Monday, April 16, 2012
The National Guard FLW College Fishing National Championship on Lake Murray is a team event. Twenty-five teams from across the country competed, but the team that won was made up of only one man.
The Kansas State University team's only member is Ryan Patterson of Goddard. Patterson’s teammate and brother transferred from Kansas State so Patterson had to fish in the championship event alone. He did the unthinkable by claiming the title of national champion. For his efforts, Patterson received $50,000 cash, a Ranger 177TR with a 90-horsepower engine for his school’s bass club and $25,000 for Kansas State University.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Patterson, a junior advertising major. “The whole time I was pretty nervous. When I got up here I knew it was going to be close.
On Sunday, Patterson weighed five bass for 18 pounds, 1 ounce for a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 46-15. Patterson took the title by 2 pounds, 4 ounces.
“I’ll be real honest with you,” Patterson added. “I’m a very confident fisherman. I’m very confident in my abilities. I didn’t expect to catch 20 pounds every day, but I knew I was going to catch my five, and if I got some breaks here and there I was going to do well.”
Patterson moves on to go up against the best professional anglers on the planet in the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, in August. He'll compete for a top award of $500,000.
“I told everyone when I came here that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Patterson said. “And the guys that do this for a living … you don’t realize how good those guys are and how hard it is to make it where they’re at. And for me to have an opportunity like this … it’s an amazing experience. I’m definitely excited. I’ll take the Cinderella ride all the way to the Forrest Wood Cup. Anything can happen.”