The Daily Gamecock

Q&A with National champion bass fisher Patrick Walters

This past Saturday, the South Carolina competitive bass fishing team proved itself as the best in the nation when the Gamecocks brought home the 2015 Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) College Fishing National Championship.

The event took place at Lake Murray and featured teams from all over the country, but South Carolina ultimately edged out second place Liberty University to earn the title. The Daily Gamecock caught up with sophomore Patrick Walters to discuss the team’s title.

The Daily Gamecock: Describe what these past few days have been like since you guys won the national championship.

Patrick Walters: The past few days, it’s kind of been a change trying to get back to reality. It still almost hasn’t set in that you just won the college national championship on your home lake. I had to go the library last night and pull an all-nighter for studying. It was hard to focus with that much on your mind.

TDG: Can you describe what the weekend is like at an FLW Championship?

PW: Honestly, it’s almost like a fraternity for fishing. You just meet so many good guys that all love fishing. They all have the same thing in common. That whole week was just fishing from sunrise to sundown every single day. It was just a wear and tear on you. It was a strenuous week of fishing, but in the end it all paid off.

TDG: How nerve-wracking was that final weigh in and can you describe what the feeling was like when you realized that you had won?

PW: It’s hard to even put into words about how nerve-wracking it was. Because we knew were five ounces back going into it and when we got to the check-in, the full weigh-in, we had asked Liberty if they had any fish and they said they had four good ones and then when we were sitting in the weigh-in line, I asked them ‘Can I see your fish?’ And he opened his bag and the only fish I could see was sitting on top with that giant seven pounder that they had. So it was real nerve-wracking then because I knew I was thinking we had about 15, 15 ½ , 16 pounds and I had actually thought that they had more weight than us and then standing on stage I was just in shock that we had just won the championship. It was just disbelief that it had happened that way.

TDG: How big of an advantage would you say it was for the event to be held at Lake Murray this year? That’s kind of y’all’s stomping grounds.

PW: I wouldn’t say it was such a home field advantage, but it was just home field knowledge was what it was. We had the knowledge of the lake. We knew a lot of good points. We knew we needed to chase the wind. We just used that advantage for us and that’s what we used to catch our fish. Because it’s not necessarily a home field knowledge because these herring fish are so crazy and they move so much. They’ll be there one day and they’ll swim three miles over night. So when you’ll be in that spot the next day they’re gone and you don’t know where they are. You just have to go chase them.

TDG: What’s it been like to receive all the attention and notoriety since you guys won it all this past weekend?

PW:  You know, it’s been good. You actually don’t get a lot of fanfare outside of the fishing industry. People who follow fishing, they give you a bunch of congratulations and stuff like that. But other than that, it’s back to normal life. Back to blending in.

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