The Shippensburg University team of Kevin Hollasch of Marriotsville, Maryland and Hunter Chamberlin of Shippensburg won the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, New York Saturday with five bass weighing a total of 17-pounds, 15-ounces. This is the second straight FLW College Fishing North Conference event win for the Ship duo, as the two also won the June college fishing event on the Potomac River in Maryland.
“To win back-to-back, it’s hard to explain how big this is,” Chamberlin said of the victory that earned the SU fishing club $2,000. “Words can’t even describe it. To be a small school and to be able to compete against big schools like Penn State and Ohio State, it’s huge.”
The water was a lot rougher in Plattsburgh then at their previous win, the duo spent about an hour just getting to their fishing location and another hour getting back, so they had a lot less time to fish. Despite that, the Shippensburg University pair caught a total of 30-35 fish, more then they had caught at their previous win.
After already qualifying for the FLW College Fishing Northern Conference Invitational tournament with their win on the Potomac River, Hollasch and Chamberlin felt no pressure on Lake Champlain.
“We took a gamble and went up north,” said Hollasch. “With the rough waters I don't think a lot of other teams did that. We basically just went all-in on our spots up there and it paid off.”
Hollasch and Chamberlin weighed three largemouth and two smallmouth among their five winning catches. In the competition they targeted fishing rocks and weeds in eight to fifteen feet of water.
“We started off the day and we were going to target smallmouth, but once we got up there and saw the conditions we figured we'd just go and work shallow," said Hollasch. That quick thinking worked to the tune of a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth and a first place finish over three pounds better than the next closest competitor.
The duo said they exclusively fished a Senko on a drop-shot rig with Trokar hooks and Elite Tungsten weights and didn’t lose a fish all day.
With their ticket punched, the team can now set their sight on to their next challenge, the two-day FLW College Northern Conference invitational tournament scheduled for September 14 and 15 in the Upper Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. On the line at the invitational tournament is a spot in the College Fishing National Championship for the top 10 and the winner receives $4,000 for their club. After these two back-to-back wins, Chamberlin and Hollasch have to feel good about their chances.
“That’s definitely what I’m hoping,” said Chamberlin. “To keep the streak going and at least finish in the top 10 and qualify for the national tournament.”