CSULB nets championship
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 9, 2012 20:09
When most people think of the elite sports programs at Cal State Long Beach, basketball, baseball or soccer probably come to mind. But it might be time to add the CSULB Fishing Team to that list.
Justin Gangel, a senior marine ecology major, and Alex Cox, a senior kinesiology major, traveled to Lake Utah to compete in the 2012 National Guard FLW Western Conference College Fishing Championship.
Instead of fish, the duo brought back a Ranger Z117 fishing boat. The boat is the biggest win to date for the three-year-old club and will be a relief on the club members’ wallets, Gangel said.
“CSULB funds the [Fishing] Club for travel and other things, but the gear is all at our own personal expense,” Gangel said.
During the competition, judges focused on how many pounds of fish were reeled in, rather than the quality of each fish. On the second day of the three-day competition, Gangel and Cox pulled into first place with a lead of one pound and three ounces over the second-place team, Chico State University.
On the third and final day of the competition, the top five teams advanced to the championship round.
The five colleges represented were: CSULB, Chico State, Arizona State University, Oregon State University and University of California, Santa Cruz. By the end of the day, Gangel and Cox had solidified their lock on the top spot, catching five more fish that weighed in at seven pounds and five ounces.
The final results of the competition had CSULB in first place, OSU in second, Chico State in third , ASU in fourth and UCSC rounding out the finalists in fifth place.
Gangel said his team used a surefire strategy to win the competition: catch a greater amount of smaller fish rather than focus on the quality of fish.
“We found a secluded spot on the lake, and we continued to fish there,” he said.
As part of the first place prize, both Gangel and Cox were given an opportunity to compete in the National Fishing Competition next April.
Last year, the team’s second in existence, it just missed out on qualifying for nationals, finishing seventh in the 2011 conference championship.