Whether it’s the Cheese Club, Harry Potter Club, or Clown Nose Club, we all know Penn State student organizations can appeal to people with a wide array of interests. If your interest happens to be bass fishing, then tune in, because the Penn State Bass Fishing Club is a unique group of people that unite over their appreciation of what they regard as an art form.
Joey Seidita, a seasoned member of the co-ed club said it currently consists of more than 40 members.
“Anyone is welcome to join, regardless of skill level or experience or whether or not they have their fishing gear here at school with them,” Seidita said. “If someone without gear wants to go on a trip, we can provide them with a rod and tackle as well as transportation to the lake so that they have the opportunity to fish.”
Basically, any and all people that enjoy fishing and want to get on the water are welcome.
The club meets every two weeks during the winter months – even when it’s too cold outside to fish. They often have guest speakers who teach fishing techniques that many people may never have seen or used before. They can then apply these techniques either during an intercollegiate tournament or a club trip.
All members are eligible to compete in tournaments based on involvement and participation in the club. These tournaments feature schools from across the country, and whichever team of two catches the heaviest five fish will win. In the past, Penn State has sent club members to the Northern Region FLW College Fishing Tournament, the PA Bass Federation Tournament, and the Cabela’s Collegiate Bass Fishing Tournament Series Big Ten Classic. Last year, club members placed in tournaments on the Potomac River, Smith Mountain Lake, and Lake Champlain and qualified for the Conference Championship on the Chesapeake Bay.
In the past at these tournaments, the club members were always provided with boats by volunteers. But after a recent rule change, the club has been put in a precarious situation.
“We never had to worry about obtaining a boat for a tournament,” Sedita said. “However, the FLW College Series changed the rules this year, putting us in a tricky position. The FLW said that every college team must supply their own boat to fish in the tournaments. We are currently in the process of finding a sponsor who will donate a boat to the club.”
Whenever there is a considerable amount of interest amongst the members and it is warm enough to fish locally, the club takes day trips. Some local ponds and lakes they enjoy practicing at include Sayers Lake, Colyer Lake, and Tussey Mountain Ski Area’s pond.
In addition to meetings and fishing, the members engage in community service throughout the year.
“Last semester we hosted a lake cleanup at Bald Eagle State Park and we helped run a kid’s casting tournament at Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA,” Sedita said.