By Bryce Hayes, CSU, Chico Alumnus, Construction Management 2011

Nicholas Carrico and Matt Wetmore show off their catch at this year's National Guard FLW College Fishing event at Clear Lake. (Photo by David A. Brown)

When a good friend of mine mentioned he was starting up a fishing club on campus in 2009, initially I didn’t think much of it. I have always had a passion for fishing and the outdoors, but never considered joining a club that offered this type of an opportunity. Little did I know that joining this club would be one of the best decisions I made while attending Chico State.

The third year of the club I succeeded Parker Moran, the club president and founder. Fulfilling the role of president helped me to grow as a person and as a leader in all aspects of life. On a weekly basis I was dealing with issues ranging from controversial club finance matters to our public relationships with the school and sponsors. I had never realized what a lucrative sport competitive bass fishing is. This may be a bold statement, but I would be willing to bet that the Chico State Bass Team is the most profitable and successful club sport that the University has ever seen. We have several tournaments a year that pay $10,000 for a first place finish—and, yes, we have won our share of those!

Nicholas Carrico and Matt Wetmore hold up their first place winnings! (Photo by David A. Brown)

In 2011 alone, we placed 4 teams in the top 5 throughout our regular season qualifying events.  All four of those teams move on to the western regionals and have a shot at winning a ranger bass boat wrapped in school colors (Feel free to look at www.collegefishing.com to see our winning amounts and details).

Most of us grow up playing competitive sports in grade school and some continue to do so through high school. Very few of us have the opportunity to continue these sports at a collegiate level. With Chico State not having a football team or much student camaraderie, the Bass Team helped fill the gap for me and shaped my Chico Experience. Becoming a part of the Chico State Bass Team proved to be something I will never regret. I met a lot of quality people, made some good memories, and picked up a hobby that I will be able to enjoy for a lifetime.

If you’d like to see more of the Bass Club, you can check out this video courtesy of The Orion, 2010.