What is the Bass Fishing Club?

Photo via OSU Bass Fishing Club Facebook page

Alexander Vo

The Bass Fishing Club is an organization at Oregon State University, which provides an opportunity for students to learn, develop and improve fishing techniques through club hosted tournaments and bi-weekly presentations/practices.

Founded in 2009, the OSU Bass Fishing Club aims to provide network and educational opportunities for OSU students, staff and faculty interested in fishing. The club also welcomes anyone with any level of experience.

Brandon Peeler, a sophomore at OSU majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife, is a member of the Bass Fishing Club. Peeler took the time to share his thoughts on encouraging people to join the club.

“For us, we just want people to feel really welcome to the club. We know it can be kind of intimidating sometimes if you don’t think you’re good enough or anything like that. We don’t want people to have that mentality,” said Peeler.

“We’re all really nice guys who want to teach you how to fish, whether you think you’re good at it or not. I’ve been taking people out, who’ve never Steelhead fished before and teaching them all day long and we’re just hanging out. I don’t want people to think they’re not good enough to join the club. It would be great if you think you have a passion for fishing or the outdoors, I would definitely come to try our club out because you never know if you like it or not.”

Joining a club like Bass Fishing Club can seem intimidating because of the idea that experience is required. However, the club emphasizes that not only is experience not necessary to join but that the officers are there to help make newcomers more comfortable.

“We really enjoy having new members and try to get people into the club. Even if you don’t know anything, we’ll teach you everything. We’ll provide the equipment to be successful. It’s just having that interest of either being outdoors or fishing,” said Peeler. “This year, there’s at least a few kids who’ve never fished before and we take them to our club events. We’ll give them our own personal equipment and then sit there and teach them how to fish. We encourage it because it’s not a super hard thing to pick up and we know if you really want it then you’ll really end up enjoying it in the end.”

It can be an enjoyable experience to try something completely new and unknown and it can also be beneficial because of the potential networking opportunity.

Henry Nguyen, a senior at OSU studying BioHealth Science, is the Vice-President of the Bass Fishing Club. Nguyen shared his own definition of what the club is.

“To me, Bass Fishing club is a way to connect with other people who have the same interests as I do. When I first joined, I was kind of an amateur and I didn’t really know what I was doing,” said Nguyen. “Overall, it’s kind of a way to relieve stress. The club is like a community of people who enjoy the outdoors.”

In the past several years, the club has been growing at a steady rate. The benefit of clubs like this is that with tens of thousands of students, staff and faculty on campus, there are bound to be people with relative interests in fishing, who’d want to try it out for themselves.

“At first, I wanted to join it because it was interesting, as in I’d never heard of it. I didn’t understand why it would exist and wondered how big the club was,” said Nguyen. “After joining it for a while, it changed my perspective completely. At first, it was really small, but ever since last year, our membership grew almost two to three times and it’s incredible. It’s grown so much since I first joined and it doesn’t look the same anymore”

Fishing can be a relaxing time. Hanging out with those around you while learning to fish is a way to relieve stress, as said by Nguyen earlier. Even without experience, it can be fun to learn something new because it could potentially become a new hobby.

Dakota Cail, a senior at OSU majoring in Civil Engineering, is the secretary of the club. His job is to handle the emails of the club, as well as answering emails to help coordinate both events and with sponsors.

“It’s a great way to meet people who have the same interests as you. It’s really nice in the springtime because you’re rounding out the school year, and once a month you can go out and relax on the weekend with some fishing,” said Cail. 

With clubs comes fees and clubs on campus may require a fee in order to join the club. These fees go towards things like equipment, which help provide the club what they need in order to operate.

According to Cail, “There is a membership fee. You can do $50 for the year or $20 for a term. That covers everything, including access to local tournaments. It also gives you access to our sponsors for rods, reels, tackle, clothes, etc., which range anywhere from 30-50% off their products.”

Biagio Capp, a junior at OSU majoring in Biology for Pre-Med, is the Bass Fishing Club’s president. Capp shared how he joined the club and eventually become its president.

“I joined the Bass Fishing club because I was the club president of my high school fishing club in California and I started that club as well,” said Capp. “I then reached out to the officers here when I was a senior in high school and met up with them, talked to them, told them my experience and how much I’ve been fishing. They offered the position of treasurer to me, as a freshman, so I became the treasurer for the first two years. Then when those guys left, I became the president during my junior year and have been its president for the past two terms.”

Every club has a way to define what they are. However, the members within these clubs may have different ways of wording what exactly the club entails and what makes up the club. The Bass Fishing Club is no different.

“The Bass Fishing Club is just a bunch of guys and gals that have an interest in fishing,” said Capp. “They don’t have to have any experience in bass fishing. They come to the club and we talk about different techniques, different styles and different places to fish. Hopefully, it’s a big learning experience, even for the people with a lot of fishing knowledge.”

It may seem intimidating at first, but the Bass Fishing Club is a group of people who have similar interests in the outdoors and fishing. Anyone can join, as long as they’re either a student or faculty member at OSU, and no experience is necessary.

Next week, the Bass Fishing Club will have a booth at the Portland Expo Center for the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show. The event will run from Feb. 6, to Feb. 10, and the club will be present for each day of the event. There is an entrance fee of $15 for general admission, but there are different prices available that can be viewed through the show’s website located below.

The club meets every other Wednesday, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the McAlexander Fieldhouse Classroom. For more information on the Bass Fishing Club, email [email protected] learn about the club. The club also has both a Facebook and Instagram page that’s available to view for the public.

For more information on the Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show next week and their different prices, visithttps://www.expocenter.org/events/pacific-northwest-sportsmen-show-presented-leupold.