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Angling Club Formats


Jerry A
Initially I was tempted to name this Bass Club Formats but I quickly realized that there are several organizations devoted to a fascination for finding fish other than the Black Bass; Micropterus. There are Walleye, Catfish, Crappie Bream and even Common Carp organizations that recognize and promote their particular piscatorial pursuit. Why there have been events organized to control the Asian Carp. In this blog I have touched upon a personal bucket list and even the idea of recognizing a fish of record setting proportions. Today I wanted to explore three formats used to exercise our everlasting quest for our particular underwater quarry. The term club is a convenient way to describe activities that are dedicated to individual interests, a likeminded group or designed for corporate organized events.

The Solo Format is the most simple. This reserved for the idea of self-satisfaction on a grand scale. It is what you and I do if we are angling alone without a partner. You are in tune with your surroundings, locate and associate a pattern for the way you want to fish, etc. Patterns are a commonly misunderstood tool but if you think about it the detective show on television is no different. They are looking for clues to solve the puzzle and in angling it is no different. Any angler worth his salt can feel or sense sometimes what is required. Add that it is rarely the same for two days running and angling really assumes on the wisdom of a challenge. Satisfaction comes in solving the riddle and catching the fish or hunting the quarry.

Take this Solo Format one step further and it becomes competitive angling for individuals. There are many tournaments where the individual records the catch and competes in a solo manner against all other individuals and sometimes other teams. This could be any Bass, Walleye, Bream, Crappie, Catfish or Carp tournament, an ice fishing event or even blue water Billfish to some extent, though there the boat is normally qualified rather than the individual angler. For the most part the angler holds the knowledge that is key to his success and the measure of achievement is a singular comparison to another on a level playing field.

The Buddy Format exists exactly as it sounds, to fishing with another person or a group. This is fortuitous in that two minds are better than one especially when they work together. Most local Black Bass tournaments are organized in this manner as it is when the team concept of a boat is recognized. The same holds true in saltwater when we get into the Blue Marlin or the Islamorada Sailfish Tournaments. Typically two or more skilled anglers cooperate and coordinate the task at hand and in the end the team is credited with the total catch.

The Draw Format is my personal favorite for a list of reasons. First it allows one to compare to another as we had in the Solo Format. While you are in the boat with another fellow you both work together and against each other at the same time. This is no different than many work situations I have been thrust into. A Draw Format allows for a great learning experience as you are paired with a partner that approaches the angling day differently than you would or if that angler approaches things in the same manner it allows you to compare how that person approaches the prospect and succeeds leading you to a better understanding of that moment in time. Some of my greatest lessons were learned in this manner. This format will push you to expand your boundaries and make you a better angler. At the end of the day each individual is credited with his or her total catch and that is compared to the other contestants.

It is my deep desire that you realize the common thread that suggests for one to get better at anything that person has to simply get out there and do it. While I like the Draw Format for learning you could modify the Buddy Format to become more of a hybrid learning experience when one old salt takes a newcomer under his wing as a partner. If you are the old salt do not let the opportunity pass by ? make room for another person to share your love of the great outdoors and the angling or hunting opportunities that exist. If you think back there was someone or a group of people that got you involved in fishing or hunting and it has stuck with you for a lifetime. Perhaps it is your legacy to share your knowledge with another. Pass it on and enjoy life as you do it!