Last year, bass fishing was just a recreational activity for the casual UVU student. Fast forward a year, and 15 students have joined the popular Bass Fishing Club created last November. Clint Martinez, the club’s adviser, expects there to be 24 team members by the end of the week.
“They don’t have anything like that in Utah, so you’re going to have to go out of state,” Martinez said to his son. The next day, Martinez wondered why UVU couldn’t have a bass fishing team.
“I made some phone calls and sent some emails out,” Martinez said. “I found out how easy it was.”
Students immediately joined the club. They began fishing in tournaments within months after the club’s creation.
“There were four tournaments, and UVU actually won two of them,” Martinez said.
This past August, UVU was chosen to host a regional tournament at Utah Lake, the same lake that Martinez first fished on, helping him discover a love for fishing. This love eventually led to the creation of the club.
“The TV show that I watched for the regional championships last year, this year, not only did we have a team, but we hosted it, and UVU is going to be featured on that program,” Martinez said.
The program will air on NBC Sports November 4.
“It kind of came full circle,” Martinez. said. “In one year’s time, which is amazing. Actually, it’s miraculous.”
Russ Behlings, a senior, is part of the 15-man team and believes that it could develop into something much greater.
“Eventually, I think this has the potential to grow into a scholarship,” Behlings said. “Possibly for getting students to come to UVU, fish competitively and represent the school.
Martinez said the ultimate goal for the club is winning a national championship. Until then, he wants to keep the program growing.
“The guys that are fishing are serious about it,” Martinez said. “They’re hungry. They want to go out and win.”
If the years to come are as successful as the first year for the Bass Club, then keeping a successful program in place will not be a problem.