Having been an avid basser for years, and not having the wherewithal to purchase a boat, I've often felt cheated and frustrated about not being able to get out to deeper waters (where I was certain the real bass were). Having succumbed to this delimma for some 40 years or more, I finally had something come my way that I never knew existed: my local bass fishing club.
I mean, I knew bass clubs existed, but I didn't know they were for me. For one thing, how can you join a bass fishing club if you don't have a boat. Additionally, isn't it just the best bass fishermen that are in these clubs? These guys do tournaments and such. Not sure if I could measure up.
Low and behold, the old saying "you won't know if you don't go" proved itself once again. Thanks to an Internet buddy, I was enlightened. I got the address and went to my first bass club meeting. It was simple, friendly, fun and I was fishing with them that weekend.
First off, let's address the notion that you have to be a great bass fisherman to belong to one of these clubs. This is not true. In fact, most of these anglers are people just like me, only with a little more experience (remember, I didn't have a boat - I was bank fishing). Most of these people are happy to share that experience with you.
Secondly, you do not have to have a boat. In fact, most clubs are looking for non-boaters to help share the expense of the trip with someone who owns a boat. Brilliant!
That really surprised me. Why didn't I know this years ago? It makes perfect sense, yet somehow this information escaped me.
Owning your own boat can be expensive. A decent boat purchased new can easily run you around $15,000. Ouch. Then there is the issue of storage, insurance, fuel, the trailer, something to pull it with, maintenance and a whole slew of other expenses that come with the package.
But not for the non-boater. I paid my bass club dues (very affordable) and within 2 days I was out with the gang on my first local bass club fishing tournament - in a boat. My share of the costs was extremely reasonable compared to those in the last paragraph. It was a 3 day trip and we even shared the cost of a room.
Don't ask how the fishing was; that's a whole other article.
In this club, we go out once a month to a different lake and have our own little bass tournament. Each time we go out, the non-boaters are matched up with a boater (also a different one each time). This way, you get to learn a little something from everyone.
So, if you are bank bound like I was, and want to head out for more exciting fishing, go online or open up the phone book and contact you local bass fishing club. You could be out on the boat in no time. Whether or not you catch any fish remains to be seen.