Bethel University wins Yeti FLW College Fishing tournament on Lake Seminole

Published 5:05 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Bethel University team of Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, and Carter McNeil of Abbeville, South Carolina, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole presented by Bass Pro Shops tournament Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce – the third-largest five-bass limit ever weighed in the 10-year history of FLW College Fishing. The victory earned the Wildcats bass club $3,250 and a spot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“Carter and I have fished quite a few events together, and we’ve had a couple of second place finishes, but it feels great to finally earn a win,” said Floyd, a junior majoring in business management. “We were targeting hydrilla in the deep ditches and we had a milk run of six different areas that we fished throughout the day.

“Our worst spot in practice actually turned out to be the best spot during the tournament,” Floyd continued. “It was a long ditch, with two lanes that the fish were using as a highway as they were coming in to spawn. We caught around 30 fish, and all of our limit that we weighed in on stage came out of there. We probably caught three 20-pound limits throughout the day, and we were throwing back 4½-pounders.”

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“We were throwing Strike King Red Eye Shads – I was throwing a craw-colored and Cole was throwing a bone white-colored,” said McNeil, also a junior majoring in business management. “The area had a high population of fish and we’d make long casts and reel it back, then stop and let it sink. Most of the bites came on the fall.”

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2019 College Fishing National Championship are:

1st:          Bethel University – Cole Floyd of Leesburg, Ohio, and Carter McNeil, Abbeville, S.C., five bass, 28-1, $3,250

2nd:         Bethel University – Kyler Chelminiak, McKenzie, Tenn., and Ricky Harris, Berea, Ky., five bass, 21-6, $1,410

3rd:         Kennesaw State University – Payton Morgan and Dexter Gordy, both of Woodstock, Ga., five bass, 19-11, $500

4th:         Daytona State College – Tyler Woolcott, and Devin Dellacava, both of Port Orange, Fla., four bass, 19-11, $700

5th:         University of North Alabama – Triston Crowder, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and Lake Blasingame, Killen, Ala., five bass, 19-1, $500

6th:         Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College – Benjamin Chandler, Fort Gaines, Ga., and Richard Jordan, Concord, Ga., five bass, 18-2     

7th:         University of Alabama – Caiden Sinclair and Hunter Gibson, both of Hoover, Ala., five bass, 18-1

8th:         Mississippi State University – Tucker Adams, Smithdale, Miss., and Cody Peak, Centreville, Miss., five bass, 17-11 

9th:         Bethel University – Brad Ableman, McKenzie, Tenn., and Kristopher Queen, Catawba, N.C., five bass, 17-3

10th:       Calhoun Community College – Christopher Lupo, Huntsville, Ala., and Bradley Lynn, Athens, Ala., five bass, 17-1 

Complete results can be found at

This YETI FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference opener on Lake Seminole was hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, and was the first of three regular-season qualifying tournaments for Southeastern Conference anglers in 2018. The next YETI FLW College Fishing event takes place March 10, when Southeastern Conference anglers compete at the FLW College Fishing at Lake Guntersville presented by Berkley, in Guntersville, Alabama.

YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten 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 2019 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 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship will take place May 30-June 1 on the Red River in Shreveport, Louisiana, and is hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission & Red River Waterway Commission.

YETI FLW College Fishing is free to enter. 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.