PLATTSBURGH — Some local anglers got to fish on an international stage this week, helping the USA to a silver medal in the process.
Ryan Latinville and Brett Carnright, both of Plattsburgh, took part in Competitive Sport Fishing League’s Pan American Bass Championship on Lake St. Francis near Cornwall, Ontario on Oct. 18.
The tournament, won by the Canadian team, also had contingents representing Mexico and the Akwesasne First Nations.
The scoring was based on a cumulative average weight brought in by all of each team’s duos, with team USA’s eight pairs of anglers catching an average of 38.97 pounds per boat, just 0.01 pounds lower than Team Canada’s score.
“We were all communicating with each other throughout the tournament, making sure that we had all gotten decent bags,” Carnright said. “There was definitely more pressure than when you’re just fishing for yourself and a partner.”
The tournament was originally going to be comprised of two eight hour days, Oct. 17 and 18, but was changed to just two four hour segments on Oct. 18 due to inclement weather the day before.
Even with the day cancellation, fishing conditions still weren't ideal.
“Out of the four days we were there, that tournament day was the coldest we were there for,” Carnright said.
Both Carnright and Latinville were unfamiliar with Lake St. Francis, and said that the current caused by the St. Lawrence River flowing in and out of the lake added an extra challenge to the day of fishing.
“I’d fished on the river, but never that pool,” Latinville said. “The current was the most challenging factor. It positions fish differently than it would (in Lake Champlain).”
Latinville and Carnright were the 17th ranked boat out of 26, finishing with 34.88 pounds of fish brought in on the day.
“We were invited by a major pro, Scott Martin,” Latinville said. “Being with these guys, some of the best in the world, and watching how they broke down (the lake), it was just a great learning experience.”
And they hope that this tournament will be the first of many in helping bass fishing grow bigger on the world stage.
“The end goal of the Pan American is for it to eventually become an Olympic sport,” Latinville said. “To be a part of the American team that’s trying to make that happen was special.”