CSU Monterey Bay’s team of Matthew Diaz and Sebastian Resendiz braved frigid, windy conditions to finish sixth in the college fishing national championship in Seneca, S.C., March 6-8.
Diaz and Resendiz caught 15 fish during the three days of the tournament on Lake Keowee for a total weight of 29 lbs., eight ounces. They missed a fifth-place finish – and $2,000 in prize money – by a single pound.
The title went to a team from the University of Minnesota, who caught 15 fish with a total weight of 37 lbs., 8 ounces. The Golden Gophers hauled in a whopping 14-pound catch on the final day to cruise to victory by a margin of more than 3 pounds. They walked away with a prize package worth $30,000.
With Chico State and CSUMB in the field, this year’s tournament marked the first time two West Coast teams qualified for the national championship.
Joshua Smith and Andrew Sjostrom, the second Otter team in the competition.
Fifty teams qualified for the tournament by finishing in the top 10 in regional competition last fall. CSUMB’s teams earned their places in the championship field at the Western Conference Invitational at Clear Lake in October.
Competitive college fishing has been around since 2008, when FLW, the organizer of professional fishing tournaments, started a college tour. Now, more than 600 teams regularly compete in five divisions, and it just keeps growing. All participants must be registered, full-time undergraduates at a four-year college or university and members of a fishing club recognized by their school.
Highlights from this year’s event will be shown on NBC Sports on May 31.
The fishing club is just one of many opportunities for CSUMB students to participate in outdoor recreation and intramural sports.