UCF anglers win fishing championship

O’Donnell and Burghoff earned $6,500 for the UCF fishing club. That included a $1,000 bonus for being members of BoatUS.

The UCF juniors had started the day in second place in the 144-boat tournament on Lake Lewisville, near Dallas, with 17.07 pounds, which was less than a quarter of a pound behind a team from Arkansas Tech University. But they knew that if they didn’t bring in a limit of five fish, they had no chance of winning.

O’Donnell and Burghoff had flipped and pitched soft plastic lures around submerged bushes in shallow water for the entire tournament. When they got back to the weigh-in site 15 minutes ahead of schedule, O’Donnell tied on one of Burghoff’s half-ounce Secret Lures HD flipping jig and made a few flips in deep water.

Then they went into the back of a pocket to look for laydowns. They saw one tree in the water and Burghoff made a few flips. Then O’Donnell gave it a try.

“On maybe my second cast, as soon as the jig went in, the rod bent over and the fish swam out. It was a miracle that it didn’t go into the tree,” O’Donnell said.

“That won the tournament for us,” Burghoff said. “I’ve never been more excited than when I saw that fish flash. I have never yelled so loud in my life.”

Read more from the Sun Sentinel here.

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