Students at Tyler Junior College looking to start a bass fishing club, can now celebrate because they were able to reel in a sponsor, and are now an official club on campus.

Bass fishing is a multi- billion-dollar sport that has evolved over time. People go out and catch all different types of bass, have them weighed by officials at competitions and release them back into the water soon after. People also fish for bass as a hobby or to catch a meal. Bass fishing doesn’t take a whole lot of gear. The essentials are rods, reels, hooks, line, and bait to draw in the bass. Bait would be anything from worms to little fish the bass can easily eat.

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Starting a new organization is not always an easy task. The first thing is to find a sponsor. A club can’t be official until a sponsor is found. Landen Beckham, a student at TJC, spent all last semester trying to find a sponsor. Luckily he was able to reel in Jack Caddell, a health and kinesiology professor here on campus.

“Finding a sponsor is kind of where you have to start,” said Beckham.

A sponsor’s duties for any club or organization are to get members or help current members find new ones. Sponsors are also in charge of entering the team into tournaments, providing transportation to and from the events, a venue to stay at when competitions are not close to home, gas, and food. They are in charge of funding and deal with getting equipment that the club and members may need.

Beckham, Caddell and other members now plan to start fundraising and recruiting more members. Fundraisers will help them raise money to attend competitions and take part in tournaments once a month. Scheduled community service events will also be part of their agenda.

Caddell and Beckham want to start catching new members for the club so they can compete in competitions and possibly win scholarships. Scholarships can range from a $1,000 to $4,000. These scholarships not only require students to be good at bass fishing, but also have success in their academic lives. Colleges and Universities from all over the nation have bass fishing teams and do offer scholarships.

“Finding people to join is a big deal. You can’t have a team with only a handful of people on it,” said Beckham.

Caddell and the rest of the team encourage anyone who enjoys fishing to join the team. Anyone interested in joining can contact Caddell by email at jac@tjc.edu or his phone at 903-510-2788.

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