Winter in Northern Wisconsin is a great time to plan your next fishing season. Many anglers in the area are taking the cold and snow in stride by planning fishing trips. Some will plan trips with family or friends. Some will fish Open tournaments such as the Hodag Bassmasters Boom Lake Open or the Shawano Red Nek Bass Busters' Shawano Open. For others, this will be the year they join a club and fish club tournaments all summer. There are many reasons to join a Bass Club.
Meet other anglers. For people who are looking to network with others who have similar interests, local clubs provide a great place to do just that. Throughout the year clubs in Northern Wisconsin hold meetings where their members talk about all things related to fishing from techniques and tackle to lakes and waterways. Learn new techniques and improve fishing abilities. Anglers of all skill levels often find others in a local fishing club who have different strengths or who fish certain baits differently. Some anglers may even learn an altogether new technique. When an angler becomes part of a club, he or she may learn about lures or techniques that he or she had never known anything about. That angler may also learn more about using their electronics, for instance, or be able to help others in that area. A big part of being a club member is teaching others as well as learning from them.
Get involved in conservation. Most local fishing clubs are involved in some type of conservation effort throughout the fishing season. There are opportunities to get involved in fish studies with local DNR agents, learn about stopping the spread of invasive species, and many chances to learn about becoming a steward of our waterways. Some clubs also help with youth initiatives. Mentoring children in fishing is a great way to help them learn valuable life skills that they can use on and off the water such as conservation, sportsmanship, and being competitive in a positive way.
Fish new lakes or new types of waters. From time to time anglers fish lakes where they are comfortable and know they can catch fish, while ignoring new waters and new challenges. When an angler joins a club, they may have tournaments on waters they have never fished, which is an excellent way to build fishing skills. Clear water fishes differently than stained or dark water, and anglers may be targeting different species on different waters. An angler may be used to fishing Largemouth, but the club she joins may fish a lot of Smallmouth lakes, so she will learn more about fishing for them.
Overall, joining a local bass club such as Hodag Bassmasters, for instance, can help an angler in many ways. Whether looking for camaraderie, assistance in learning techniques, or just to get out of a rut, anglers who decide to join clubs this year will find just the help they were looking for.