More Simpson University anglers qualify for nationals

Published Sept. 29, 2020 by FLW Communications

CLEARLAKE, Calif. – The Simpson University team of Luke Blanchard of Vancouver, Washington, and Nathan Phillips of Kelseyville, California, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Clear Lake event Sept. 26 with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces. The victory advanced the Simpson bass club to the 2021 College Fishing National Championship.

The victory came a month after teammates Sheldon Reese and Taj White placed first in a college fishing tournament in the California Delta, qualifying them to compete in the national championship.

The Red Hawks duo won by a 4-pound margin over the second-place team of Ryan Beaty and Taj White, also from Simpson University, who weighed in five bass totaling 12 pounds, 13 ounces. The tournament launched from Redbud Park in Clearlake, California.

The top eight teams Saturday at Clear Lake finished:

1st: Simpson University – Luke Blanchard, Vancouver, Wash., and Nathan Phillips, Kelseyville, Calif., five bass, 16-13 (Pictured, left to right)

2nd: Simpson University – Ryan Beaty, Martinez, Calif., and Taj White, Glendale, Ariz., five bass, 12-13

3rd: University of California-Merced – Kalib Caples, Sebastopol, Calif., and Herbie LeBlanc, Gilroy, Calif., five bass, 12-9

4th: New Mexico State University – Marquez Perez and Wyatt Sandoval, both of Las Cruces, N.M., five bass, 12-0

5th: New Mexico State University – Daylon Smith, Frazier Park, Calif., and Bradley Jones of Las Cruces, N.M., five bass, 8-13

6th: New Mexico State University – Logan Cooper and Clay Stearns, both of Las Cruces, N.M., five bass, 8-3

7th: Simpson University – Austin Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., and Sheldon Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., two bass, 7-3

8th: Sonoma State University – Brook Spencer, Salinas, Calif., and Dawson Stroud, Modesto, Calif., zero bass

Complete results for the entire field can be found at

The Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event on Clear Lake was the third and final regular-season qualifying tournament for Western Conference anglers. The next event for College Fishing anglers will be this week, Oct. 2 – the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Ouachita River Open in Monroe, Louisiana.

Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI teams compete in 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 Abu Garcia College Fishing Open advance to the following year’s Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship.

For complete details and updated information visit For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI on FLW’s social media outlets at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

About FLW
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.

FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).

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About Simpson University Bass Fishing
The Simpson University Bass Fishing team completed its inaugural year of 2019-20 as the highest ranked college team in California and is listed in the top 100 teams in the nation. To learn more, contact coach Alex Thiemann at Follow the team on Instagram at SimpsonBass or Facebook at SimpsonBassTeam.