Print This Post Print This Post

GILBERTSVILLE, Ky. (March 14, 2019) – The University of North Alabama team of Hunter McCarty of Dora, Alabama, and Sloan Pennington of Childersburg, Alabama, won the fifth-annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky and Barkley lakes Wednesday with a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass weighing 45 pounds, 14 ounces. The victory earned the duo a $27,400 prize package, including a new Ranger Z175 boat with a 115-horsepower outboard, and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

The Lions’ duo said that they were on a bit of a junk-fishing pattern, though they only used a few baits to get the job done – a red ½-ounce Jackall TN 60 lipless crankbait and a demon-colored Rapala DT6 crankbait. They also caught one fish on a custom 3/4-ounce double-Colorado blade (with one orange blade) spinnerbait and a Kalin’s Lunker Grub trailer.

McCarty and Pennington said they looked for gravel transitions and main-lake points that had gravel on them in the Blood River area fairly far south of takeoff.

“Gravel bank was definitely a key, but there’s gravel banks just about everywhere,” said Pennington. “Our best area was more like a shallow point or a shallow flat. They were in about 2 feet of water and that was before it went into a spawning pocket. We caught several on the main river before it goes into the pocket.”

Current and wind were big factors both days of the event, perhaps even more so on day two. Kentucky Dam continued to pull water throughout the tournament, and the high winds that shortened day two played a big role in how fish were positioned.

“The only area we caught more than one fish was directly in the current, today especially because of the wind,” McCarty said. “They were sitting on the banks in the deeper area behind the points.”

“Tuesday we covered a lot of water and only caught one here and one there, and then there was only one area we caught more than one,” Pennington added. “We stopped there first Wednesday and with the current and the wind, we never really left that one spot.

“We weren’t (feeling pressure) as much as we probably should have been, because we didn’t know if we were on enough fish to win anyway, so we were just kind of going to make the best of what we could,” Pennington went on to say. “That was a lot of it. We fished a lot more relaxed and we executed really well.”

The 20 teams that now advance to the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship were:

1st:          University of North Alabama – Hunter McCarty, Dora, Ala., and Sloan Pennington, Childersburg, Ala., 10 bass, 45-14

2nd:         Bethel University – Tristan McCormick, Burns, Tenn., and Dakota Pierce, Ava, Mo., 10 bass, 44-4

3rd:         Blue Mountain College – Chandler Boman, New Albany, Miss., and Ty Cox, Guntown, Miss., 10 bass, 42-5

4th:         McKendree University – Nathan Doty, Decatur, Ill., and Jacob Louis, Pinckneyville, Ill., 10 bass, 40-6

5th:         Adrian College – Alex Henderson, Mooresville, Ind., and Zach Manneback, Howell, Mich., 10 bass, 39-9

6th:         Youngstown State University – Jonathan Creed, Niles, Ohio, and Jared Latone, Youngstown, Ohio, 10 bass, 39-1

7th:         Adrian College – Cody Batterson, Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and Zachary Graham, Gallipolis, Ohio, 10 bass, 37-14

8th:         Bethel University – Kyle Palmer, Estill Springs, Tenn., and John Coble Garrett, Union City, Tenn., 10 bass, 37-7

9th:         Bethel University – Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, and Carter McNeil, Abbeville, S.C., eight bass, 36-13

10th:       McKendree University – Blake Jackson, Carterville, Ill., and Trevor McKinney, Benton, Ill., eight bass, 35-1

11th:       Adrian College – Gunner Wilson, Fenton, Mich., and Chase Serafin, White Lake, Mich., nine bass, 34-14

12th:       Eastern Kentucky University – Tyler Frye and Marcus Davis, both of Corbin, Ky., nine bass, 33-10

13th:       West Virginia University – Nolan Minor, Charlottesville, Va., and Casey Lanier, Sanford, N.C., nine bass, 32-14

14th:       Greenville Technical – Joshua Howard and Austin Davis, both of Pelzer, S.C., eight bass, 32-13

15th:       University of Missouri – Lane Best, Clifton, Mo., and Jonathan Hardy, Eureka, Mo., eight bass, 31-3

16th:       Grand Valley State University – Lucas Murphy, Walker, Mich., and William Mathews, Joliet, Ill., eight bass, 29-12

17th:       Itawamba Community College – Carlos Welch, Baldwyn, Miss., and Daniel McAfee, Amory, Miss., 10 bass, 29-4

18th:       Bryan College – Jake Lee, Powell, Tenn., and Dalton Price, Seymour, Tenn., seven bass, 28-0

19th:       Mississippi State University – Cody Peak, Starkville, Miss., and Landon Cook, Collinsville, Miss., seven bass, 27-11

20th:       Greenville University – Cale Jausel, Coulterville, Ill., and Jordan Phillips, Belleville, Ill., six bass, 27-4

Complete results can be found at

The YETI FLW College Fishing Open on Kentucky and Barkley lakes was hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau and Moors Resort & Marina. The next event for FLW collegiate anglers will be a Southern Conference tournament scheduled for April 5 on Lake Texoma in Denison, Texas.

YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school. The top 10 teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual FLW College Fishing Open will advance to the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. Additional teams will qualify for the National Championship if the field size in regular-season events exceeds 100 boats. The Potomac River and Marbury, Maryland, will play host to the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship, June 4-6, 2019.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow YETI FLW College Fishing on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here