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March 31, 2010

ULM Fishing Team lands “the big one” at regional tournament

The University of Louisiana at Monroe fishing team may yet be in its infancy, but judging by the results of a recent regional tournament, the team is already making a name for itself by ousting competition from long-established programs.

The fifth annual Arkansas Tech University Invitational, one of the largest regional collegiate fishing events in the country, attracted more than 120 collegiate anglers from across the country to compete for the 2010 title at Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Ark., March 27-28.

The 28-school field featured many talented anglers, including ULM’s Brett Preuett and Jordan Alexander, both of Alexandria, who rallied on day two of the tournament to finish second place overall. Only Arkansas Tech University, with clear home advantage, was able to edge out the ULM team.

At the tournament’s first day weigh-in, Preuett and Alexander sat in 14th place with 9.63 pounds of bass, but they brought a 15.15-pound sack to the scales on day two to secure their second place spot.

Preuett and Alexander said their key fishing spot offered plenty of shallow riverweed that produced all their fish on a variety of lures, including Texas-rigged Sweet Beavers and lizards, Rat-L-Traps and weightless Skinny Dippers.

First through third place teams were awarded cash prizes, Columbia gift cards and Lazer Trokar gift packs.

The team of Alexander and Pruitt also topped the field at the team’s inaugural tournament, held on March 13 at Poverty Point Reservoir in Delhi. The duo had a sack anchored by a 4.85-pound bass for a winning weight of 13.68 pounds.

Fifteen anglers teamed up to comprise eight teams to take on pre-spawn conditions at the popular lake, according to ULM’s Fishing Team President Jake Ormond. The anglers shared their fishing waters with an abundance of crappie anglers who were fishing the same areas for spawning crappie, which made the event a challenge, he said.

Team member Ryan Richardson fished solo and managed to snag the tournament's big bass weighing in at 6.10 for a total weight of 8 pounds.

Third place went to the newest team of Hall and Laing who weighed in their bag of keepers totaling 6.50 pounds. The remaining anglers finished as follows:

The next area tournament is April 17 on Lake D'Arbonne. The new team will host local qualifying tournaments and continue to send teams to compete on a regional and national level, to be televised on ESPN and ESPN-U.

The team solicited donations during Wednesday lunches throughout March at ULM’s Schulze Dining Hall to offset travel and equipment expenses. They are also actively seeking corporate sponsorship to continue their progress.

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