The ESF bass fishing team earned a win this past weekend at the New York State Bass Fishing Federation Collegiate Cup qualifier on the St. Lawrence River.
ESF sported two teams at the tournament: one with Lukas Matt and Caleb Conrad and the other featuring Ethan Hall and Ray Bentz. The Mighty Oaks found the fish on the St. Lawrence, finishing first and third overall out of 12 teams. Coming in first were Hall and Bentz who reeled in five fish with a combined weight of 19.60 pounds. The catch included a smallmouth bass weighing in at 5.6 pounds. The first-place team took home $205 in prize money.
It was Hall's first time fishing on the St. Lawrence. "This place has some real tanks in it!" he said, referring to the size of the fish in the river.
The third-place team of Matt and Conrad hauled in five fish with a combined weight of 14.65 pounds.
The previous day, Matt and Conrad had travelled to Chautauqua Lake in Western New York for the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) regional tournament. Competing against 67 other teams, the squad came in 23rd, coming up short in qualifying for the national championship tournament in March. During the tournament the team caught a total of five fish weighing in at eight pounds total.
"We just couldn't come up with that one big fish to put us in contention," Matt said.
Both teams move on to the state championship Oct. 8 in Ticonderoga, New York, with the hopes of clinching a berth to the National Bass Fishing championship tournament in Kimberling City, Missouri, in April 2017.