The LSU Bass Fishing team is fishing for students.
There are currently 12 active members on the bass fishing team who participate in weekend tournaments, and the club is looking to gain more. They mostly fish on lakes in Texas, Alabama and Arkansas, recording what fish were caught and the experience as an entirety.
Petroleum engineering junior and president of the Bass Fishing Club Connor Turner initially became a part of the team because he wanted to continue his passion of fishing after his senior year of high school.
“My biggest goal for [the organization] is to have some consistency,” Turner said. “I want people to realize we have a team and try to make [the organization] a household name.”
The Bass Fishing team will host their second annual benefit tournament Feb. 17 to help the team pay for travel expenses. At their first tournament last year, there were 50 boats in attendance with 100 people who came to support the organization. Due to the success of the tournament, the members were able to travel to various parts of the country that they wouldn’t otherwise have to been able to.
Turner said the organization has considered “pitch[ing] a tent, bringing out some food and interacting with people” on their agenda this year besides the benefit tournament.
The Bass Fishing team attends sportsmen shows and addresses their team sponsors in order to help make their name known throughout Louisiana, creating more of a presence for themselves.
“We are definitely trying to make more of a public interaction,” Turner said, stating that there has been more planning for events than there has been for the past few years.
The team’s competitions are not limited to Louisiana. Since tournaments are divided into regions, they fish in the South Region for Fishing League Worldwide (FLW). FLW's goal is to create the best lifestyle in fishing, on and off the water.
Turner has fished against teams from Texas to Iowa, saying the competition is “an open book.”
“It really comes down to whether or not you can come down and compete against [the competitors] who fish on the lakes regularly,” Turner said.
Turner said there are great teams from University of Louisiana Monroe, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Nicholls State University. He said the teams are all comfortable with one another, despite competing against one another, because they’re all from Louisiana.
“[Bass Fishing] is just a big nationwide family,” Turner said.
Turner said one of the team’s biggest hardships is that the members all have different schedules and a variety of majors including engineering, construction management and business participating. The organization tries to have meetings two to three times a month if they plan to meet on campus.
“More times than not, we end up eating at Walk-On's right down the road,” Turner said about where the team usually meets. “During the summer, we go fishing even if it’s not for a tournament because we all end up fishing together.”
Turner said the organization is a close group, constantly enjoying each others' company. He added that this is a “very tight” team this year, saying that the members enjoy seeing older and younger people coming together in appreciation of the sport.
For those who are unsure whether or not the team is meant for them, Turner said the team is a very good opportunity to fish in new places and meet new people compared to fishing on your own and not being a part of a team.
The LSU Bass Fishing team has social media pages on Facebook and Instagram both being “LSU Bass Fishing.”