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 collegefishing.com


"Tennessee Uncharted" Receives ACI Award As Nation's Top Outdoor Television Series

“Tennessee Uncharted” the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s television program, has been named as the best outdoors television series in the country by the Association for Conservation Information, Inc. (ACI). “Tennessee Uncharted” made its debut in October, 2014. TWRA partners with Knoxville-based Designsensory and production company PopFizz to bring the weekly program to ... (click for more)

New TWRA Bird Conservation Coordinator To Present August Nature At Noontime Program

David Hanni, recently-appointed Bird Conservation coordinator for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, will present the August Nature at Noontime program. The program will be held on Thursday, Aug. 6, from noon-1 p.m. at the TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building located in the Ellington Agriculture Complex. Mr. Hanni joined the TWRA from Colorado where he had served as the ... (click for more)

$40 Million Traffic Improvement Set To Connect Hamilton Place More Directly With I-75 And Ease Congestion On Shallowford Road

The city, state and CBL & Associates are cooperating on a $40 million plan to make the Hamilton Place section more accessible to Interstate 75. The upcoming project will provide a direct connection for southbound I-75 traffic with Hamilton Place Boulevard. The project will also provide a new connection for those on Hamilton Place Boulevard to enter I-75 northbound. ... (click for more)

Report Says Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Exceeded Allowable Driving Hours

A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board on a June 25 wreck at the Ooltewah exit that killed six people says the driver of the truck that caused the multiple-vehicle wreck "had exceeded the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation hours-of-service when the crash occurred." It says Benjamin Brewer began his return trip to London, Ky., from Florida at 4:30 ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)