May 7, 2012
The one that didn't get away: Junior claims national bass fishing title
Ryan Patterson, a member of the K-State Fishing Club, won first place at the recent FLW Collegiate National Championship at Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C.
Patterson, a junior in advertising from Goddard, caught a total of 14 bass, weighing 46 lbs., 15 oz., over the course of the three-day competition.
Twenty-five teams from all over the country competed in 20 qualifying events and five conference championships throughout the season, with each of the conference champions competing for the title of national champion.
It was a long road to the championship for all the teams, but Patterson had an especially difficult path.
The College Fishing National Championship is a team competition, but Patterson's partner, his brother, transferred from K-State early in the season and was ineligible to compete with him at the national championship. That meant Patterson had to compete alone. The total weight of his catch for the competition was 2 lbs., 4 oz. more than that of the second-place team from Clemson University.
Patterson said that he felt good about his chances going into the competition, although he did have some nerves.
"I'm very confident in my abilities." he said, "I knew if I got some breaks here and there I was going to do well, but I was pretty nervous the whole time. When I got up there I knew it was going to be close."
For his first-place finish, Patterson received a $50,000 cash prize, a 90-horsepower engine Ranger 177TR for the K-State Fishing Club and a $25,000 prize for the university. The sports club program at the university is offered through recreational services.
In addition, Patterson now gets the opportunity to compete in the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, for a top prize of $500,000. The Forrest Wood Cup, presented by Wal-Mart, will be Aug. 9-12 on Lake Lanier in Duluth, Ga.
"It's an amazing experience for me to have an opportunity like this," Patterson said. "I'm definitely excited. I'll take the Cinderella ride all the way to the Forrest Wood Cup. Anything can happen."