The K-state fishing club dominated the Northwest Missouri State Bearcat Open at Mozingo Lake in Maryville, MO on Saturday April 6th. All four of K-State’s two person teams placed in the top 10 in a competition that included 22 other duos from universities in Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri.

Fishing on NWMSU’s home turf (the lake is 3 miles from campus), the Wildcats still managed to claim top finishes. The one day tournament began at 7 a.m. and ended at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, but all four teams prefished on Friday.

“We thought we would do pretty well after prefishing on Friday,” said Alex Fulkerson, junior in wildlife and outdoor enterprises management, about his team’s expectations going into the tournament.

Fulkerson and his partner Sam Starr, sophomore in political science, did better than expected. They took first place in the tournament, followed by the K-State team of Kyle Swanson, senior in mechanical engineering, and Dan Towsley, sophomore in wildlife and outdoor enterprise management, who came in second. After three or four hours on the lake on Friday, Starr and Fulkerson had caught about 15 pounds, they were predicting it would take about 20 pounds to win considering the conditions, which Swanson said did make a difference. “Water temperatures were extremely cold and the fish were fairly inactive.”

Although the water below was chilly the air above was windy and warm. “It was our warmest tournament we’ve fished in this year,” Fulkerson said. During previous tournaments, temperatures have been around 35 degrees with snow on the ground.

Starr and Fulkerson were able to bring in 20.4 pounds during the tournament, although it didn’t all come at once.

“We put three fish in the boat in the first hour,” Starr said, “and then went five hours without boating a fish. But in the last hour we caught 8 or 9 and culled on every one of them.” Starr and Fulkerson caught their fish flipping in 6-10 feet of water on various plastics. They used Lazer Trokar TK125 and TK130 hooks to ensure every fish came in the boat.

Other teams faced similar situations. “For Dan and I, it was actually pretty difficult,” said Swanson. “We caught four in the first 30 minutes, and then caught 3 more throughout the rest of the day.” The team still managed to bring in 15.58 pounds for a second place finish.

Other K-state teams that finished in the top 10 were Garrett Cates, sophomore in biological engineering systems, and Kyle Alsop, freshman in mechanical engineering, who placed fifth. Jeremy Jackson, senior in wildlife and outdoor enterprise management, and A.J. Farmer, senior in education earth science, took seventh overall. Overall, K-State’s teams did very well, each bringing in a limit of fish on a day a limit was hard to come by. The next tournament for the team will be the two-day Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Open in Paris, Tenn. April 19-20.

Image courtesy KSU Fishing Team

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