As the day wound down, TCU Fishing Club members filled the meeting room, chatting anxiously about their latest big catches and showing off their newest camouflage gear.
They were ready to begin making a name for themselves on campus.
The club was officially recognized as a student organization in August. It started out with 10 members, and club founder and sophomore nursing major Austin Tucker said he looks forward to growth.
Tucker got the idea to start the club by talking with friends and family about getting the university involved in the sport he always loved.
“It’s a really laid-back sport. It’s a great way for me to escape the stress of everyday life,” Tucker said.
As a new organization, the club started activities by hosting a tournament among club members only, Tucker said. Members paired up to fish at the Trinity River at sunrise on Saturday, each aiming to catch the longest fish of the day.
To encourage active competition, Tucker said the organization established a point system at each tournament, where the pair with the most points wins an undetermined prize.
However, each pair would have more to compete for when the chance to compete in intercollegiate tournaments comes into play. The club is considering having the top few pairs move on to compete in four different intercollegiate state fishing tournaments.
Forrest L. Wood Outdoors, more commonly known as FLW, will sponsor the tournaments in the spring. Doing well in state tournaments would give club members the opportunity to compete in national FLW tournaments. The 2012 tournament will be held in Alabama, where winners can receive $100,000 and a new fishing boat, Tucker said.
Fishing club member and junior geography major Guillermo Gonzalez said he has been to a few tournaments before.
“It’s such a great way to get away, relax and just take on nature,” he said.
Gonzalez said he had hoped to one day be a part of the tournaments himself and represent his university.
Club membership dues for FLW tournaments and club events are still in the works, Tucker said.
While discussing those dues, the idea of making TCU Fishing Club jerseys blossomed. The jerseys would have the member’s last name printed on the back with sponsor logos. The plans for getting sponsors for the club have not been finalized, Tucker said.
Members were also eager about having their own long-sleeved polos for the colder weather.
“Fishing is really a year-round sport. In the fall or winter you might be thinking, ‘Man, it’s really cold outside,’ but you just get over it and keep fishing,” he said.
Anyone with a passion for the sport should come check out the meetings and contact Tucker for details on how to attend the practices or tournaments, Tucker said. He also said the sport does not get in the way of studying.
Until they get more students involved, club members are focusing on raising awareness of the sport on campus.
“A lot of people think that fishing isn’t a sport, but it takes a lot of skill,” Gonzalez said. “It doesn’t sound like rocket science to sit down and cast [the rod], but it’s not necessarily the easiest thing in the world.”
Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.
Weight Room classroom at the University Recreation Center
Anyone welcome to attend
Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 a.m.
Must be a club member with a valid fishing license to participate
Equipment available if needed
Contact Austin Tucker for more details