Mark Daniels Jr., of Fairfield, Calif., saw his life’s work as well as his life’s passion validated as he took home the title of 2013 Federation National Champion. Bolstered by a total catch of 62 pounds, 4 ounces, including 19 pounds, 4 ounces during Saturday’s final day of competition, Daniels walked away with the tournament title as well as the coveted $100,000 “Living the Dream” prize package.
“I’m just so excited right now; I can’t even really think,” Daniels said. “After catching that huge bag on day two I knew I had a shot to win this thing.”
Daniels caught 18 pounds, 6 ounces on day one and a 24-pound, 10-ounce bag on day two to grab the top qualifying spot heading into the final round. Today, Daniels was able to finally seal the deal.
“My travel partner Tom Shimabukuro and I found fish A-rigging in practice that I thought could potentially be winning fish,” Daniels’s said. “Then, the final day of practice, me and Ben went out and we kind of solidified that.”
Daniels was paired with Ben Wright of Peru, N.Y., who would go on to become the national champion co-angler.