Probably a stupid question, but…

Shaun Solomon
I know there are approximately five people who use this forum, but does anyone have any experience with local bass clubs?

I’ve had mixed results with clubs, and I’m somewhat hesitant to dip my toe. Anyone have anything to say on the matter?

I like friendly, relaxed clubs that fish a lot and don’t take it too seriously or act like they are qualifying for the Classic.

Does such a thing exist in Oregon? I’m in the valley, so probably not going to go for something based in say, Pendleton, but I’d still like to hear your experiences.
 
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REELY HOOKED
Shaun Solomon said:
I know there are approximately five people who use this forum, but does anyone have any experience with local bass clubs?

I’ve had mixed results with clubs, and I’m somewhat hesitant to dip my toe. Anyone have anything to say on the matter?

I like friendly, relaxed clubs that fish a lot and don’t take it too seriously or act like they are qualifying for the Classic.

Does such a thing exist in Oregon? I’m in the valley, so probably not going to go for something based in say, Pendleton, but I’d still like to hear your experiences.
Hi Shaun
I have been a member for a while but never posted. I fish for many species although in recent years my focus has been on Salmon in the rivers. I love to bass fish! I have also researched clubs around the Portland area to no avail. There are clubs that require fees that I do not want to pay. I have thought of starting a free club for belly boaters and small pontoons, since this is how I prefer to do my bass fishing.
 
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NKlamerus
Great subject, I have looked around a little and had some explanation for some of the different groups.

Seems like most of them are tournament based, require fees, and "can be" loaded with highschool drama.

I'm mostly kayak based obviously, but have been casted from many of the groups because I run a trolling motor.

Is there a bass club in Albany still? Based at the freeway lakes?
 
Irishrover
https://www.oregonbassandpanfishclub.com/

Not a member myself, but it looks like a Portland area bass club. Historically Oregon has been more of a salmon trout kind of state. I did spend some time in Texas and bass seemed to be a big fishery down there. This summer I plan to hit the John Day River for bass. Did it last year up near Cottonwood Canyon. It was fun and those guys can put up a fight especially on a fly rod.
 
Shaun Solomon
I basically don’t know anything about the clubs apart from having some interactions with a few people when I was still on Facebook. I’m not on any “social media” platforms apart from this, although OFF isn’t what most would consider to be social media.

I understand that the modern concept of organized bass fishing revolves around tournaments. I’m fundamentally opposed to tournaments for a range of reasons. Still, I’ve been in a few clubs over the years and all of them were tournament focused.

It is totally possible to do that without the “high school” aspects. The best club I was in was based in Fort Collins and did paper tournaments on the honor system, much like many kayak clubs. It was competitive, but less so than the other clubs I was in that weighed in the fish. One club in particular turned me off so bad I’ve never even tried to join another.

Most of the dues at that time were to allow participation in the BASS Federation, and to pay operational expenses incurred at the local level. Pay out for tournaments was a hundred percent, so nobody sat on the revenue. The guys all put in side pots for big fish and that sort of thing. It was great. We would hang out and drink beer after the event and talk about the patterns. In winter we got ice out there, so we would have seminars, either by experienced members or by guest “experts.” It was a growing experience for me for sure.

My skill set is a lot deeper now than it was back then, but it was a huge boost to my confidence and abilities, despite the fact that I was fishing hundreds of days a year at the time. I’m sure exposure to others methods would tune up the edge of my fishing in a good way.
 
Shaun Solomon
Hey Really Hooked, I wouldn’t let it prevent you from looking into joining a club just because they have dues. At least see if you can attend a meeting. Some clubs will even let you fish as a guest. It might be something you would enjoy.

Especially if you don’t have a bass boat, a lot of clubs need non-boaters for draw tournaments. It’s a pretty interesting experience. Being a back-boater is pretty cool in some ways, and it requires a specialized skill set.

I don’t have much competitiveness in me, but seeing how derbies unfold provides a ton of data. You can learn a lot about bodies of water in a short time fishing derbies because of all the angler hours they represent, especially in good clubs where people share a lot.

I’m super interested in the ways big fish behavior is different than average fish behavior, and I’m interested in biology and predator/prey dynamics. That’s not normal stuff for normal clubs to dive into, because most clubs have modeled themselves on B.A.S.S. and have five fish limit weigh-in type events. I’m interested in theory and science in addition to technique. You can learn techniques from a broad range of sources, but hearing other people discussing theories on behavior is what interests me most, and it’s the hardest thing to find. I am 100% not interested in why you only tie snells on punch rigs or the critical importance of 8:1 ratio left handed reels. Unless you are Aaron Martens (😥) I don’t want to hear about it. But why fish do what they do is endlessly fascinating to me, and I would LOVE to find a group of people who would like to talk about it.
 
Shaun Solomon
NKlamerus, I am not aware of any clubs in Albany, nor any that are based at Freeway. I sure wouldn’t want to fish any pond tournaments 😬
 
jamisonace
I wonder if Finneus Polebender is still around. That guy was a bass addict like I've never met. Seems like he had all sorts of access and fished those freeway lakes a lot. He tried to get me join him a few times but you know.....bass. If someone took the time to search his content on there I bet they'd learn something.

I got a random phone call from him a long time ago.....like 10 years....and haven't heard from him since. That was back when this forum had a ton of guys with lots of knowledge to share.
 
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C_Run
Finneus Polebender, tomriker, Colby Pearson, all classic OFF bass masters of yesteryear!
 
Shaun Solomon
I’m all about Dave Smith myself.
 
Shaun Solomon
I talked to Colby one time, seemed like a decent kid. Feeling himself for sure, but I guess it comes of being young.
 
Grant22
My family is members of the Oregon fishing club because we got tired of constant combat fishing. We mostly did it for the various river access spots. It's expensive but a lot of their ponds have really big bass in them
 
Senkosam
SS your reasons for wanting to participate in a club are valid especially when it comes to learning more about other ways to fish and learning waters within a reasonalbe distance from home (considering the price of gas). Years ago I belonged to two T clubs at the same time and my learning curve went straight up. One club was friendly and fun, the other had a few that were about winning period and at times created friction with some members - including myself. Without belonging to a T club I doubt anyone will want to reveal anything about the waters they fish. I wouldn't. I fish with few anglers for that reason and choose to fish with shore anglers that don't have a boat such that we fish from my boat. Advantage: they help me find fish in the waters fished and they benefit from my experience which I'm glad to share. No pressure.
Good luck.
 
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