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Hudson's Jason Hawksford is into fishing

Jason Hawksford, right, and Cody Lincoln head out on Lake of the Ozarks for the FLW College Fishing Central Conference opener March 16. The team finished 15th among 50 college teams in the tournament.1 / 2
Jason Hawksford, left, and Cody Lincoln, were among the top 15 finishers at Lake of the Ozarks FLW College Fishing tournament March 16 and qualified for another FLW contest on the Detroit River.2 / 2

The incessant snowy weather in the Hudson area of late may not be conducive to thoughts of fishing on open water, but one resident has already started the bass season.

Jason Hawksford, Hudson, and his teammate Cody Lincoln, Okauchee, both sophomores at UW-Stevens Point, participated in the FLW College Bass Tournament at Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., March 16.

"When we got down there Friday night it was 80 degrees. When we started on Saturday morning it was 50 degrees," Hawksford said in a telephone conversation from Stevens Point after driving through snow on his return.

The rapid change in weather was less than beneficial to fishing. "The inconsistent weather hurt and you can't pre-fish the lake," he said.

Hawksford said they ended up using jerk baits and deep diving crank baits on the steep drop-offs in the lake. "The boat was in 40-50 feet of water and we cast in toward shore," he said.

They finished 15th out of 50 college teams with two fish for a total weight of 4 pounds, 7 ounces. The winning team from Missouri University of Science and Technology brought in four fish that totaled 12 pounds, 14 ounces.

A team from UW-Madison boated two fish that weighed a total 6 pounds, 6 ounces and took eighth place. A UW-Whitewater team finished 16th with one bass that tipped the scales at 4 pounds, 5 ounces.

Winona, Minn., State University took third place with two fish that weighed 9 pounds, 6 ounces.

"The team that won, was (located) like an hour away from the lake," Hawksford said.

But the UW-Stevens Point team's efforts were not without reward. "The top 15 teams qualified for a tournament July 27-28 on the Detroit River," he said.

In the meantime Hawksford and Lincoln will fish an event at Fort Madison, Iowa on the Mississippi River May 29-30.

They use a boat belonging to Lincoln's father. Hawksford said it's a pretty nice rig...a TR21 with a 250 hp motor.

Hawksford, the son of Pete and Lynn Hawksford, comes by his love of fishing honestly. "I was probably 2 or 3 years old when I first started fishing with my dad," he said. "He taught me how to fish and I spent a lot of time on the St. Croix River and Lake Mallalieu."

Joining a college fishing club was the natural thing to do. "This college stuff is pretty sweet," he said. "The school gives us a budget of $9,000 to $10,000 to work with for 10 teams. We use it for truck gas," he said.

The team members are responsible for their own food and lodging at the fishing outings. They pay back a percentage of what the school provides through membership dues and sponsorships, Hawksford said.

His future plans include a relationship with fish habitat. Hawksford's major is water resource management.

"I'd like to work for a state agency like the DNR," he said. "I worked in Minnesota last summer as a water craft inspector for invasive species."

Hawksford said he wants to ensure future generations have the same opportunity he did to fish in area waters.