PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh State team of John McDougall of Queensbury and Brendan Bolis of Canton won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event on Lake Champlain Saturday with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 11 ounces.
The victory earned the team $5,000. The win also helped them advance to the Northern Conference Championship.
“I’m ecstatic right now,” said McDougall, an environmental science major. “This is my second FLW tournament. I fished my first ever event for our club at the Lake Kerr event earlier this season and we finished 23rd. Brendan and I really put it together (Saturday), though, and it feels great to get the win.
“We started out the day in an area we had found during our practice time. We had found most of our success in the bays, so that’s what we targeted (Saturday). Our first spot we hit using Spro Square bill crankbaits in 3 to 6 feet of water. We had a limit before 8 a.m. That definitely took a lot of the pressure off.”
The anglers then moved to a few other spots under the sunny, calm conditions before finding success deeper.
“After we had our limit we moved to another bay and started drop-shotting wacky worms,” said Bolis, a business major. “Watermelon seemed to be the hot color for the day. We caught around 30 fish throughout the day, and weighed in all largemouth. The bite was really consistent throughout the entire day.
“We were actually an alternate team right up until five minutes before the tournament started. We were the last team to launch our boat.”
“We had to scramble and help our driver clean out his boat as everyone was already launching,” McDougall said with a laugh. “I’m just happy that we got the boat clean and were able to fish in this tournament.”
Rounding out the top five teams and also advancing to the Northern Conference Championship are:
Penn State University – Jessica Moldofsky, Worcester, Pa., and Grae Buck, Perkiomenville, Pa. (five bass, 15-8, $1,500).
La Roche College – Jonathan Coholich and Richard Smith, both of Pittsburgh, Pa. (five bass, 14-4, $1,000).
Fairmont State University – Ryan Radcliff, Parkersburg, W.Va., and Will Dieffenbauch, Hundred, W.Va. (five bass, 14-4, $1,000).
Virginia Tech University – Jody White, Shaftsbury, Vt., and David Bryant, Covington, Va. (five bass, 13-9, $1,000).