Fishing club is off the hook
Have an obscure interest or hobby? There's a club for that at Sonoma State University. With over 100 clubs and organizations on campus, there's going to be at least one that sparks your interest!
One club that flies under the radar is Sonoma State's very own fishing club. Started a few years ago, this club caters to those who want to compete in fishing tournaments or learn more about fishing. The club doesn't have a weekly meeting time, but uses Facebook to coordinate events and meetings. Members can be found fishing locally at the lakes on campus or all around Northern California at professional bass fishing tournaments.
President Adrien Briens joined the club as a sophomore. Now as a senior he is president and loves every moment of it. "I've been going fishing my whole life and I knew I wanted to keep fishing throughout college so I did a little research and found out Sonoma State had a fishing club that fishes in bass fishing tournaments. I had to join," Briens said.
Briens is looking for new members that either already love fishing, or even those who are just curious and want to learn more about it. The club is open to all skill levels.
Sophomore Brendan Castro, like Briens, had fished all his life but was completely new to bass fishing.
Castro said, "I had no idea what I was doing at first but the team members taught me a lot. My favorite part of the club is the bass fishing tournaments. We get to go to nice lakes and the professional fishermen take us out on their boats and we get to tell them where ever we want to go."
New to bass fishing, Castro still almost qualified in the bass tournament. Briens and teammate Ernie Gorham just qualified for the invitational tournament this October in Clear Lake.
To win the bass tournaments, a competitor must catch the five largest fish. If a competitor catches more than five, he or she gets to toss out the smallest ones to raise his or her total weight. There are numerous schools that compete in them, many of the CSU's, University of Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Boise State.
Each school is allowed two teams of two anglers. An angler is a fisherman using the "angling technique" (using hooks outfitted with either flies or bait). Usually about 40 plus teams participate per tournament. Last year, the National Guard was the main sponsor of the event, and all anglers received traveler's checks. Now that the National Guard is no longer a sponsor, only the winners receive traveler's checks.
The first place prize is $2,000, second place is $1,000, and third/fourth/fifth is $500. The top 15 are given an invitation to another tournament the following October at Clear Lake, which is north east of Rohnert Park.
Castro said, "Whenever we want to go we just hit up the fishing club for someone to go with. Last semester we went Dungeness crab fishing on opening day, which was a lot of fun. We also went fishing for stripers in the Napa River."
The club currently has 2 teams fishing in the bass tournaments, but they're always looking for new members even if its just for the fishing club and not the tournaments.
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