Tarleton State University’s Sam Semper Fishes Solo, Wins MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (Oct. 17, 2022) – Tarleton State University’s Sam Semper of Parker, Texas, won the MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Lake of the Ozarks Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces. The victory earned the Texans bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2023 MLF College Fishing National Championship.

“Going into the tournament, I wasn’t really sure where I was going to start,” Semper said. “I wanted to start on a main lake hump near takeoff, but there was a team already sitting on it. So, I went to another bank I fished during practice where I had caught 15 pounds and threw a (Heddon Zara) Spook.

“I ended up going back to the offshore hump, and the team was gone, and I could see fish suspended on a brush pile in about 25 feet of water,” Semper added. “So, I threw a football jig, and I had a limit in about 10 casts.”

With an early limit in the livewell, Semper said he then made a run to shallow water to flip a jig but had no takers. A glide bait produced a 4-pounder, then he switched to a Strike King Pro Model 6XD crankbait fished on a secondary point that produced a 3½-pound spotted bass to cull up to his final weight.

“I came up three ounces short at Toledo Bend fishing solo as well,” Semper said. “It was nice to finally win one of these events.”

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:

1st: Tarleton State University – Sam Semper, Parker, Texas, five bass, 17-2, $2,000
2nd: Missouri State University – Garrett Weiss, Springfield, Mo., and Colin Wolinski, Chesterfield, Mo., five bass, 17-0, $1,000
3rd: Southwestern Michigan – Davis Klimczak, Decatur, Mich., and Dylan Levin, Vernon Hills, Ill., four bass, 16-10, $500
4th: McKendree University – Matthew Cavanaugh, Ste. Genevieve, Mo., and Jason Qualich, Buffalo Grove, Ill., five bass, 15-14, $500
5th: Drury University – Hunter Baird, Springfield, Mo., and Brycen Soliday, Noble, Okla., five bass, 15-7, $500
6th: Arkansas Tech University – Karson Hamilton, Hot Springs, Ark., and Austin Johnston, Mena, Ark., five bass, 14-15
7th: McKendree University – Kai Barnett, Wilsonville, Ala., and Gage Blimling, Murrayville, Ill., five bass, 14-10
8th: Murray State University – Connor Lacy, Pinckneyville, Ill., and Harlan Thomas, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 14-8
9th: Kansas State University – Michael Mueting, Lincoln, Neb., and Zach Vielhauer, Shawnee, Kan., five bass, 14-1
10th: Carson-Newman University – Dylan May, Brownsburg, Ind., and Carlson Palmer, Richfield, N.C., five bass, 13-13
MLF also advances one additional team to the National Championship for every 10 teams over 100 that compete. A total of 181 teams participated in this event, so also advancing to the 2023 College Fishing National Championship are:
11th: Murray State University – Corbin Templon, Bumpus Mills, Tenn., and Adrian Urso, Union, Ky., five bass, 13-13
12th: Drury University – Brock Bila, Ozark, Mo., and Dylan Chambers, Nixa, Mo., five bass, 13-9
13th: Indiana University Southeast – John Phipps, Charlestown, Ind., and Bailey Rene, Mooresville, Ind., five bass, 13-8
14th: Tarleton State – Stephenville – Clayton Easter and Trevor Easter, both of Morgan, Texas, five bass, 13-6
15th: Drury University – Lee Lambrecht, Helena, Mont., and Jacob Welch, Jefferson City, Mo., five bass, 12-13
16th: Mid Michigan College – Jaden Bovee, Coleman, Mich., and Hunter Falor, Beaverton, Mich., four bass, 12-9
17th: Eastern Kentucky University – Kevin Hamilton, and Chris Lemaster, both of Richmond, Ky., four bass, 12-8
18th: Eastern Kentucky University – Kaden Brown, Nicholasville, Ky., and Pruitt Lansdale, Mount Sterling, Ky., five bass, 12-1
Complete results for the entire field can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.The Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI event on Lake of the Ozarks was hosted by the Tri-County Lodging Association. It was the last of three regular-season tournaments for Central Conference anglers.

MLF College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top 10 teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments and the top 20 teams from the annual Abu Garcia College Fishing Open will advance to the following season’s National Championship. The 2023 MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI National Championship Presented by Lowrance will be held on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida, Feb. 21-23, and is hosted by the Kissimmee Sports Commission.

Proud sponsors of MLF Abu Garcia College Fishing Presented by YETI include: 4WP, 13 Fishing, Abu Garcia, A.R.E. Truck Caps, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, Black Rifle Coffee, E3, Epic Baits, Favorite Fishing, Gary Yamamoto Baits, General Tire, Lew’s, Lowrance, Lucas Oil, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, Strike King, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, Wiley X and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular College Fishing updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.