WADDINGTON, N.Y. — The Emmanuel College Bass Fishing team traveled to New York and competed in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship from Aug. 12-14.
It sent four pairs of anglers to compete in the fishing tournament. One angler, in particular, was a Covington native, Taylor McMullen.
The 2020 Newton High School alum and his partner, Cole Holloway, placed 17th overall out of 125 teams in the tournament. Their final place was aided by catching 35 pounds and nine ounces of fish.
McMullen and Holloway accomplished this while just being freshmen in college.
It was an experience like no other for McMullen.
“There are a lot of people who fish for four years and they never get to compete in that tournament,” McMullen said. “For us to do it our freshmen year was honestly was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.”
After making a nearly 20-hour drive up to the St. Lawrence River, everyone got the opportunity to practice for three days.
Once the practice period was complete, then the competition began.
Day one of the tournament was more significant to McMullen, too. It would’ve been his grandmother, Wanda McMullen’s birthday. By realizing that, McMullen was more motivated to perform well in the national championship.
That day, we ended up catching 20 pounds,” McMullen said. “It meant a lot to me to do that on her birthday. It was a surreal moment.”
All in all, McMullen summarized the entire tournament as a special experience for him. He even described it as one he’ll never forget.
According to McMullen, there were even some things he learned as part of the Newton High School bass fishing team that helped him in New York. But he remained focused on the impact bass fishing has had on his life.
Now, McMullen hopes his success will bring about more bass fishers coming from the Covington area.
“Fishing competitively is a new thing for most people,” McMullen said. “I’ve been fishing since I was 5 years old, so it’s in my blood. That’s just what I do. And it’s cool seeing more people get interested in pursuing fishing. The Newton County community has been great in their support for me and I really appreciate that.”