Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Ryan Patterson quickly became the talk of the bass fishing world last month, winning the FLW College Bass Fishing National Championship in South Carolina. Patterson not only beat 24 of the best college teams in the country, he did it by himself.
"It's been pretty neat, and I have defiantly enjoyed the ride,” Patterson said. "Other guys may have been psyched out and may have retreated a little bit. For me, I said numerous times, if you are ever going to be a pro in this sport, you have to fish by yourself."
With his K-State teammate and brother Brandon unable to fish the National Championship, Ryan was fishing solo against college teams with two competitors. Despite the odds, Patterson said he never really doubted his chance to win it all.
"I kind of had a swing for the fences mentality, and in the end I got lucky enough to get a hold of one that went over the fence," he said.
Patterson said growing up with a family who loves the outdoors played a major roll in his success.
"I was lucky enough to have parents and grandparents that wanted to take me fishing," he said.
With a National Championship comes national exposure. sponsorships, appearances and the chance to fish for $600,000 in August at one of the biggest bass tournaments in the world, the FLW Forrest Wood Cup on Georgia's Lake Lanier.
"The opportunity to fish for that amount of money, it's incredible,” Patterson said. “It's like a kid playing touch football in the back yard and then the next day you play in the Super Bowl. It doesn't get any bigger. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and you have to make the most of these."
Patterson's winning effort in the FLW College Bass Fishing National Championship will be broadcast May 27 at Noon on the NBC Sports Network.
Click here to see more of Patterson and KAKE's Jeff Herndon fishing for bass on Lake Afton in Sedgwick County.