News - Bass fishing competes at conference meet

Bass fishing competes at conference meet

Bass fishing competes at conference meet

The Greenville Bass Fishing team went back down to Carlyle lake this last weekend to compete in the FLW conference championship. This is similar to the tournament that they competed in last week, except that they had to qualify in order to enter this one. Only 45 teams in the midwest region made the cut in order to compete, and Greenville was one of them. The winner of this two day competition goes back with $2,000 and bragging rights.

The tournament started with a pizza party for all the teams, followed by a brief meeting last Friday evening. They do this so that all of the teams understand the rules and what is off limits and what is fair game. Unlike in other sports, if you fail to follow the rules, you are automatically disqualified from the competition. It is crucial that everyone understands what is expected, especially since rules differ with different lakes and tournaments. In addition to this, it also gives the teams a chance to socialize with each other. Even at a tournament where a large sum of money is up for grabs, people do not shy away from interacting with people from opposing teams.

As the boats lined up one after another to get lowered into the lake the next morning, there was a very ominous feeling on the wind. While Hurricane Joaquin has been battering the east coast, some of that leftover energy created some challenging conditions for the fishermen. Immediately once they hit the water, the boats were battered by strong winds and waves that occasionally made their way into the boat. You could get seasick just watching the lake toss and turn violently beneath the boats. The wind nipped at any exposed skin and chilled you to the bone. These were the conditions that these fishermen had to face this weekend.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. As the day moved on, you could begin to see the conditions take its toll on everyone. Hopes were low and there were almost no fish to be seen, aside from some shad or the occasional white bass (these don’t count towards weigh in, only largemouth bass do). Despite the look of despair and frustration, these guys kept going. They do not give up very easily and fished it out until the very end - roughly 8 hours after take off.

At the end of day one, only a handful of teams had caught anything and were able to move on to the second day. Out of 45 teams, only about 9 of them had any luck. I say luck, because even the most skilled angler could come out of that lake with nothing. This is a sport that takes a large amount of skill, knowledge, and determination, but it can also be very fickle. All the equipment and skill in the world may give you an advantage, but if the fish don’t want to bite, then you are out of luck.

Despite coming out empty handed, Ray Hingson and David Weyers did a great job of representing Greenville College. They gave it all they had, and then some, but it was not enough to land them a spot in the second day of the tournament. Regardless, they came back in one piece looking unphased from the rough day everyone had. What is truly remarkable about this team is that they keep at it. They do not give up, which is especially impressive since it is a club activity sponsored by the school and not considered a sport. However, they still have a chance to redeem themselves before their season ends. They still have one more chance to compete, so be sure to keep an eye for it!

This story was published on October 03, 2015

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