HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — The Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team put up a strong showing this past Sunday at the North Carolina State qualifier for the B.A.S.S. National Championship at Blythe Landing.
The Red Hawks were the host for the event in conjunction with the Riley's Catch organization.
Two Catawba Valley bass fishing teams finished inside the top five, and all seven competing CVCC teams caught five-fish limits.
"Riley's Catch is a great organization. Teaming up with them to host the NC BASS College National Championship qualifier just made sense," said Catawba Valley bass fishing head coach Angela Mayo. "Most of the teams in college in North Carolina fished the Riley's Catch tournaments while they were in high school. We hope to continue to partner with them for many years to come."
The Western Carolina tandem of Noah Pressler and Jacob Silver won the event, catching a five-fish limit weighing 11.54 pounds.
"Last night looking at the forecast, we were praying for wind," Pressler said. "We fished the Palmetto Trail here a few weeks ago and finished sixth. This is only our second time out here. We came back, and we knew it had to be blowing wind or we weren't going to catch them. It wasn't blowing wind most of the day yesterday. If you told us we were going to catch eleven and a half pounds of fish yesterday, we would have told you that you were crazy. This is definitely the best tournament of our college careers."
Silver said the tournament win is a breakthrough moment for he and Pressler after falling one spot short last year of qualifying for the B.A.S.S. National Championship.
"We fish so much, and we finally won one," Silver said. "We're stoked. With about an hour left, we picked up the spinner bait and crank bait, and it started to get windy again. We caught our two biggest ones then. We were super lucky."
Despite fishing by himself, Red Hawk angler Dalton Eury finished in second place after catching five bass weighing 10.82 pounds. His largest fish weighed 3.84 pounds.
Other five-bass limit performances at the event by the Red Hawks included Hunter Keller and Grant Harris with 9.69 pounds, Cabe Mackey and Jadon Spencer with 7.98 pounds, Lane Bailey and Justin Eggers with 7.96 pounds, Brendan Vinton and Chase Martin with 7.38 pounds and Cole Weaver and Carson Eckard with 7.14 pounds.
The Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team currently ranks 17th in the latest Bass Pro Shops School of the Year standings.