegiate teams met for an early-semester contest launching from Regional Park on the Arkansas River at Pine Bluff. Despite favorable conditions for late summer, competition from locals and two other tournaments added to the already difficult task of bringing in a limit. The winning team of Phillip Gottsponer and Cole Johnson from Arkansas Tech started off hot landing 4 keepers early in the day fishing shallow vegetation and woody cover off of the main channel of the river. As the day progressed, their bites slowed and they managed two more keepers, including the event’s 3.88 lb big bass from a deep rock pile for a 12.41 lb total weight. Michael Mata and Dax Baker from Arkansas Tech only bagged three keepers, but they were the size necessary to win. Mata and Baker quickly bagged two keepers using frogs around docks and shallow vegetation before 8 am. They spent the rest of their day hitting jetties with various lures to find their third fish for a 9.07 lb total and a 2nd place finish. Travis Harriman and Chaz Miller from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville were part of a two-way tie for 3rd place with a 7.87 lb limit. Harriman and Miller worked jetties most of the day with squarebills for their fish, and their 4th combined top-3 finish in Arkansas Collegiate Series tournaments since 2013. The other half of the 3rd place tie, Zac Gober and Dalton Craig from Arkansas Tech, ran all over the place bagging fish from the main channel and the harbor, eventually finishing out their limit late in the day.

 

The next qualifier for the Arkansas Collegiate Series will be held at Lake Brewer on 9/12/15. Teams wanting to compete in the Association of Collegiate Anglers Team of the Year-qualified ACS Championship must compete in at least two ACS qualifiers to earn entry. In the 2014-2015 season, over $1,300 in cash and prizes were awarded at the ACS Championship. The Arkansas Collegiate Series is hosted by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture and Fisheries Center through the efforts of the UAPB Fishing Team.

 

Click here for complete results

 

Click here for photos

 

Brewer Lake - 9/12/15

 

Dallas Baptist wins on Lake Brewer!

 

A beautiful morning unfolded for the second stop of the 2015 Arkansas Collegiate Series as 29 teams took off for competition. The bites came early and they came often for most of the teams; the trick was negotiating the slot limit regulation. Travis Harriman​ and Chaz Miller​ with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville located a brush pile that yielded every fish they weighed in. Travis said that they visited the pile several times throughout the day and every once in a while it provided them with another solid keeper, eventually leading to an 11.37 lb bag and a third place finish. Ronnie Gray​ and Ryan Dorsett​ with Arkansas Tech University attacked shallow water early, capitalizing on aggressive schooling fish to bag a quick limit of small ones. They cycled through brush piles later in the day to catch their two biggest fish, including the big bass of the tournament weighing 5.26 lbs, and a total weight of 12.11 lbs for a second place finish. Zackery Hines​ and Nathan Wood with Dallas Baptist University located a pair of channel swings that yielded fish throughout the day. A combination of square-bills, shakey heads and jigs helped them bag the win with 13.74 lbs. Zach said the key was the presence of baitfish that helped to continuously reload those locations with quality-sized bass.

 

The next qualifier for the Arkansas Collegiate Series will be held at Lake Beaver on 10/10/15. Students wanting to compete in the Association of Collegiate Anglers School of the Year-qualified ACS Championship must compete in at least two ACS qualifiers to earn entry. In the 2014-2015 season, over $1,300 in cash and prizes were awarded at the ACS Championship. The Arkansas Collegiate Series is hosted by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture and Fisheries Center through the efforts of the UAPB Fishing Team.

 

Click here for complete results

 

Click here for cumulative standings

 

Click here for photos

 

Beaver Lake - 10/10/15

 

Dallas Baptist wins on Beaver Lake!

 

Patchy fog and boats from another large tournament covered much of the lake as 25 college teams set out for competition. Several teams mentioned that bites were not too difficult to come by, but keeper-sized fish were. Michael Mata and Dax Baker with Arkansas Tech University found schooling fish first thing in the morning and managed to bag 4 keepers by 8:30. The rest of the day was more difficult, but they managed to cull a few times before time expired to bring their final weight to 5.84 lbs, good enough for third place. Hunter Hanby and Cameron Nesterenko with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville said their day was very difficult despite getting many bites. They managed to land their 5 keepers using topwaters early and dropshots later in the day on their way to a 5.93 lb total and a second place finish. Trent Newman and Nathan Wood with Dallas Baptist University said that they had the fish on that would have given them a 10 to 12 lb limit many times over but execution and poor luck problems lead to many missed opportunities. Luckily for Newman and Wood, the surprisingly low weights for the day minimized the impact of their execution problems and they squeaked out a win with 6.16 lbs and the big bass of the day weighing 3.20 lbs.

 

The Team of the Year race came down to the wire. Travis Harriman and Chaz Miller with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Ronnie Grey and Ryan Dorsett with Arkansas Tech University came into the weekend 1st and 2nd in the standings, respectively, separated by only 1 point. Third place Michael Mata and Dax Baker with Arkansas Tech University were trailing by 4 points but were still well in the hunt. The teams of Harriman and Miller, and Grey and Dorsett, both stumbled at Beaver bringing in only 2 fish each. The strong third place finish at Beaver jumped Mata and Baker up the standings to claim the 2015 Arkansas Collegiate Series Team of the Year title by a 2 point margin. Mata and Baker will be awarded a plaque and they will lead the field at take-off both days of the 2015 ACS Championship on Lake Dardanelle on November 7th and 8th. Students wanting to compete in the Association of Collegiate Anglers School of the Year-qualified ACS Championship must have competed in at least two ACS qualifiers to earn entry. In the 2014-2015 season, over $1,300 in cash and prizes were awarded at the ACS Championship. The Arkansas Collegiate Series is hosted by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Aquaculture and Fisheries Center through the efforts of the UAPB Fishing Team.

 

 

Click here for complete results

 

Click here for final standings

 

Click here for photos

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

Lake Dardanelle - 11/7/15 - 11/8/15

 

Jordan Ogle and Carson Chandler from Arkansas Tech University WIN the 2015 Arkansas Collegiate Series Championship on Lake Dardanelle with a 2-day total of 22.74!

 

The 2015 Arkansas Collegiate Series is a wrap, and it has been the best year since the ACS was created. We averaged 47 students, 25 teams, and 7 schools from 2 states at each event. Based on survey responses, it is estimated that the ACS contributed between $27,649 and $36,861 in net economic benefit to the state of Arkansas during the 2015 season.

 

Several people/groups have helped make this a great little circuit and they all deserve recognition. The UAPB Aquaculture and Fisheries Department, part of the UAPB - School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences has provided funding since 2011 to cover professional-grade weigh-in scales, displays, and travel funding for the director. The Association of Collegiate Anglers (Cabela's Collegiate Bass Fishing Series) has designated the ACS Championship as a School of the Year-qualified event for several years now and they have also arranged prize packages for the past two years featuring products from Cabela's, Berkley Fishing, Lazer Trokar, and more. HI-SEAS has provided prize packages of line for every tournament in 2015. Southeast Engravers in Pine Bluff, Arkansas has built our beautiful trophies for the past three years and they are always a pleasure to do business with. Finally, a huge thank you is necessary for the work that Aaron Porterfield and Dustin Cauthon, current president and vice-president respectively, of the UAPB Fishing Team for their assistance with every weigh-in this season. They were always in place and ready to help on time even after several difficult tournament days where a lack of enthusiasm and effort would be understandable. I am extremely happy with their work ethic on and off the water that culminated in an out-of-nowhere great finish on the final day of the 2015 Championship on Dardanelle where they weighed the biggest bag of the two-day tournament for a 7th place overall finish. One more example of why the cliche, "NEVER GIVE UP," should always be on the top shelf of every angler's tackle box.

 

Click here for complete results

 

Click here for photos

 

Each year, a comprehensive evaluation of the Arkansas Collegiate Series is performed to make sure that the ACS is serving its anglers the best it can each year. This evaluation is a critical step in the ACS's adaptive philosophy. Responses to the angler survey made available at the end of each season guide rule and procedural changes for the following year.

 

Click here for a PDF version of the 2015 ACS Program Evaluation

REAL REVIEW: HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon

Posted by Scott Jones on June 22, 2016 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The UAPB Fishing Team is like every other collegiate club, we're always hunting for sponsors to help our students save some money while promoting businesses who support youth fishing. However, we also warn our sponsors that we do not praise products that under-perform just because they're from a sponsor, just like we don't unfairly bash products from competing brands. That policy results in product reviews that are honest and backed by at least several weeks of on-the-water testing in casual and competitive scenarios.


This REAL REVIEW focuses on HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon. For the past several months, members of the team have been testing every weight of line from 8 to 20 lb test. The consensus is that although HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon is a thicker diameter per lb test than other popular brands of fluorocarbon, it is also one of the strongest and most sensitive fluorocarbons our members have ever used.


When it was introduced, fluorocarbon was advertised as having virtually no stretch. We know now that is not entirely true and some of the most popular fluorocarbons, Seaguar InvizX for example, have a noticeable amount of stretch. HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon appears to be a higher density than other brands, it certainly stretches less than any form of Seaguar, is more sensitive than most fluorocarbons, and very-well may be the most abrasion resistant fluorocarbon available. Also, despite being thicker than most brands, HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon still casts surprisingly well and has no more memory than other popular brands in their heavier lines.


In the latest Arkansas Bass Team Trail tournament on Lake Dardanelle, alumni using HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon in 20 lb test were swimming jigs through shallow lily pads and bagged 17.37 lbs including a 5.9 lb kicker that wrapped itself around a small limb that was then dragged through lily pad stems for 10 feet before it was netted. Despite the fish thrashing back and forth on the limb during the fight, the line was not damaged at all. A team member also landed a 4 to 5 lb bowfin (lots of teeth and an angry disposition) after pulling it over a limb and through a bush while using 12 lb test several months ago. While not that impressive for a 15 to 20 lb line, that is a lot to ask of 12 lb test.


The drawback to HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon is that it is noticeably larger in diameter per lb test than any other popular fluorocarbon. This is likely to make deep crankbaits run a few inches shallower than they would with other brands' thinner diameter lines. Also, the very low stretch of this line and high sensitivity may not be ideal for cranking applications. Hook-up and landing rates tend to improve on crankbaits with less sensitive rods with less sensitive stretchy lines. The smaller crankbait hooks are easily pulled out when anglers feel the initial strike and set the hook too quickly or too violently, and when fish make hard runs close to the boat. For this reason, it might be best to look elsewhere for cranking lines.


In summary, HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon is extremely strong, extremely sensitive and casts well despite its larger diameter. It excels as a flipping and pitching line and can be trusted in heavy cover to resist abrasion even in lighter lb tests. The price per pack is comparable to lines from Seaguar, Sunline, and other top brands and in some cases cheaper if you shop around.


You can find HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon on TackleWarehouse


Our review not enough? Check out Wired2fish's review of HI-SEAS 100% Fluorocarbon

REAL REVIEW: Lew's Tournament MB Speed Spool LFS Series

Posted by Scott Jones on May 1, 2015 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

This year Lew's released the all-new Tournament MB LFS. After putting these reels to use for the past several weeks in casual and tournament settings, we feel that we can fairly review them. And, in short, they’re fantastic!

The Tournament MB LFS weighs 6.7 oz, packs 10 bearings, has both magnetic and centrifugal braking, can hold 120 to 150 yards of 12 lb test line depending on which model you choose, and has a 14 lb drag system. The best part is that all of this comes in at a retail price of only $139.99. This is $20 cheaper than the Abu Garcia Revo SX and $40 cheaper than the Shimano Curado, the two industry standards for dependable tournament-level baitcasting reels. Although the new Tournament MB LFS has a long way to go to prove it can stand up to regular use like the beloved Revo SX’s and Curado’s have, the dependability of other Lew’s reel models since their re-emergence the last few years leads us to believe that the Tournament MB LFS will also hold up well.

The functionality of the Tournament MB LFS is excellent. We reviewed the Lew’s BB1 a few months ago and mentioned that it took a little while to find our comfort zone with the centrifugal brakes to prevent back-lashes while casting in the wind. This was not the case with the Tournament MB LFS. We found that one centrifugal brake engaged was enough to control the initial overrun at the beginning of the cast while the magnetic control on the side of the reel was great for fine tuning the resistance to prevent overruns throughout the cast and when the wind picked up. The dual braking system makes it much easier to get the reel tuned to your style quickly, and it is very quick and easy to make adjustments when the conditions or lures you are casting change throughout the day. The reel is also easily capable of throwing both heavy and light lures.

In summary, the Tournament MB LFS has everything you need in a tournament-level reel and it is cheaper than equivalent options from the big boys. It is going to be very difficult for me to purchase anything other than the MB for the foreseeable future, and this is coming from a die-hard Abu Garcia Revo SX fan. If you’re in the market for a new reel or looking to replace an aging arsenal, like myself, I think you’ll be impressed with the new lineup from Lew’s. Give them a try!

Lews.com

REAL REVIEW: Lew's BB1 Speed Spool

Posted by Scott Jones on May 1, 2015 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s a new year and time for many to replace old and worn equipment. I have had a few weekends, including a tournament, to test out the Lew's BB1 Speed Spool. This is a reel reputed to be one of the best for long distance casting, especially for crankbaits. I’ll try to sum up my experience with this model, what I liked, what I didn’t, and what you should consider when thinking about buying one.

 

I used the BB1HZ and BB1SHZ models, which are zero anti-reverse (not the multi-stop model) in 6.4:1 and 7.1:1 ratios respectively. Lures from light jigs to heavy umbrella rigs were used in calm and very windy conditions, giving the six pin centrifugal braking system a good test. This reel retails for $159.99, the same price as the Abu Garcia Revo SX. I have been a life-long Abu Garcia user, so many of my comparisons are going to be between the Abu Garcia Revo SX (which I used almost exclusively for the past three years) and these new BB1’s. I am not one who enjoys change. When I find something I like, I stick with it for a long time. So, these BB1's have their work cut out to prove themselves.

 

The centrifugal braking system comes pre-set with all four of its spring loaded brakes engaged and the two non-spring loaded brakes disengaged. This setting is more than enough to prevent over-runs, but users experienced with baitcasters can get more distance by disengaging some of the brakes. The best balance of casting distance and braking for me was with two spring loaded brakes engaged and the four others disengaged. This setting seemed to work well with both heavy and lighter lures. It was clear however, that it was much easier to get distance out of the heavier lures than the light ones. This is one area where a reel with magnetic controls may out-perform the BB1, in throwing the lighter stuff. I never could seem to get the reel set to cast as well with the non-spring loaded brakes so I gave up on them. It was easy to adjust the brakes by pulling the quick release pin at the front right side of the reel, then rotating the side plate clockwise and pulling it away from the frame, exposing the braking system. Clumsy anglers beware; when you rotate the side plate up there is nothing holding it to the reel anymore. So, be careful the first few times. Brakes are turned on/off by clicking them either away from the spool shaft or towards the spool shaft, respectively. Having to open up the reel to adjust the brakes each time was a little annoying, especially coming from a reel with external brake adjustments. But, when I figured out that two spring loaded brakes was the best for me, I didn’t have to open the reel again, even when the wind picked up. So, once you find your comfort zone with the brakes, you should be good to go without making more internal adjustments.

 

While comparing casting distance on the same rod with the same line and the same jig in the back yard, I was not able to get any more distance with the BB1 than my Revo SX. This could be due to my own casting ability (or lack thereof) or because these reels are comparable in casting distance despite their different braking systems (the Revo SX has magnetic brakes only). I noticed that the beginning of the cast was better controlled by the BB1’s centrifugal braking, which makes sense because the brakes are working their hardest when the spool is spinning the fastest. The end of the cast was better controlled by the magnetic brakes of the Revo SX. Basically, with the BB1, the only time I had issues with overruns was at the end of the cast when the centrifugal brakes were letting off, whereas with the Revo SX I had overruns at the beginning of the cast that were eventually cleared mid-cast with a well-controlled deceleration. In both cases, these overruns were not enough to badly affect the cast in normal conditions, but they could be bad enough to cause a full-blown backlash when casting into the wind with a lighter lure. In the grand scheme of things, I prefer the BB1 in this regard because it is much easier to control the end of the cast with your thumb or the angle of the rod to help stop or clear an overrun when it begins. The beginning of the cast is where the brakes are needed the most, at least for me. It appears that for my casting tendencies, a reel with dual cast control would be ideal. To that end, the next reel I will test and review is the new Lew’s Tournament MB Speed Spool LFS which features both magnetic and centrifugal braking in a $139.99, 6.7 ounce package. Watch for that review a few weeks down the road.

 

One more notable difference is the length of the handle and the shape of the paddles. I am a big fan of the wide Lew’s paddles. The wider surface provides a better grip of the handle than I have felt with other designs, and I do believe it helped me keep control of the handle during a very sloppy hookset job of our biggest fish on tournament day this weekend. I initially thought the longer handle would be a big adjustment when I first examined the reel. However, after a few hours of use, it began to feel natural and it really reduced the work on my wrists while reeling in the heavy umbrella rigs all day.

 

The drag system is very smooth and capable of handling any largemouth you’re going to catch. This was proven on my first practice day when I hooked into a 32 inch striped bass that did everything it could to take my umbrella rig away. The drag delivered smooth pressure during hard runs that eventually resulted in a great catch and my increased confidence in the reel.

 

Overall, the Lew’s BB1 is a workhorse capable of handling anything from pitching to general casting, not only the cranking applications that it has been known for in the past. It excels at throwing heavy lures, it is butter-smooth, it has a great handle and knob design, and its overall design is attractive and comfortable to hold. The next step is to test the BB1’s longevity, which I imagine is going to take a long, long time to determine. If this was the only model of reel you owned, you would not be missing anything.

Arkansas Collegiate Series 2014 Summary

Posted by Scott Jones on January 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Greers Ferry


Dallas Baptist University wins on Greers Ferry! The 2014 Arkansas Collegiate Series regular season concluded with a shootout between teams all within striking distance of the Team of the Year award. 


Dallas Baptist’s Trent Newman and Jacob Sepeda, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Cameron Ivie and Tyler Hamby came into this weekend tied for first in Team of the Year points. Only the best three of four performances for each team counted for the Team of the Year race, which left the door open for other teams to finish strong and take the award. Each team struggled early as changing weather affected fish activity enough to throw off patterns that worked during practice. Ivie and Hamby took the lead early with a keeper largemouth and they focused on bluff banks the rest of the day to find more. Although they landed several largemouth throughout the day, Ivie and Hamby only managed to weigh one for 1.16 lbs. Newman, fishing solo this weekend, began the day shallow looking for active fish. After several missed bites and no fish to show for it, Newman switched gears to using an umbrella rig and located quality largemouth hiding in 25 to 30 feet of water on his way to an impressive 11.47 lb limit, including a 2.81 lb big bass, and the win. Despite the strong finish by Newman, Ivie and Hamby’s consistency in previous events was enough to earn them Team of the Year honors after their worst performance was dropped.


Ivie and Hamby will be awarded a commemorative plaque at the two-day ACS Championship on Lake Ouachita February 28th and March 1st, where they will also lead the field as boat number one for both days of competition. The Arkansas Collegiate Series is made possible by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Fishing Team (uapbfishing.com) and the UAPB Aquaculture and Fisheries Center (aqfi.uaex.edu).


Beaver


The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff wins on Beaver Lake! The streak of home-team winners came to an end on the third stop of the 2014 Arkansas Collegiate Series. Fifteen teams met at Prairie Creek with lows in the 30’s and patchy fog. 


Richie Harris and Jake Helsley from the University of Arkansas at Monticello only brought two fish to the scales. However, one of them was 4.39 lbs winning them the big bass award by a large margin and 4th place overall with 5.09 lbs. Chaz Miller and Joey Villines from Arkansas Tech University used squarebill crankbaits, chatterbaits and football head jigs to bring in 5.21 lbs, good enough for 3rd place on a surprisingly difficult day. Cameron Ivie, fishing solo for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, focused on drop shots as much as 25 feet deep along bluff banks to bag 5.42 lbs and 2nd place. Aaron Porterfield and Matt Skoog from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ran squarebill crankbaits along shorelines all day to bag the only limit of the day, worth 9.34 lbs and the win.


After three events, Dallas Baptist’s Trent Newman and Jacob Sepeda hold on to a thin lead for Team of the Year. There are five teams still within striking distance of the title and it will come down to our next event on Greers Ferry out of Devil’s Fork on December 6th to decide it. The Arkansas Collegiate Series is made possible by the efforts of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Fishing Team (uapbfishing.com) and the UAPB Aquaculture and Fisheries Center (aqfi.uaex.edu).


Dardanelle


Arkansas Tech wins on Dardanelle! The streak of home-team winners continues on the second stop of the 2014 Arkansas Collegiate Series. Twenty teams were met with cloudy, chilly and breezy conditions with muddy runoff from overnight rains affecting some parts of the lake. Boat traffic from two other tournaments added to the difficulties. 


Brandon Rieve, fishing solo for Arkansas Tech, mentioned that boat traffic forced him to really slow down to bag 13.96 lbs and a 3rd place finish. Chase Arthur and Zach O’Brian from Arkansas Tech had to burn some gas to collect their 14.90 lb limit. They covered shallow water all day with spinnerbaits and chatterbaits to get just enough bites for 2nd place. Completing the top 3 sweep for Arkansas Tech, Aaron Sarna and Dylan Penzo came away with the win. When asked what the key to their win was, they said “Luck.” Sarna and Penzo junk fished all over the lake to bag their 15.09 lb limit.


After two events, the top five in Team of the Year standings are separated by only 4 points. Dallas Baptist University currently holds onto a two-way tie for first with 184 points. Our next event will be on Beaver Lake launching out of Prairie Creek on November 1st. The Arkansas Collegiate Series is made possible by the efforts of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Fishing Team (uapbfishing.com) and the UAPB Aquaculture and Fisheries Center (aqfi.uaex.edu).


Arkansas River at Little Rock


Local team wins the kickoff to the 2014-2015 Arkansas Collegiate Series! A field of 15 teams from Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri met in Little Rock hoping to bag a win just weeks into the 2014-2015 school year. Anglers were met with a slowly creeping current, partly cloudy weather reaching the upper 80’s by mid-day, and a light breeze. 


Several teams left the Little Rock pool searching for less-pressured fish. Those that stayed in Little Rock had to be diligent and patient to get their bites. Little Rock pool newcomers TJ Tucker and Andrew Pollack from Arkansas Tech University simply went fishing, targeting typical river structures with various lures to finish 3rd. They captured 3 keepers by 7:30, but only landed one more keeper by the end of the day. Tyler Ellis and Matt Fielder from Missouri State University focused on jigs in shallow water on their way to a 2nd place finish. What they lacked in numbers, 3 total keepers landed, they made up for in quality; taking big bass with 3.82 lbs and by far the highest average weight of fish. The third and second place teams both reported that they had enough keeper bites to fill their limits, but landing them was difficult. Only one limit was weighed; Gage Marvel and Leo Mua from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock reported having a fast start, landing a limit within 30 minutes of fishing on their way to a win. They used a variety of lures with small lipless crankbaits producing many of their fish.


The next Arkansas Collegiate Series event will be held on October 11th out of the State Park on Lake Dardenelle, where teams will probably need far more than a limit to compete! The Arkansas Collegiate Series is made possible by the efforts of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Fishing Team (uapbfishing.com) and the UAPB Aquaculture and Fisheries Center (aqfi.uaex.edu).

2014 Arkansas Tech Invitational - Lake Dardanelle

Posted by Scott Jones on March 11, 2014 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

UAPB Fishing ends up 11th out of 23 in the 2014 Arkansas Tech Invitational on Lake Dardanelle. Dustin Cauthon and Chris Laskodi reported a difficult tournament with few bites to go around. Their plan to attack points and creek channel bends within bays with jerkbaits and umbrella rigs fell through, leading them to move to the main lake and cover as much water as they could. They pieced together two bags weighing around 9 and a half pounds each for a combined weight of 19.19 lbs.


Although consistency is admirable, much more weight was needed as the winners from Arkansas Tech demolished the competition with a 27.69 lb bag on day two, bringing their cumulative total to 43.25 lbs and the win by a 10 lb margin. Dustin said that the tournament was well organized, the facilities were excellent and that he was grateful for the work of the Arkansas Tech Fishing Team in hosting the tournament, and for the support from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Fishing Team sponsors; the UA Pine Bluff Aquaculture Fisheries Center, Relyance Bank, Lew's, Thomas Groceries, HI-SEAS, Tackle Warehouse and Do-It Molds.

Arkansas Collegiate Series 2013 Summary

Posted by Scott Jones on January 1, 2014 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Arkansas River at Little Rock


Two teams from UAPB competed in the first Arkansas Collegiate Series event this weekend on the Arkansas River at Little Rock. Most of the 11 teams, including both UAPB teams, decided to stay in the Little Rock pool rather than locking to either the Maumelle or Redfield pools. The team of Andrew Sanders and Matthew Smith started on rock dykes with shallow running crankbaits and quickly boated three solid keepers. After a long dry spell through the late morning hours, they caught their fourth keeper immediately after slowing down with finesse lures on rocks. Unfortunately, despite catching several fish on shakey head worms the rest of the day, they were unable to find their fifth fish. The rookie team of Hunter Dickey and Ignacio Lopez-Morales started their day following a similar pattern as Andrew and Matthew but had a much more difficult time finding fish early. After hitting all of their planned spots with topwaters and shallow-running crankbaits early, Hunter and Ignacio slowed down with shakey head worms and boated their first keeper at 11:00 am. Keying on this slower presentation, they hit all of their spots again and slowly pieced together a five fish limit. Their last keeper was caught right at the official boat ramp within sight of the weigh-in scales at 2:40 pm! This last minute push brought their total weight to 8.18 pounds and a fourth place finish. Andrew and Matthew slipped in right behind them at fifth with 7.07 pounds.


Dardanelle


The second stop of the 2013-2014 Arkansas Collegiate Series, Lake Dardanelle, drew a big crowd of twenty-four teams from nine different institutions and two states. The UAPB Fishing Team also had its largest outing ever, sending three teams! Newcomers Hunter Dickey with Ignacio Lopez-Morales, and Dustin Cauthon with Chris Laskodi, joined veteran Andrew Sanders and his new partner Matt Smith to take on Lake Dardanelle and a majority of the collegiate fishing teams of Arkansas.


Lingering clouds and wind from the overnight rain kept it chilly for most of the morning. Many teams reported a good early bite. Fish became harder to come by as the wind shifted out of the north and the clouds lifted by mid morning. Sixteen teams weighed fish and ten teams brought in limits.


The day of Cauthon and Laskodi actually went opposite of what most experienced. Their morning was slow before relocating to a wind-blown bank with vegetation and baitfish. Although they mentioned catching several fish the rest of the day, it took them until 12:30 to fill their limit using flukes and squarebill crankbaits. They managed to upgrade one fish before weigh-in. Their 12.37 lb. bag was enough for sixth place and a cash prize in their first collegiate tournament. The other two UAPB teams were not able to find keeper fish despite catching several small ones. The day of Sanders and Smith was derailed early with engine problems. After some assistance and a great deal of time lost, they were able to continue fishing but were unable to find keepers in unfamiliar water.


Tournament winners, Sawyer Grace and Ryan Dorsett from Arkansas Tech, pitched and swim-jigged their way to a 15.58 lb limit and a commanding lead for Team of the Year after two tournaments. The next tournament will be on the Arkansas River at Pine Bluff, launching out of Regional Park on November 16th.


Arkansas River at Pine Bluff


Arkansas Collegiate Series tournament number three took place on the Arkansas River at Pine Bluff November 16, 2013. Twenty teams from Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana were in attendance; the second straight tournament with at least twenty boats!


The tournament was delayed over an hour, with the first boat launching just before 8:00 am due to heavy fog. Despite the late start, most teams reported a fun day with many keeper fish caught.


Hunter Dickey and Ignacio Lopez-Morales from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff finished in fourth place with 11.74 pounds. Their day started slowly, landing their first keeper at 10:00 am, but they found fish relating to rock dikes and followed that pattern the rest of the day. They steadily put fish in the boat throughout the day and culled twice.


Troy Johnson and Jeremy Hall from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock finished in third with 13.64 pounds. Johnson and Hall fished very shallow water along rock banks with spinnerbaits. They reported catching and culling numerous keepers on their way to another solid finish; they currently sit in second in the Team of the Year race.


Jared Kennemer and Zach Gobber from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville came in second with 14.91 pounds. Unlike most other teams, Kennemer and Gobber used slow moving jigs to bring their fish in. They mentioned catching a majority of their fish in the last few hours of the tournament, culling eight times to finish just shy of a win.


Sawyer Grace and Ryan Dorsett from Arkansas Tech University had a great day running the river, amassing a 15.03 pound limit for their second straight win and a solid hold on the Team of the Year race. Sawyer mentioned that they ran rock dikes early, landing a small limit. As they made their way south, back towards the harbor, they found a few larger fish relating to wood. They began following this pattern into the Pine Bluff harbor. The pattern went cold for some time, until they decided to make a risky move by returning to the main channel with only one hour of fishing time remaining. The risky move paid off big with more beneficial keepers, including one close to 5 pounds, from one stretch of river bank. Sawyer said that a Booyah double willow spinnerbait was the key to their win, along with support from Bass Mafia Tackle.


The next and final stop of the ACS regular season will be Lake DeGray on December 7th.


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