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New Bass Fishing Club - North Port Fporida area?

fishinrick55fishinrick55 North Port, FloridaPosts: 8 Deckhand
I am in the planning stage of starting a bass fishing club in the North Port, Florida area, and wondering if there is any interest?
I had searched for a club to join but found that all the ones I could find were either not taking new members or require boat ownership.  
Here's my thoughts:  The club would be open to any bass fisherman in the area (boat fishermen, kayak/canoe fishermen, or "bank" fishermen etc...).  Probably meeting once per month.  I was thinking of having either an "on-going" monthly tournament (winners would be for a total weight for the month....any local waterways, bait, fishing method (rod and reel)), or possibly weekend tournaments in the same general format?   It would be a "fun" tournament (as opposed to a "big money" tournament)  - maybe everyone kicks in $10.00 or $20.00 to the pot?  I just have to figure out a way to assure accurate and honest entries (any ideas would be appreciated).
I'm also thinking now king of posting an announcement at local bait and tackle stores (to reach out to anyone interested).
If there's enough interest,  I'll move forward (reply here or email me at [email protected]).


  • CageyCagey Central FloridaPosts: 917 Officer
    edited May 27 #2

    fishinrick55 said: "(any ideas would be appreciated)"

    And old Cagey here is full of them... some might say full of something else too!

    I don't mean to be a party pooper, but at least here in central Florida local bass clubs have a bad rep and lots of bass fishermen avoid them like the plague!

    For one, the internal politics turn into a real drag. Always people wanting control and too much infighting. The angry phone calls are hilarious to over hear sometimes. You tell so and so I'll kick his **** out if he blah, blah, blah... and on it goes...

    And, these local bass clubs tend to think they own the water and run all over everyone else at the boat ramps and on the lakes and rivers.

    I can't tell you how many times I have had local tournie guys follow me around to spy on me to see how I fish a particular body of water and what I use as they seek some advantage for when the date comes up their club has a tournie there. And, quite often, some of these clubs over lap tournies on the same bodies of water at the same time.

    I have arrived at places only to find several local tournies going on at the same time. Well boys time to pack it up and move on to where these tournie minded guys aren't ruining it for the rest of us.

    And, the tournie guys seem to think what they are doing is more important than what I am doing and if I am fishing a particular bank and catching a fish and they see me catch a fish, funny how they move in on top of me and often cut me off working down a bank. Sometimes they move in within casting distance. Like if I find a hole in the eel grass and pull a fish out of it, funny how one of them moves right in on the other side and starts casting into it as well from the other side so close our lures overlap in our casts. Really annoying to say the least.

    So you know, one nice thing about local tournies is that when I choose to go fishing it pays to find out where the local bass clubs are at so I can go somewhere else so I can actually enjoy it.

    Now, with some of the downside out of the way, when I checked into joining local tournie clubs some of their rules were so asinine that it made joining impossible. For example, one club insisted on everyone in the club had to have something like 200hp motors or bigger. Definitely the rich boys club. And most of them require a live well which I do not have on my 1973 boat and do not want one as I catch and release immediately and have no reason to harm fish in a live well.

    But I did notice your mention of kayaks and bank fishermen which tends to make me think your club will be more open to us little guys. Which is cool, but after years of being around this sort of thing at my age closing in on 60 I have no time or patience for club BS.

    I fish for fun. And when it is no longer fun and becomes stressful is when I get frustrated and when the fun is gone why bother? It is nice to win a tournie and drive home counting some cash, and knowing you out fished and kicked all their ****, but again, at my age I really don't care about competition any more. Let younger men bang heads over who's got the bigger boat and who makes more money and who's the more studly stud.

    This old man has had it with stress fishing.

    I wish you all the best in your efforts to form a bass fishing club. I hope it works out for you and becomes a big success! Please post your tournies online so us solo guys can know when and where to avoid your formal organization.

    Oh, I probably should not tell you this one since it would affect my choices, but you might want to follow the lead of other local Florida clubs and schedule your tournie days during the middle of the work week and avoid weekends.

    For one, *if* your club becomes a boat only club will help to clog up local ramps and come into direct conflict with the weekend warriors- the average working man who can only take his boat and family and dog out on the weekends. Most of our local ramps and lakes are over run on weekends and your club is not going to help. It will only be worse for your club and your club will make it worse for the weekend crowds of jet skiis and ski boats and party boats running all over the place.

    I enjoy friendly competition between friends more than under pressure fishing stressing out in clubs. Just me though...

    Might be best to schedule around the circus. I dam sure do! Good luck!

  • fishinrick55fishinrick55 North Port, FloridaPosts: 8 Deckhand
    Thanks for your post!  
    I know exactly what you are talking about in regards to "politics" and general BS when it comes to any organized/group activity.  I've run bowling leagues as well as a golf league for over 5 years and there ALWAYS a lot complaining and criticism but usually no one who wants to help out at all.  It can be extremely frustrating,  that's for sure!
    I'm an "older" guy as well - 65 - having retired over 10 years ago.  Although, I might be a "glutton for punishment"  lol, I do still enjoy friendly competition- but more just for the fun of it, as opposed to making it about the money.
    To avoid the annoying and rude behavior you describe, my solution would be not to hold a "traditional" tournament in a specific place, on a specific date and time, but rather, have members be able to fish their own waters, on their own schedule, and as frequently as they wish to do so (from boats, kayaks, from the bank, whatever) - guys that "choose" or are able to fish more, would obviously have the advantage.... but as I mentioned,  "my" priority would be more about bragging rites, than making a bunch of cash (and maybe no cash at all....possibly just the honor of being "angler of the month" or similar recognition?)
    One of the concerns I have (that I mentioned in my initial post) is how to keep the "tournament" honest and fair (running the groups I have in the past....I've experienced seemingly honest guys lying and cheating in order to win a few bucks....sad!)  Honestly, I don't know if there's actually a way to stop this type of behavior?
    So, Cagey, you might be right....maybe a "club" or "tournament" is not the way to go.  Possibly it might be better to simply try and organize a group of guys that can share their fishing experiences....catches, methods, advice, etc... maybe the opportunity to get together at times to fish together for some friendly competition?  

    Stay safe in these crazy times we're living in.

  • CageyCagey Central FloridaPosts: 917 Officer
    ...maybe a "club" or "tournament" is not the way to go.  Possibly it might be better to simply try and organize a group of guys that can share their fishing experiences....catches, methods, advice, etc... maybe the opportunity to get together at times to fish together for some friendly competition?  

    Stay safe in these crazy times we're living in.

    This. Organize friends for friendly competition. It is what I do here in central Florida. Some of us locals have a group text thing going on. Sometimes we fish together and sometimes we fish solo, but we show and discuss our catches through the group and keep it a friendly competition among fishing buddies. And it works well most of the time...

    We did have an instance where one guy found a honey hole situation in a local lake and in one day he was pulling out one bass after another between 4 to 6 pounds and wound up catching 10 in one day.

    Well needless to say it but some of the group jumped on it and the guy who found it cried foul saying we would ruin it for him if anyone else fished it.

    So even in friendly groups sometimes conflicts can happen, but we get over it and move on in a democratic way.

    You stay safe too. And good luck on the fishing.

    Try advertising for local fishermen on sites like this one and even on craigslist works too. Another way is to simply meet other fishermen at ramps or sharing bank fishing together and build up from scratch that way.
  • fishinrick55fishinrick55 North Port, FloridaPosts: 8 Deckhand
    Thanks again for your comments.
    I do think this is the way to go.  Not getting too many "local" guys responding on this site, but maybe I will give Craig's list a shot.
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,274 Moderator
    I've been in a local club for over 20 years. Yes, there have been arguments. Yes , lots of complaining. All of it due to money. Those guys eventually left for other clubs.You can have a 5 dollar a boat tourney and eventually someone will complain. 

    Don't let that stop you. I've also made lifelong buddy's and met some really fun people. If the money is low (there is a $10 per boat one here for 55 and overs) it's mostly for bragging rights and an excuse to get out on the water for a bit.
    Everyone understands that and it won't draw the dudes in the bass jerseys..

    Good luck. Not many kayak tourneys on smaller waters that I'm aware of. That may be your best option.
    "You'll get your weather"
  • fishinrick55fishinrick55 North Port, FloridaPosts: 8 Deckhand
    Thanks Capt. Louie...
    It's definitely an interesting concept to maybe have a "kayak only" tournament(s).   Don't know if there are enough guys around my area (North Port, Port Charlotte, Englewood, Venice, etc...) that fish from kayaks?  Been fishing in the area for a month or so now and haven't seen any other anglers on kayaks.
    But definitely an idea to keep in mind.
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