CSULB Students Team Up to Capture Top Honors at College Fishing Western Division Qualifier; Advance to Regionals

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Dane Christensen and Alfredo Gutierrez

Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) students Dane Christensen and Alfredo Gutierrez recently captured top honors at the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Division tournament, and this week, they will compete with 19 other pre-qualified collegiate teams for the top prize of $50,000 in the Western Regional Championships, Oct. 7-9, at Folsom Lake in Sacramento.

Additionally, the top five teams from the regional championship will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship, a three-day, televised event where teams are provided with jerseys and wrapped Ranger boats towed by Chevy trucks for the competition.

Competing at the Western Division qualifier Sept. 22-25 on Lake Roosevelt in Arizona, Christensen and Gutierrez took first place, catching five bass that weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces.  The victory earned the team $10,000, which was split evenly between the university and the campus’ bass-fishing club.

The win also advanced them to the next event along with four other qualifiers: Northern Arizona University, Humboldt State University, Arizona State University, California Polytechnic State University, which finished second through fifth, respectively.

“It was good morning fishing,” Christensen, a senior majoring in construction engineering management, told a writer from FLW Outdoors.  “It was really hard to stay motivated when the bite died and the heat set in.  But then all of a sudden, National Guard pro Brent Ehrler came flying into our area at 70 miles per hour to fish, and just knowing a pro like Ehrler fished our spot gave us the confidence we needed to stay focused.”

Conditions did not change much for the college kids, the lake fished as tough as it had all week for the FLW Series Western Division pros.  Only one limit came across stage, and only about a third of the college field weighed fish.

“This is incredibly exciting,” said Gutierrez, a junior mechanical engineering major.  “We made it to regionals!  I can’t wait.  And, to get to see Brent Ehrler. . . on our spot, it was awesome.”

The top five teams from each of the five regional championships (25 teams in all) will advance to the National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010.

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