Georgia Southern Wins FLW Collegiate Bass Event

Wesley Maples and Jed Thigpen win $10,000

Saturday, September 18, 2010
<i>Wesley Maples (left) and Jed Thigpen from Georgia Southern Bass Team won the FLW Collegiate event on Chickamauga Lake Saturday.</i>
Wesley Maples (left) and Jed Thigpen from Georgia Southern Bass Team won the FLW Collegiate event on Chickamauga Lake Saturday.
- photo by Richard Simms

The Georgia Southern team of Wesley Maples and Jed Thigpen won the final qualifying National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeast Division event on Lake Chickamauga Saturday with six bass weighing 12 pounds, 3 ounces. The victory earned the team $10,000 to be split evenly between the university and the university's bass-fishing club.

Click HERE for a Photo Gallery of Saturday's weigh-in.

The win also helped them advance to the Southeast Division Regional Championship where they could ultimately win a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine wrapped in school colors for their school's bass club and $25,000 for the school they represent.

“It actually, surprisingly went according to plan today,” said Maples, a senior geography major. “It’s one of the first times that’s ever happened.

“We originally thought we were going to go to the grass and possibly get some on a frog, but that didn’t pan out,” Maples added. “So we abandoned that and went deep the rest of the day.”

Maples said the team threw homemade football-head jigs and Carolina rigs tipped with green pumpkin Zoom lizards deep. Maples said the team caught about 20 bass throughout the course of the day.

Thigpen said he came into the Chickamauga event with hopes of qualifying for the Southeast Regional.

“That’s all I wanted to do,” said Thigpen, a junior biology major. “I would have been as happy with a fifth-place finish, but to get here and come in first is unreal. It really hasn’t hit me yet.

“It’s incredible what FLW and the National Guard have done with this (series), Thigpen added. “This is hard to beat. This is awesome.”

Rounding out the top five teams and also qualifying for the Southeast Regional Championship are:

2nd: Georgia College and State University – Jared Kutil and Josh Futch, four bass, 10-13, $5,000

3rd: Kennesaw State University – Thomas Frink and Jake Akin, six bass, 10-2, $4,000

4th: Freed-Hardeman University – Nathan Pirtle and Brad Martin, three bass, 7-3, $3,000

5th: Troy University – Jeremy Knight and Connor Bedsole, three bass, 6-11, $2,000

The National Guard FLW College Southeast Regional Championship is scheduled for Oct. 21-23, at Lake Monroe in Orlando, Fla. The three-day tournament will be hosted by the University of Central Florida and will be televised on VERSUS Nov. 21 from 12:30 to 1:30 EST.

Also qualifying for the Southeast Regional were:

Auburn University - Shaye Baker and Jordan Lee

Florida Gulf Coast - Drew Underwood and Garrett Farmer

Lagrange College - Torre Pike and Ryan Wakenigg

Middle Tennessee State - Nolen Spencer and Tyler Barnes

Southern Polytechnic State University - Dustin Holland and Zachary Dixon

Tennessee Tech - Cody Gass and Adam Goodwin

University of Central Florida - Leonard Gordon and Miles Burghoff

University of Florida - Jake Gipson and Matthew Wercinski

University of South Carolina Upstate - Michael Smith and David Scruggs

The top five teams from each regional championship will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship. The National Championship is a three-day televised event hosting the top five teams from each regional, 25 total teams. Teams will be provided jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for this competition.

College Fishing is free to enter, boats and drivers are provided by FLW Outdoors and all collegiate teams receive a travel allowance. For a complete list of tournament results visit

Claire Henley: Adventures West (The Prevalence Of Providence)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon). I needed this walk up Sonora Pass. Big Spoon and I had traveled over one thousand miles, and the last stretch through the rigorous, white cliff climbs of Yosemite Wilderness ... (click for more)

Hunting Opportunities For The Wheelchair Bound

Cordell Hull Wildlife Management Area provides hunting opportunity for wheelchair bound hunters.  A wheelchair bound hunting zone on Cordell Hull WMA provides 6 blinds on a first come, first served basis. This zone is open only to hunters who are totally and permanently confined to a wheelchair as certified by a physician. On wheelchair-bound deer hunts, each wheelchair-bound ... (click for more)

Legislative Hearing On Volkswagen Emissions Scandal To Be Held In Chattanooga Oct. 29; Haslam To Visit VW Plant Wednesday

The Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee’s Appropriation Subcommittee will be conducting a hearing in Chattanooga to review the financial impact on the state from Volkswagen’s violation of U.S. emissions standards. The meeting will be held at the Hamilton County Department of Education, 3074 Hickory Valley Road, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.  Members ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service. Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County to pick ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW’s Primer In Disaster

Volkswagen America has gotten into a real bad “tight,” causing their red-faced leaders to huddle with spin doctors, crisis consultants and countless priests in confessional booths. Conversely, I suspect I have found a solution that would get them out of the mud and hasten their return as one of the top automotive providers in the world. You see, on Aug. 14, 1979, the playbook on ... (click for more)