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Manhattan, Kansas, has been home to numerous individual and team championships throughout the years. It should come as little surprise, then, that the angler’s fishing for KSU have had a great deal of success on the water for over fifteen years.
For the third installment of Premier Angler’s College Fishing Talk, we are chatting with Michael Meuting of the Kansas State University Fishing Team.
Mueting is a sophomore accounting major from Lincoln, Nebraska, who serves as the team’s social media coordinator.
Talking College Fishing with Michael Mueting, Kansas State University
Premier Angler: To start, tell us how you got started fishing? Did you fish any tournaments as a youth or in high school?
Mueting: I have been fishing nearly all of my life.
A big part of my weekends growing up was camping with my family and fishing with my grandpa at the local lakes in Southeast Nebraska. It was a lot simpler back then, mostly live bait rigs and Zebco reels. We would load up the boat and try to catch anything that would bite.
It was when I was 10 or 11 years old that I started fishing tournaments. My dad had a friend from work, Kevin Keller, who ran a very small youth club — maybe 8-10 members at the time. Ever since my first tournament with the Star City Jr. Anglers, I have been chasing those dang green fish all over the state, and eventually all over the country.
By high school, I was fishing all over the Midwest and had even been as far east as South Carolina, and as far south as Louisiana. My senior year, I was fortunate enough to win the High School TBF State Tournament in Nebraska and was recognized as 2018 Bassmaster All-State for Nebraska.
Premier Angler: Did the fishing team have any influence on your decision to attend Kansas State?
Mueting: Absolutely! I have fallen in love with the school and Manhattan, but I have really respected the team and the anglers on it for a long time. When it came time for me to graduate high school, I knew that I wanted to fish in college, and Kansas State seemed like the best option for me.
Premier Angler: Kansas State’s fishing team has been around for sixteen years now, being formed in January 2004. During this time, the squad has achieved a great deal of recognition and success, including a few national titles. What are some of the benefits to being part of such an established team?
Mueting: I feel that we have a lot of respect from the college fishing community, and it is awesome to see how many people from the non-fishing community recognize the Kansas State Fishing Team as a national championship winning team.
Premier Angler: Kansas State Fishing has a very active social media presence and a great website that is regularly updated. It may surprise people that many college fishing teams — especially some of the smaller or newer squads — have very little in the way of information on the internet. As the team’s social media coordinator, how important do you believe it is for schools to maintain an active online presence, both for individual teams and for college fishing in general?
Mueting: Our online presence does several things for us as a team. We are lucky to have quite a few people that follow us, and I feel that they deserve to be kept up to date with us through both Facebook and Instagram.
Another thing that social media is able to do for us is to act as a platform from which we can promote both our benefit tournament, as well as our T-shirts and hats that we sell throughout the year. Both of these together are what fills the gap between the funding we get from the school and what we need for our traveling teams the upcoming year.
Our website is how we sell a good amount of the shirts and hats throughout the year.
Premier Angler: How does the school recruit members to the team? What type of promotion, if any, goes into raising awareness about the team on campus, locally, electronically, etc.?
Mueting: I think that most of our new members come from the boat shows that we go to, the activity fair that we have at the beginning of the year, and from seeing us on the college tours that we fish.
Premier Angler: Kansas State has had a presence at some of the premier events in college fishing for many years. Walk us through the preparation that goes into making all of this a reality.
Mueting: As far as from an angler standpoint, there is a lot of time that goes into each tournament. Personally, I missed every single home football game this year because I was determined that if I wasn’t fishing one of our fall qualifying tournaments, I would be out pre-fishing for another one, or pre-fishing for one of the FLW/BASS national tournaments.
I am a guy that will just pull out my phone and look at maps if I have time between classes.
Premier Angler: What advice would you give to young anglers who are considering fishing on the college circuit?
Mueting: I think that the biggest thing for a high school angler to do is just to fish.
During the warmer months of my junior and senior years, I spent 5-7 days a week on the water. It’s from all of that time that I have been able to learn what I know now.
As a college student, I wish that I still had time to fish that much, but there’s no way that I could do that now. I feel strongly that time spent on the water is the best way to learn as an angler, and high school can present a great opportunity to have a lot of time out there.
Premier Angler: What are some of your favorite lakes to fish, either near the college or at home, when you are not on the circuit?
Mueting: My favorite lake is definitely Lake of the Ozarks. I’m firm that it is still a world class fishery, but every day out there is a challenge.
The reason that I am so fond of the lake is that it sets up in ways that I really like to fish, and I have so many memories of trips down there both fishing with my dad and spending time with my whole family.