AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — It’s been less than a year since Zach Ramsey and Josh Rockefeller become a duo for Augusta University’s bass fishing club, and they’re already the most successful fishers in school history.
The pair has qualified for the national finals in both leagues they compete in, which is something no Jaguar has ever done.
“I’ve watched college fishing on TV for years, and it was just an amazing experience to be able to stay on the fish like that and do [well] in the first tournament of the season for both [leagues],” Augusta sophomore Josh Rockefeller said. “It’s very humbling.”
“To qualify for one national championship was great, but to qualify for two was even better,” Augusta junior Zach Ramsey said. “We’re still up and coming in this college sport and it kind of proved to us that we’re just as competitive as all these other guys. A lot of times we’re the underdog and I think it showed us we’re just as capable of winning a national championship as those guys are.”
The pair placed 12th at the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) Southeastern Conference opener in January to qualify for the FLW’s College Fishing national championship in 2018. Most recently, they finished sixth at the Bassmaster College Series Southern Regional in March to secure a spot in the national championship in August.
Their next official event is the Bassmaster College Wildcard in June, which they’re hoping to use as a practice run for the championship tournament in August.
“The first three-day event we ever fished in college we qualified, so we haven’t had too much experience in the there-day events,” Rockefeller said. “It’ll definitely be a great help to us to stay in that sort of same mindset of how to stay on those fish.”
Qualifying for the national championship events was the first step.
Placing at the Bassmaster College Series National Championship would solidify their place in Augusta history, and could signify the start of a career.
“I want to go into medicine, but Josh wants to be a professional bass fisherman,” Ramsey said. “That’s why he’s here. And for us to do well in that national championship would hopefully be able to propel him into that field and that would be awesome to be able to help one of my best friends get to where he wants to go in life.”