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Priceless Knowledge: Quincy native helps Mizzou Fishing Club make Splash on National Scene

Scott Dooley has an advantage others may not readily recognize.

That's local knowledge.

The FLW College Fishing Tour makes its way to Fort Madison, Iowa, next weekend for the third of four events on the Central Division schedule. That may not seem like home cooking for Dooley, a junior at the University of Missouri, unless you understand his background.

He's a Quincy native who has been a member of Quincy Bass Unlimited the last four years. He's participated in and helped organize tournaments along the Mississippi River, and he's fished the Fort Madison pool near Captain Kirk's Marina.

"I know the water," Dooley said.

And he knows how priceless that is.

Dooley and Mizzou club fishing teammate Andrew Bornholdt competed in the previous Central Division tournament, held July 25 on the Detroit River. They finished 17th out of 40 teams with four fish that weight 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

It was a relatively good catch for a tandem that had never fished the water before.

"There was a five day off-limit period before the tournament," Dooley said. "Unless you had been able to get up there and fish prior to that, you didn't have the chance to learn the water. The fact it was 700 miles from Columbia keeps you from being able to pre-fish."

The duo from Western Michigan won the event, checking six fish that weighed a collective 20 pounds.

"They had done their homework," Dooley said.

So has he on the Mississippi.

"I'm really looking forward to that," Dooley said of the Fort Madison event. "Hopefully, we can do what Western Michigan did."

Dooley and the rest of the club have already done so much.

The Mizzou bass fishing club was actually founded in 2003, but by the time Dooley reached Columbia, it was non-existent. However, there was interest in it.

Bornholdt had transferred from Auburn, where he had been part of the fishing team, and discussions took place last fall about reviving the club. Bornholdt, Dooley and others did the leg work, such as organizing local tournaments and getting the club sanctioned to compete on the national level.

"Our goal was to send a team to the national championship," Dooley said. "We were required to have two qualifying tournaments, and the top two guys in points go fish at the nationals."

Dooley had no trouble getting that organized.

A tournament director with Quincy Bass Unlimited, Dooley is detail-oriented and put that to good use in getting the club's tournaments up and running. They fished Rudolph Bennitt Conservation Area, located about 20 miles north of Columbia, with a fair amount of success.

An 8-pounder was weighed in during the first tournament.

"We were pleased how everything went for the first time," Dooley said.

Dooley couldn't complain much. He and DuRon Netsell finished atop the individual standings and represented Mizzou at the Under Armour College Bass National Championship on the Arkansas River near North Little Rock, Ark.

The duo finished 12th out of 60 teams, catching 10.13 pounds of fish. They checked 7.92 pounds on the first day after finding some back water filled with fish.

"There wasn't a lot of current and we idled across 300 yards or so of basically no water," Dooley said. "I found this little lake, which at its deepest was 2 or 3 feet.

"There were some quality fish in there. The water temperature was well in the 80s ... it had these fish sluggish. Still, every fish we found, even the short ones, were footballs."

They didn't have as much luck the second day, bringing in just 2.21 pounds with one fish. Netsell lost a 3-pounder at the boat that could have pushed the duo into the top 10.

"I wanted first place so I could have my national championship ring," Dooley said. "Hopefully next year. I believe I have what it takes and enough knowledge of the body of water to catch some fish."

He'll put in the time to make sure he's ready.

"I've had my sunglasses tanline since March or April," said Dooley, referencing how much time he spends on the water.

Some quality home cooking could only lead to more time afloat.

The fourth and final Central Division tournament takes place Oct. 3 at the at Lake of the Ozarks -- another body of water the Mizzou anglers should be familiar with -- then the Central Regional will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at Kenlake Marina in Murray, Ky. The national tournament will take place April 10-12 at Tellico Recreation Area near Knoxville, Tenn.

QHSAA Submission: The University of Missouri club fish- ing team keeps climbing the FLW College Fishing Central Division standings. The duo of Scott Dooley and Andrew Bornholdt finished fifth at the tourís most recent bass fishing event held on the Mississippi River near Fort Madison. The duo checked three fish weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces. The team from Western Kentucky took first with five fish weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces. The other teams in the top five from Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Truman State and Kansas State. Dooley and Bornholdt earned $2,000 to be split between the school and the fishing club. They also qualified for the Central Regional championship, which will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at Kenlake Marina in Murray, Ky.

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