Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Club fishing’s senior duo is off the hook

Cody Peryea (left) and Bennett Stockdale (right) showing off their catches after the NYTBF event last year.


By Justin Rushia

Plattsburgh State Athletics is typically defined by its thrilling ice hockey games and Division III matches. What the average Plattsburgh State fan might not consider is the many club sports hosted on campus, such as the sport fishing team.

Plattsburgh State’s fishing team has just two active members this year: senior and team president Cody Peryea and senior Bennett Stockdale. 

Peryea is from Altona, New York, about a 20-minute drive north of Plattsburgh. He first got into fishing when he was 3 years old. Peryea credits his dad for this early obsession with the sport.

“My dad is the biggest influence on me when it comes to anything outdoors,” Peryea said. 

Peryea spent his first two years at Plattsburgh playing for the baseball team alongside the fishing team. However, Peryea couldn’t participate in any of the tournaments due to his baseball requirements and the overlap between baseball and fishing season in the fall. His passion for fishing was still there – he fished anywhere he could. 

During his junior year, Peryea decided to stop playing baseball. The extra time allowed him to take fishing more seriously and give the team his full focus in the fall. 

Being a full-time member of the club has led Peryea to take up a new responsibility. Before Peryea’s senior year, the former club president needed to let someone else take over the club with graduation on the horizon. He saw Peryea’s talent and gave him the position.

Peryea was hesitant at first to accept the responsibility of being the club’s president. Not having much experience competing, he didn’t believe he was exactly ready to take up the role. 

“I was like, OK, cool, dude, this is not really what I want to do. Like, I’ll be the president, whatever,” Peryea said. 

Now comfortable with competing, Peryea has embraced his role as club president and hasn’t looked back since. 

Stockdale was one of the best Plattsburgh State hockey team players, earning CCM/AHCA Third Team All-American honors. The senior hockey player and fisherman even signed a professional contract with the Maine Mariners in the ECHL. Stockdale will finish out his degree at Plattsburgh while simultaneously playing for the Mariners.

Stockdale, the only other member signed up for the team this year, was raised a big fisherman himself. Growing up in Ottawa, Ontario, Stockdale started fishing at a young age. Similar to Peryea, his family were the ones who sparked his ambition. Stockdale and his family would go up to their family cottage often, allowing them to have an ample amount of time fishing. 

Every season, the fishing team participated in the New York – the Bass Fishing tournament qualifier trail and the Collegiate Challenge Cup, where they competed against some of the best schools in the nation for the chance to fish in the Cabela’s National Championship. 

To prepare for the competitions, fishermen usually scout the area ahead of time to find the best spots to be during the tournament. The tournament typically starts early, around 7 a.m. From here, the fishermen put their boats in the water and can fish until about 3 p.m. At the end of the tournament, each team weighs its five largest fish, and whichever team has the heaviest fish wins the competition, Peryea said. 

“Every time when I roll up to a tournament in the morning and they see me put in my boat, I want people to be like, oh shit,” Peryea said.

This past fall, the fishing team competed in the NYTBF collegiate qualifier tournament against some of the best collegiate fishing teams in the area. Peryea and Stockdale took a trip down to Lake George, put their boat in the water and started fishing. 

Fishing means a lot to both members of the club, leaking into more aspects of their lives than just their on campus clubs.

Peryea stayed with a friend who lived on Lake George during the summertime. Being on the water allowed him to scout and learn the areas where the best fish are on the lake. 

Peryea’s scouting gave him and Stockdale an edge over their competitors, eventually leading them to win and qualify for the next tournament.

“We had a great day on the water. We were dominant,” Stockdale said. 



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