Simpson University Gets Second Consecutive Win at MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Tournament on the California Delta

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OAKLEY, Calif. (June 10, 2024) – Simpson University angler James Hawkinson of Granite Bay, California, won the MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the California Delta presented by Tackle Warehouse Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the Redhawks’ bass club $2,000 and a qualification into the 2025 MLF College Fishing National Championship.

What a year it’s been already for Hawkinson. In May, he and partner Landon Ford won the College Fishing event at Lake Havasu. Fishing solo at the Cal Delta, Hawkinson made it back-to-back victories.

Playing the tides and hunting clean water in areas where he has experience and knows the grass beds were the keys to getting it done on the sprawling Cal Delta.

“I ran up north to Sycamore Slough, and I was throwing a topwater, a Teckel Kicknocker,” Hawkinson said. “I caught my big one on that, right over 5 pounds. After that, once the sun finally came up, I fished troughs while we still had a high tide. After that tide fell, I just chased that clean water back toward the central delta.”

Timing was critical. By running north, Hawkinson was able to capitalize on about 20 minutes of incoming tide first thing in the morning. That pushed bait and bass up onto a grass flat, which is where he fooled his kicker with the topwater lure. Once the tide was high, he worked a hard-bottom trough with a drop-shot and a wacky-rigged Yamamoto Senko, and he was able to catch his key fish within about an hour window centered around the high-tide switch.

“I culled a few times after, but it was all small culls,” Hawkinson added.

For his drop-shot, the senior business major used a 1/32-ounce weight.

“I put more fish in the boat with the drop-shot (than the topwater), for sure,” he said. “It was a super small weight because I didn’t want it to go through the grass. I just wanted it to sit on top.”

Hawkinson plans to graduate in about six months, and he’ll earn his degree a semester early. Then he can ride the solid momentum of this season into the business world while continuing to work his way up the bass fishing ranks.

The top 10 teams finished:

1st:        Simpson University – James Hawkinson, Granite Bay, Calif., five bass, 13-2
2nd:       Fresno State – Kent Moua and Seth Moua, Fresno, Calif., five bass, 11-7             
3rd:       Chico State – Justin Hurney, Oakley, Calif., and Peter Khoury, Walnut Creek, Calif., five bass, 11-0               
4th:        Sonoma State University – Justin Keegan, San Francisco, Calif., five bass, 10-9
5th:        Simpson University – Brayden Bishop, Anderson, Calif., and Jacob Greene, American Canyon, Calif., five bass, 10-4 
6th:        Chico State – Brandon Huse, Gualala, Calif., and Austin Soucy, Dixon, Calif., five bass, 10-3       
7th:        Chico State – Jordan Harris, Elk Grove, Calif., and Fisher Perkins, Rocklin, Calif., five bass, 8-7
8th:        Sacramento State – Jim Emory, Sacramento, Calif., and Chad Lo, Stockton, Calif., five bass, 8-5
9th:        Fresno State – Adam Lee, Sanger, Calif., and Aiden Vang, Fresno, Calif., three bass, 4-11            
10th:     Fresno State – Jake Fritz, Lodi, Calif., and Bryce Powell, Acampo, Calif., four bass, 0-0 

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the Cal Delta was hosted by the City of Oakley. The next tournament for MLF College Fishing anglers will be the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on the St. Lawrence River, Aug. 25 in Massena, New York

The 2024 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI season features college teams from across the country competing in nine regular-season tournaments. The top 12 percent of teams from each regular-season tournament advance to the 2025 Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI National Championship.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, REDCON1, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, WIX Filters and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular College Fishing updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.