Sharing A Passion For Fishing
I chose to share this passion with my peers at my school. Honestly, to get this club kicked off, I thought to myself,
“Why doesn’t my school have any clubs that get kids outdoors and actively involved in nature somehow?”
Sure we had plenty of sports programs, and that’s great for some people. But, what about those people who can’t do or don’t enjoy the physical activity? With this thought, an idea came to mind; What if there was a fishing club at my high school? I have heard and seen several high schools down south that had competitive bass teams, but there weren’t many clubs or programs throughout the schools in Pennsylvania for fishing. I figured that would be the coolest thing if this dream of mine could become a reality. My prayers were answered during the spring of 2018!
The Dream Becomes A Reality
In the spring of 2018, my class had to write a business letter to an elected official asking for his or her help to change something that we believed would make a difference for an assignment. The idea of a fishing club made perfect sense to me. So, I chose to write to my school board, proposing this idea of a fishing club. Now we didn’t have to send these letters; but I decided that my letter was so well written because it was something I believed in with every single bone in my body… so I sent it.
I decided to take the shot and I emailed the letter to my principal and a few of the school board members. This turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life! Less than two periods later my principal called me down to his office about my idea. He loved the idea and helped me get an adviser and everything else involved in starting club squared away. At our first meeting, the club elected myself as the President, our Vice President is Mitchel Kelsay, our Treasurer is Colby Snow, and our Secretary is Zachary Sirich. Since then, we’ve had 58 students join eagerly.
This was the creation of the Karns City Fishing Club!
Our High School Fishing Club’s Goal
To be entirely honest, we have several goals. One of our main goals is to help expand the knowledge of fishing to both the novice and experienced anglers. In other words, we teach many new techniques and different techniques that target a variety of different species in our area.
One member caught the fish of 10,000 casts during a club outing!
Another goal of ours is to get kids outside and involved in nature in a way that is fun and free of judgment. To achieve this, we go on fishing trips to local streams, lakes, and ponds to fish; sometimes we even hold competitions with each other to see who can catch the longest, heaviest, or most fish to make things more interesting.
Member Zack Sirich with a nice largemouth from a recent club outing!
Another one of our goal’s, the most important in my opinion, is to teach conservation. We teach the club members that it is important to pick up after yourself when outdoors, to preserve the natural beauty of the ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams we love so much.
A final goal isn’t so much of the clubs goal as it is mine. I want our club to be an example to other schools and students, in hopes that others will follow in my footsteps and start more programs like this in schools; as well as to show that you should not be afraid to step up and make a difference.
How We Educate Members At Team Meetings
The club has meetings every other Wednesday to discuss events and show how to’s on different techniques such as how to use a slip bobber rig for walleye suspended in grass, or how to use a jerkbait for fall bass. We teach new techniques based on where we plan to fish in the coming weeks, for example if the main species is smallmouth bass at a river, we would teach how to use a tube, jerkbait, or even a ned rig.
“This club gives people a great chance to fish and learn and be taught by their friends and peers” – Dale Dufford, Junior
This being said, a lot of the more novice anglers don’t have a lot of gear, or even know what to buy. So I sent emails to many generous people and companies like ANGLR to ask for help with the club. We have received a handful of gear donations which we raffled off to the club members to help them have more gear to work with! Thank you to everyone who has already helped out!
Our High School Fishing Clubs Impact On The School
This club started as a dream, but quickly became a reality. Through plenty of hard work and determination, the Karns City Fishing club became one of the largest clubs in the schools history. I view the club as a way to escape the stress of school, here is what a few of the other students think of it.
“I enjoy catching fish with my friends!” – Joshua Evans, Senior
“I think it is a great idea to get students outside.” – Brayden Edwards, Junior
“It’s pretty cool to see something like this take place in the school!”- Jacob Bray, Junior
The club has grown exponentially since it began. I thank every single person who has helped it get this far. The more people learn about the club and the great outdoors, the better off we will be! The club provides students with a way to relieve stress, learn new things in the outdoors, and most importantly make new friends through the sport of fishing!
Contact Info for Karns City High School Fishing Club