Note to Reporters: Photo of the team is available with the press release at www.news.colostate.edu.
Fishing fever is running rampant among sportsmen across Colorado and the country as fishing season kicks into high gear. The Colorado State University Bass Team has taken its competitive fishing to a new level after a second-place win at the National Guard FLW College Fishing Western Conference event on April 28 in Clear Lake, Calif. The team received $1,500 in prize money and will go on to compete at the televised, three-day National Guard FLW College Fishing Conference Championships later this year.
Two two-man teams represented CSU at the conference championships and competed against 76 other collegiate anglers. Keane Velez and Ben Robey’s team won second place with a total of five bass weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces, and Kyle Christianson and Chris Sabina’s team won 11th place with four bass weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces.
As a primarily self-funded student organization, the student teams paid their own way and traveled 40 hours round-trip by car from Colorado to California to compete in the weekend tournament. This is the biggest win in the three-year history of the competitive bass fishing student organization.
The anglers prepared for days studying maps of the 44,000-acre lake they had only been to once before, picking out targeted fishing spots and analyzing weather patterns to help them develop a winning strategy.
“Most of our competitions are in California or Arizona, so we are always playing an away game and sometimes have never even been to the lakes we compete at,” said Velez. “For this competition, we had about two hours to prepare that morning before hitting the water at 6:30 a.m. We were running on adrenaline all day.”
The team attributes its winning strategy to good teamwork, competitive spirit between teammates, and trying to just relax and enjoy the fishing.
“I was just going out to fish and didn’t worry about the tournament,” said Robey. “The competition kicked in when Keane caught the first two fish for our boat. We are both competitive with each other, and we push each other to fish better and work smarter as a team each time we go to a tournament.”
Tackle used by the successful team included Wright & McGill Skeet Reese signature finesse worm and spinner bait/worm rods, Lazer Trokar TK150 Size 1/0 Drop Shot hooks, Wacky rigged Senko worms, and Berkley Trilene line. Colorado companies Lazer Trokar, Wright & McGill, and Dynamic Lures are all product sponsors of the CSU Bass Team
The CSU Bass Team currently has about 10 members but is looking forward to adding new members so that they can continue to share knowledge, enhance their skills and have a stronger presence at more competitions. The team has both competing members who represent them at tournaments and non-competing members who join to learn, share techniques and just enjoy the sport. CSU undergraduate student who are interested in joining the CSU Bass Team can visit its Facebook page for more information and future dates for meetings in the fall semester.
For those looking to cast a line this summer, the CSU Bass Team recommends Dixon Reservoir in Fort Collins and Boyd Lake in Loveland as great fishing spots.