In my mind, the best way to shorten the learning curve of bass fishing is to join your local bass club. It’s also probably the most cost effective way as well. Below you will find the 7 reasons why.
1. You can only learn so much by reading articles and going to seminars. You need an outlet to practice and try the things you learn. Reading things do not mean a heck of a lot until you can try them and build some confidence on the water using your new lures or techniques. A bass club is a good way to get onto some lakes, especially if you do not have a boat. You can learn fishing from shore, but some things you need to get out on a boat to practice.
2. So let’s say you have a boat and you can get on the water when ever you wish. There is only so much you can learn fishing by yourself. Fishing with partners or buddies can really accelerate the learning curve, especially if you are fishing with someone who has a lot of experience. Often times in a bass club, you fish with a new guy every tournament; think how much you could learn in 6-8 tournaments over a summer, especially if you practice with your partner as well. Thinks of the olds adage, “Iron Sharpens Iron”
3. Why not money or pay tournaments? Its good way to learn, but it also can be a very expensive lesson. If you enter tournaments as a boater, you can really take some lumps and at a couple hundred dollars per entry, its not that effective. Pro-am or draw tournaments are a good option, but you are still better of getting the basics down in club competition which the dues may only cost $50-$100 for the whole season which could be 8-10 tournaments. Besides you may draw a boater that does not care to teach or help you learn and really just wants to catch his fish, hard to blame him, he has money invested as well.
4. Most of the members in a bass club have similar goals to yours. Learn more about bass fishing and have fun while doing it. Sounds simple, but its very true. They are very open to sharing their knowledge, because they were probably in your shoes when they joined a bass club. You will meet people you will fish with the rest of your life.
5. Thinking about buying a boat? Join a club as a non-boater for one summer first. Ride and fish out of 6-8 different boat brands and models during the year. You will quickly find out what you like and dislike about these boats and you will be better educated when you hit the spring boat shows the following year.
6. Don’t just take my word for it. Many well known pros started in bass clubs and worked their way up the ranks through federation tournaments. Mike Iaconelli & Denny Brauer are a few of the biggest.
7. There are clubs for everyone. There are clubs that fish for fun, clubs that fish for money, clubs for couples, and clubs that have JR. clubs for kids.
So go out and contact your local bass clubs, you will not regret it. Usually its pretty easy to find bass clubs in your area if you search the internet or contact the State Bass federation in your state. You will find out a lot of information and links to good bass site with club listings at www.gopherbass.com