Published Tuesday, September 20th, 2022
The Fishing Team is a new club sport at Wayne State that competes in fishing tournaments April through October.
You might consider fishing a leisurely activity – but have you ever considered doing it competitively? With the new Fishing Team at Wayne State College, a club created in Spring 2022 by senior Brayden Sharp, students have the opportunity to do just that.
For the past four years, Sharp has been fishing in a local club circuit that includes Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. He grew up fishing and says he has been “hooked” ever since.
“I have been fishing since I was a little kid with my dad and grandpa,” said Sharp. “One day my dad signed up my brother, dad, and me for a father-son tournament at a lake we grew up on, and I have been ‘hooked’ ever since. I love the competitive atmosphere and enjoying God’s beautiful creation of the outdoors.”
The Fishing Team competes in tournaments during the college-sanctioned event season, April through October. They fish in the smaller events of the club circuit, as well as national tournaments hosted by Major League Fishing (MLF) and B.A.S.S. Nation. Fishing competitions are typically two-person team events, with scoring based on most weight per limit of five fish.
The inaugural season of 2022 has been competitive, said Sharp. The team won their first tournament in early May weighing in 18.42 pounds on the first day and 11.57 pounds on the second. In a June tournament, they finished in the top third with a two-day total of 26.91 pounds.
Club meetings for the team take place monthly at Sky View Lake in Norfolk, Neb. Days and times are flexible, said Sharp.
Requirements to join the club include having a minimum GPA of 2.0, and competitions require having access to a boat. Sharp says fishers ideally should have a boat longer than 16 feet with at least a 50-horsepower engine. To acquire a boat, Sharp suggested students could team up with or borrow from a friend, parent, or someone else who owns a boat.
There is also travel involved, since competitions are held on large bodies of water to hold the number of teams that compete – which could be up to, or even more than, 200 teams.
“This club does require a lot of gear; however, fishing competitively is extremely fun, and the people and connections you make on these trips are amazing,” said Sharp. “Competitive fishing can be expensive, so Wayne State is fortunate enough to cover most of the costs that go into tournament fishing. I am already partnered with several fishing companies, and I have heard from a few of my companies that they will take on new members that I bring on as part of their promotional staff teams.”
Sharp also said there are tournament winnings in cash and prizes available at every event, as well as opportunities for free gear and discount codes for these new team members.