Barney and Fish: members of KSU fishing team
Fishing may not be an official sport on college campuses, but it has its place at Kansas State University, where the school’s unofficial fishing team ranks seventh among 160 college teams.
Senior Nathan Barney of Tampa has been on the team for two years. The aptly named Jared Fish of Hillsboro, a 2009 KSU graduate, joined last fall and plans to remain on the team as he pursues graduate studies.
The 16-member team competes at various college bass-fishing tournaments throughout the year. Members furnish their own supplies including boats.
Members compete in pairs. The combined weights of the pair’s five heaviest catches determine their rankings.
Barney has qualified for four national tournaments, and Fish has qualified for two. National tournaments often are aired on television.
Barney and Fish recently returned from a tournament May 24 to 29 at Dallas. They will participate July 12 to 15 in an ESPN tournament in Arkansas. It will be aired before the start of the football season.
The sport is not as easy as it sounds, Barney said.
“A lot of it is luck, but it also takes a lot of skill,” he said. “We fished three days prior to the tournament in Texas to find out what bait to use and where the fish are biting.”
He received inspiration for fishing from watching Jimmy Houston Outdoors as a youth. He was thrilled when Houston was a guest speaker at the Texas tournament.
“I got to see my idol,” he said.
Friendships are among the benefits of being on a fishing team.
“You get to meet a lot of people, and although we spend quite a lot of money out of our own pockets, sponsors give us a lot of free stuff,” Barney said.
Barney is pursuing a degree in animal science and business. His parents are Gene and Denise Barney of Tampa.
Fish earned a bachelor of science in food science and industry. His parents are Bill and Cathleen Fish of Hillsboro.
Last modified June 3, 2009