LAKE OF THE OZARKS – The fishing team secured another spot in the 2020 FLW National Championship over the weekend.
The Central Division qualifier served as the Panther's last chance to secure another National Championship spot.
While tough tournament conditions were predicted following multiple major tournaments held on Lake of the Ozarks in the weeks prior, Greenville's duo of Cordell Beckmann and Dru Johnson were able to put together a five fish limit. Their limit weighed a respectable 10 pounds six ounces which was good enough to land them in the 15th spot. With 130 other teams competing in the event, their 15th place finish was strong enough to earn them a National Championship qualification.
The fall represents a challenging time for the college anglers. Temperature swings and changing weather conditions can change the bite on a daily or even hourly basis. Although many of the anglers who found success during tournaments held weeks prior to the event were catching many of their fish in deeper water, Beckmann and Johnson reported catching the majority of their fish in shallower water.
With 39 teams unable to find a keeper fish to bring to the scales and only 14 able to fill their five fish limit, the team was excited to be one of the 14 team able to weigh a limit that day. It proved to be enough, as Beckmann and Johnson landed the final qualifying spot in the event.
The 15th place finish also led to a strong finish for the team in the overall FLW Central Region School of the Year standings. The team finished 10th place, topping other strong schools in the area.
The qualification will have the team headed to the Harris Chain in Leesburg, Fla., for the FLW National Championship February 26 – 28.
The next and final event this fall for the team will take place at Kinkaid Lake on November 9. It is a dual event where the Illinois State Championship and the Illinois Bass Nation Qualifier will be held side by side.