For the competition, which takes place every semester, the two schools will catch as many bass as possible and donate the proceeds to a charity of the winner’s choosing.
But the club also serves as a place for students to make a positive impact in the community, be part of a close-knit group of student fishers, and have fun, said English professor and club adviser Henry Veggian.
“(It’s) not only about fishing, but the environment, wildlife, biology, traveling, competitive fishing, as well as the simple art of fishing,” said Veggian, who has advised the club since 2007. “It’s a low-intensity, high-reward club, and that’s why we’ve been successful for as long as we have.”
Senior Kenan Courtney said his favorite part of the club is the community aspect.
“I’ve been in the fishing club since I was a freshman, and I’m a senior now, and fishing has always been a family tradition.” Courtney said. “Being in the fishing club, I’ve found that same sense of community.”
Veggian said the pastime can help community members beyond UNC, too.
“Even the fishing has a dual purpose, so to speak. Over the years, we’ve been involved with the YMCA with father-son and father-daughter events,” Veggian said.
“Sometimes we will do stream cleanups, things like that — events of the environmental nature.”
Senior and club president Eric Dean hopes more people will become interested in the club.
“We do have a handful of members, but a lot of people don’t know about our club.” Dean said.
Sixty-six members are on the club’s active roster, he said.
The club often holds educational events including lectures from fishing professionals and UNC faculty. Renowned kayak fisherman Bob Dainton spoke to the group Thursday in Hamilton Hall.
Having Dainton speak was for more than just having a fishing aficionado’s perspective. It’s also about hearing the business side of fishing, Veggian said.
“He’s very well known. He’s an excellent speaker because he’s also a teacher,” he said. “I want them to see the organization and business aspect of kayak fishing.”
Sophomore Aleks Sandifer enjoyed learning new kayak fishing tips from Dainton.
“It’s basically a different form of fishing that you wouldn’t get normally from fishing off the bank. It gives you the opportunity to get to deeper places,” Sandifer said.
“From what he was describing it seems more fun and hands on because of the variation of what you can fish for, what you can fish with and where you can fish.”