Astoria’s Michael Postlewait, a freshman fisherman with the Dallas Baptist University bass fishing team, has qualified to take part in the 2021 Fishing League Worldwide National Championships in March.

Postlewait and Dallas Baptist teammate Andrew Rickman punched their ticket to the national tournament after finishing eighth in the Fishing League Worldwide regional qualifier, held Nov. 13 on Lake Sam Rayburn, in east Texas.

Fishing League Worldwide is part of Major League Fishing, the largest bass fishing organization in the world.

While most competitive anglers spend their entire collegiate careers chasing a spot in the national championship, Postlewait and Rickman qualified in their first semester at Dallas Baptist in their first Fishing League Worldwide event.

The duo netted five fish for a one-day total of 14 pounds, 6 ounces.

“We had a tough practice, catching mostly 12-13 (inch) fish up shallow,” said Postlewait, a Class of 2020 graduate from Astoria. “Fortunately, we found a few creeks that held some better sized fish. We only caught five keepers all day but was thankful our ‘kicker’ did enough to get us in to the top-10, and qualify us for the national championship.”

The Stephen F. Austin State University team of Cooper Thor and Cody Barchenger won the event with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 7 ounces.

Teamwise, the Dallas Baptist Patriots moved up from seventh to fifth nationally with their performance in the qualifier.

The 12th annual national championship will be held March 3 through March 5, 2021, on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees. The tournament showcases the nation’s best collegiate anglers and awards the winners a $33,500 prize package that includes a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat and automatic entry into the 2021 Toyota Series Championship, where the winners will compete for a top prize of up to $235,000.

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or ghenley@dailyastorian.com.