By Ada Zhang
Many people perceive fishing as a relaxing activity, but for members of the Baylor Bass Club, it’s a competitive sport.
Members of the club will be representing Baylor in the FLW Outdoors College Fishing National Championships later in the semester. The exact date and location are currently unknown.
Plano freshman Connor Case and San Diego senior Tyler Torwick are going to compete as a team at this tournament.
On Sept. 22, Case and Torwick earned fifth place in the FLW College Fishing Southern Conference tournament in Arkansas. Fifty teams competed.
“You have to be in the top 15 to qualify to go to the invitational,” Case said.
In addition to qualifying for the FLW College Fishing Conference Invitational tournament, Case and Torwick also won $500 that will go toward funding the club.
Case and Torwick placed 10th at the invitational on Oct. 5 at the Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper.
Because they were ranked among the top 10 out of 45 teams, they qualified to compete in the National Championship.
Torwick, who has been in the Bass Club since he was a freshman and is the current president, said there are no requirements for joining the club.
The bass club is for anyone who is passionate about bass fishing and wants to pursue it competitively, he said.
“I mean, technically, we don’t turn away people, but if you don’t know how to bass fish, we won’t send you to the tournament,” Torwick said. “It doesn’t benefit the team if someone doesn’t know how to fish. Typically, it’s only kids that are pretty good at fishing that are on the team.”
Case said fishing experience provides an advantage at tournaments.
“It’s hard to join this team if you’re not already involved in bass fishing because there’s a lot of knowledge you need to be successful,” Case said.
He has been fishing with his dad for 10 years, the last six of which have been competitively. Torwick has been fishing competitively all his life.
Torwick said the best way to join the club is to message the club’s Facebook page.
Case said he loves being a part of the club.
“It keeps me outdoors,” Chase said. “You’re always with good people. It’s hard to find bad people who are fishermen.”
Even though club members do not have to pay dues, members spend their own money to cover the cost of going to tournaments, Torwick said.
“Hotel, entry fees, gas for the boat, vehicle gas, fishing licenses, all comes from our own pocket,” Torwick said.
In order to compete, each student needs a fishing partner and a boat.
Case said it is up to students to pick their partner.
“You can fish with whoever you want to,” Case said. “Me and Tyler just started fishing together this year.”
Torwick said each team must have a boat to take to the tournaments. Chase and Torwick use Chase’s boat to compete, Torwick said.
Case said he and Torwick go pre-fishing before each tournament.
“The only practice we have is going to pre-fish the lake before we actually have the tournament,” Case said. “Then when it comes to tournament day, we know which spot to go to. That’s our only practice. We mess around in Lake Waco and the Brazos.”
There are 10 members in the club this year, Torwick said, and so far they have met once.
“We’ve only met once because most of our events are next semester,” Torwick said. “Next semester we’ll have more meetings. Once there’s more stuff coming up and more tournaments, we’ll have more meetings.”