By Victoria Dahlin
Rush City native Korey Sybrant and fishing partner Eric Tessmer of Glenco earned a trip to the National Championship in Arkansas after taking second place in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Super Regional Bass Tournament.
Over the course of two days last May, Sybrant and Tessmer fished the Mississippi River at La Crosse, Wis., and caught 10 fish for a total 30 lbs. 10 oz. to win over 26 teams from colleges in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Sybrant, a student at St. Cloud State University, started the Husky Bass Fishing Club three years ago, and the team has since grown to 14 members who participate in a number of different collegiate fishing tournaments.
The university only pays for the hotel expenses, so the student fishermen have to cover the difference for the tournament trips. Two other St. Cloud State teams placed, taking fourth and sixth in the regional tournament, but only the top two teams advance to the nationals.
Sybrant and Tessmer, along with 55 teams from colleges and universities across the United States, found it rough fishing at the Carhartt Bassmaster College National Championship in Little Rock July 25-27. Severe drought caused closure of the locks and dams on the Arkansas River on the first day of fishing.
“That made the river a lake and scattered the fish all over, making them very tough to locate,” said Sybrant. “We blanked on day one on the river. The next day we were on Lake Maumelle, and that is also a very tough lake to catch a keeper in. We ended up being only one of six teams to catch a limit on the reservoir that supplies water to Little Rock. We ended up finishing in 27th place.
“It was a great experience, and I am blessed to have had the opportunity to go down there. We were given the opportunity to speak one on one with Bassmaster Elite Series Pros during our sponsor night, and we got to meet Scott Rook, Todd Faircloth, Bassmaster Classic Champion Mark Davis, Kevin Short, Bassmaster Classic Champion Davey Hite, Billy Mcgharen and a few others.
“That was so cool to sit down and have a convo with the best of the best. Once in a lifetime opportunity to say the least.
“Eric and I would really like to thank everyone who has been following the Husky Bass Fishing Club and rooting us on throughout this crazy experience. We would also like to thank our sponsors Onyx Outdoor Gear, Atomic Tackle Company and KrugerFarms.com. Without their support we wouldn’t have had this opportunity, so please check out their products.
“To any future college students interested in fishing at a collegiate level, no matter what school they go to, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]”
Sybrant has been influenced by many people throughout his fishing career, but he gives most credit to his father, Kevin Sybrant, uncle Mike Sybrant, and friend Tim Hosler.
His love of tournament fishing began in seventh grade when he participated in weekly Wednesday night tournaments on local lakes.
He is now competing in the GreenHorn Bass Tour, which takes place on lakes in the east central area of Minnesota, including Goose Lake with the Tournament of Champions being held on his home lake of Rush Lake on Aug. 17.
“I fish these tournaments with my friend and local Rush Lake angler Tracey Shinler,” said Sybrant. “I am always dreaming of becoming a pro one day, but that day will have to wait for now. I currently don’t own a truck or a boat, so it makes it tough to fish at a higher level without those. I need some more money.”
Sybrant has a plan for that. He just graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in elementary education.
“I am really hoping to find a job in a middle school science classroom,” said Sybrant. “That is my goal, but I would be very happy to be placed in any classroom, as I just love being around children. I am currently staying busy by farming with my good friend just north of Rush City.”