CVCC's Bailey, Eggers finish top 10 on Lake Chickamauga

CVCC's Bailey, Eggers finish top 10 on Lake Chickamauga

DAYTON, Tenn. — The Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team battled the elements on Thursday and Friday on Lake Chickamauga to have all eight of its anglers finish in the top half of the 275-boat field at the Major League Fishing (MLF) College Open, including a top-10 finish at the event.

Red Hawk head coach Angela Mayo is proud of her team after expecting a tough tournament heading into the event.

"I can't adequately express how proud I am of our team," Mayo said. "Every single one of our anglers really kept their head in the game and worked hard. They didn't let the weather get to them, and they never gave up."

Leading the way for the Red Hawks were Lane Bailey and Justin Eggers, who overcame issues before the start of the tournament to earn the second top 10 at an MLF event in CVCC bass fishing program history.

"With truck problems early in the week and boat trouble the day before the tournament, Lane and I put our heads down the first day of the tournament and got five of the right bites," Eggers said. "Day two conditions changed, and we slipped up to only catch one keeper, but overall it was a great trip, and I'm super proud of the team."

Bailey and Eggers caught 20 pounds, two ounces of bass during the first day of the event and were standing in second place — something that Bailey is extremely proud of despite the tough circumstances they faced before the event even started.

"It was a tough tournament for sure," Bailey said. "We messed up Justin's motor and only had really one day of practice. Luckily, Justin's dad let us use his boat and coach Mayo picked it up for us on her way. We made a gutsy move and locked into another lake and just fished how we do back home and it worked."

Mayo is proud of both Eggers and Bailey for overcoming the odds and using some unique strategy to earn their top-10 placement.

"We knew this was going to be a tough tournament with the rain, cold and wind," Mayo said. "Justin and Lane had a tough practice and decided to go through the lock up to Watts Barr. They hadn't been there in practice, but decided to take a chance that they could find some fish. It really paid off for them on day one, and they brought the biggest bag in school history to the scales."

Three other Red Hawk tandems also finished in the top half of the 275-team field, including Grant Harris and Wes Smith in 99th place.

Catawba Valley's Carson Eckard and Hunter Keller rebounded from catching no fish on day one to catching a team-best seven pounds, 10 ounces on day two. They finished in 103rd place.

The Red Hawks' Nathan Dellinger and Lucas Oliver also ran into some trouble, but ended up with five pounds of bass at the tournaemtn to finish in 135th place.

Up next for the Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team is a second-straight Major League Fishing event — the Abu Garcia College Fishing Southeastern Conference tournament on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Ala. The one day event takes place on Friday.