LAKE SAM RAYBURN, TX (KTRE) - Hank Harrison may be a freshman at Stephen F. Austin State University, but his knowledge of the Lake Sam Rayburn gave him an edge in Saturday's 2018 YETI FLW college fishing, opening tournament.
"I got out here, right as the first semester began for us," Harrison said. "And, my first time out here, it was spectacular, caught an 8 pounder. I was flipping out."
Out of 119 teams, 57 are from schools outside of Texas.
"Coming to a place like this, it's mostly grass," said University of Oklahoma angler, Colton Harper. "So, you have to adapt to the differences. Big body of water, so rougher waters, that kind of stuff."
But, these anglers say the first place prize of a $2,000 scholarship isn't the only reward.
"The possibility of catching a big one," Harper said. "That's all you hear about these East Texas lakes."
East Texas' record breaking catches are also no secret to those right across the border, in Louisiana.
"I've seen and heard of plenty of stories from people just catching monsters here, so I really hope that somebody get's into one because it's exciting," said Louisiana State University angler, Slade Gaudin.
Each year, the John D. Harper East Texas State Fish Hatchery breeds all of Lake Sam Rayburn's stock, some of which will end up in the boat of Saturday's winner.
"OSU, LSU, there's some stout sticks out there, but I'll tell you what," Harrison said. "This is our home water and we're going to give them a run for their money."
The results will be released after each team has submitted their catch to be weighed. Each contestant was instructed to submit their catch at 3 P.M.