UAPB Fishing Team on hot streak in fall tournament season

Will Hehemann School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences

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Justin “JT” Thomas, left, a senior major of animal science, and Cody Salzmann, a graduate student of aquaculture and fisheries, finished in second place at the final qualifier for the 2016 Arkansas Collegiate Series.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Fishing Team has had a competitive fall, earning high placements in several regional tournaments, Scott Jones, UAPB Fishing Team coach and small impoundment Extension specialist, said. Following the team’s recent successes, four students will be competing in upcoming regional and national championships.

Cody Salzmann, a graduate student of aquaculture and fisheries, and Justin “JT” Thomas, a senior major of animal science, finished in second place at the final qualifier for the 2016 Arkansas Collegiate Series (ACS) held at Lake Ouachita. At the tournament, 26 two-person teams of collegiate anglers from Arkansas and Texas fished for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass between sunrise and 3 p.m. The criterion for winning the competition was catching the heaviest combination of up to five fish.

“Salzmann and Thomas finished with a five-fish limit that weighed in at 11.15 pounds,” Jones said. “Their catch included a 4.44-pound fish that was just half a pound shy of winning the award for the largest bass caught.”

Aaron Porterfield, a senior major of aquaculture and fisheries, and Kenneth “KP” Prince, a junior major of finance, also participated in the tournament, earning eighth place in the final ACS cumulative season standings. Both UAPB teams qualified for the two-day 2016 ACS Championship to be held in early November on Lake Dardanelle.

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Salzmann, left, and Aaron Porterfield, a senior major of aquaculture and fisheries, placed second out of 124 competitors at the Fishing League Worldwide southern regional qualifier.

Earlier in October, Salzmann and Porterfield placed second out of 124 competitors at the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) southern regional qualifier on the Ouachita River near Monroe, Louisiana.

“The team located a backwater area that held great numbers of fish, with a limited number of competitors nearby to compete with for space,” Jones said. “The majority of their fish were caught using square-billed crankbaits placed along stumps and tree bases. They caught fish early and often, finishing with a very respectable five-fish limit that weighed 15.9 pounds.”

Following their achievement, Salzmann and Porterfield qualified for entry into the 2017 FLW College Fishing National Championship to be held next summer on Wheeler Lake in Florence, Alabama.

“After a slow 2014-2015 season, the UAPB Fishing Team is back in action and looking forward to an exciting winter and spring,” Jones said.

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