K-State’s bass fishing duo of Nathan Kozlowski and Lance Maldonado took first place last Saturday at the prestegious FLW College Central Conference qualifier at Pickwick Lake, on the Tennessee River in Alabama.
The college juniors and longtime friends from Junction City have fished together since they were about five years old, and beat out a field of 50 boats, many from colleges much closer to Pickwick Lake. Teams finishing second through fifth place were all from nearby Kentucky.
A FLW release said two teams from Wichita State’s fishing team participated, finishing in the bottom half of the event.
Kozlowski made the 24 hour round-trip drive the previous weekend to pre-fish the lake. Maldonado joined him on the return trip to Alabama last Friday.
“It was 12 hours down, six hours of fishing and 12 hours back,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado said they weighed in five bass that totaled 17 lbs., 8 oz by fishing eddy areas around big boulders in the tailrace fishery. Having fished Kansas’ Milford Reservoir countless times in their lives, he said they were ready for the mixed-bag angling that included smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass. The anglers boated 30 to 40 bass, total.
Ironically, they must return to Pickwick for another FLW event in about 10 days.
This is the second big win for the K-State Fishing Team in two years.
In April, 2012, Ryan Patterson, of Garden Plain won the FLW College Fishing National Championship on South Carolina’s Lake Murray. With his partner ruled ineligible, Patterson had to defeat 24 two-man college teams for the victory that gained him national media attention, including a mention in Sports Illustrated.