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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (May 5, 2012) – The Tennessee Tech team of Matthew Clay of Madisonville, Tenn., and Joe Slagle of Bristol, Tenn., won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Southeastern Conference event on Lake Guntersville Saturday with five bass weighing 26 pounds, 15 ounces. The victory earned the team $5,000. The win also helped them advance to the Southeastern Conference Championship.
      "This feels amazing," said Slagle, a Business Management major. "It is so awesome to actually win one of these events. I've had some experience on the BFL circuit, but this is my first event with FLW College Fishing. I couldn't have asked for a better start.
      "We targeted an area down-lake near Brown's creek, near the bridge," Slagle continued. "I was able to get a few days of practice coming into this tournament and I knew that there were fish off of this bridge. They didn't really change a whole lot, but they switched sides and luckily today we pulled up on the right side. We caught all of our fish there using shad-colored swimbaits. We'd just cast out and get our swimbaits down 10 to 12 feet and the fish were just pounding it. We had at least 20 keepers today."
      "Joe came up with a great plan for us today," said Clay, a Mechanical Engineering major. "I had finals this entire week and couldn't afford to take the week off and come down here and practice. Fortunately, Joe made it down here for a few days last week, and it worked out great for us. We were expecting to catch around 15 to 16 pounds today; we had no idea that we were going to catch 27 pounds.
      "We figured that these Guntersville bass would be sick of the Alabama rig, so we broke it down and only threw one swimbait today," Clay went on to say. "The fish were spawned out and we were able to catch them suspended near the bridge. It was an absolutely fantastic day."
      Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Southeastern Conference Championship are:
      2nd: Auburn University – Matt Lee and Chris Seals, both of Auburn, Ala. (five bass, 17-10, $1,500)
      3rd:  University of North Carolina-Charlotte – Eric Self, Lawndale, N.C., and Tyler Beam, Cherryville, N.C. (five bass, 16-5, $1,000)
      4th:  Daytona State College – Jason Frazee, Debary, Fla., and Thomas Oltorik, Deland, Fla. (five bass, 14-9, $1,000)
      5th:  Southern Mississippi University – Daniel Netterville, Gloster, Miss., and Dax Graham, Hattiesburg, Miss. (four bass, 11-14, $1,000)
      Complete results can be found at CollegeFishing.com.
Four regular-season qualifying events are held in each conference – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southern and Western. The top five teams from each qualifying tournament will advance to one of five televised three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championships, where the first-place team wins a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard. The top five teams from each conference championship advance to the national championship, where the first-place team wins $25,000 for their school and $50,000 cash plus a Ranger 177TR bass boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard for their fishing club.
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