Dallas Baptist University Wins MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Tournament on Lake Havasu

Category: article

 Mar 8th, 2022 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Mar 8th, 2022 at 10:34 AM

LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (March 7, 2022) – The Dallas Baptist University duo of Mark Harris of Lindale, Texas, and Jacob Witkowski of Dallas, Texas, won the MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Lake Havasu Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the Patriot’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2023 MLF College Fishing National Championship.

“On the last day of practice we found a pretty good swimbait bite going through some of the flatter pockets,” Witkowski said. “So, the morning of the tournament, we ran to our first spot to do the same thing but we didn’t find any fish.”

“We were super stressed out because we had a really good practice,” Harris said. “That morning bite was super important to us.”

The Dallas Baptist team were targeting artificial fish habitat that have been placed in Lake Havasu to offer growing fish refuge and protection from predators. The team used a Garmin Panoptix LiveScope System to scan structure in 10 to 15 feet of water for quality bass that were staging to spawn.

“We ran probably four or five creeks and didn’t see any action,” Witkowski said. “We didn’t have any fish in the boat three hours into the day. We started running shade lines and picked up one with a wacky rig with a green pumpkin-colored Yamamoto Senko, and that was the pivotal bite for us that changed the mood of the day.”

The team discovered that as a cold front moved in during the day the bass had moved to structure in 25 feet of water.

“We ran to a flatter creek that had another shade line, and we were throwing 8-inch Megabass Magdraft swimbaits,” Witkowski added. “We boated a 6-pounder and thought, ‘We can definitely make something out of today.’”

“We only had six bites all day, but they were the right ones,” Witkowski continued. “Right at the end of the day we picked up a 5¼-pounder, and that’s when we thought we seriously had a shot to win.”

The team of DBU juniors are competing in their third year of College Fishing competition, and the Lake Havasu event is their first win.

“We’re getting to live the dream, and this never gets old,” Harris said. “DBU’s backing is great and truly a blessing.”

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:

1st: Dallas Baptist University – Mark Harris, Lindale, Texas, and Jacob Witkowski, Dallas, Texas, five bass, 20-2, $2,000
2nd: Simpson University – Myles Davis, Redding, Calif., and Austin Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., five bass, 17-5, $1,000
3rd: Oregon State University – Jeffrey Coleman and Tyler Parr, both of Corvallis, Ore., four bass, 13-9, $500
4th: Sonoma State University – Aaron King, Windsor, Calif., and Richard Maloney, Ukiah, Calif., three bass, 7-14, $500
5th: Tarleton State-Stephenville – Jordan Kenny, Fort Worth, Texas, and Davion Spiller, Killeen, Texas, two bass, 6-14, $500
6th: Tarleton State-Stephenville – Jason Ashlock, Azle, Texas, and Jacob Burton, Springtown, Texas, two bass, 6-12
7th: Simpson University – Ryan Beaty, Martinez, Calif., and James Hawkinson, Granite Bay, Calif., three bass, 6-9
8th: University of Idaho – Ethan Leininger, Vina, Calif., three bass, 6-7
9th: Simpson University – Jayden Nezy, Page, Ariz., and Nathan Phillips, Kelseyville, Calif., three bass, 6-1
10th: Fresno State – Nathan Seibert, Fresno, Calif., and Clark Vue, Clovis, Calif., three bass, 5-0

Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

The Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Lake Havasu was hosted by Go Lake Havasu. It was the first of three regular-season tournaments for Western Conference anglers. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be the Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, March 11 in Brookeland, Texas.

MLF College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top 10 teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open will advance to the following season’s National Championship. The 2022 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI National Championship Presented by Lowrance will be held on Fort Gibson Lake in Wagoner, Oklahoma, March 29-31, and is hosted by the Wagoner Area Chamber of Commerce.

Proud sponsors of the 2022 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, AFTCO, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Revital Outdoors, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X, YETI and Yo-Zuri.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular College Fishing updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

About Major League Fishing
Major League Fishing (MLF) is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, producing more than 250 events annually at some of the most prestigious fisheries in the world, while broadcasting to America’s living rooms on CBS, the Discovery Channel, the Outdoor Channel, CBS Sports Network, the World Fishing Network, and on-demand on MyOutdoorTV (MOTV). Headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with offices in Benton, Kentucky, the MLF roster of bass anglers includes the world’s top pros and more than 30,000 competitors in all 50 states and 13 countries. In 2019, MLF expanded its portfolio of catch, weigh, and immediately release events to include the sport’s strongest five-biggest-fish format tournament circuits. Since its founding in 2011, MLF has advanced the sport of competitive fishing through its premier television broadcasts and livestreams, and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for bass through research, education, fisheries enhancement, and fish care.

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