Bass Club Profile: B.A.W.S. Bass Club
Like most bass clubs out there, B.A.W.S. started out as some buddies getting together a few times during the year and fishing for nothing but bragging rights.
Based east of Hartford, Conn., we had our first "unofficial" outing in August of 2003, which included four guys in two leaky boats fishing a hot summer night. The following year we had a few more, and we started keeping official records in 2005, albeit as a team club with three teams (six total members).
By the start of 2006 we had seven boats and 12 members, mostly all buddies that went to high school or college together, plus a few work colleagues. Many of the boaters had graduated from tin cans to high performance bass rigs.
Our name originated as Bass Anglers Who Slay, but after our first few weigh-ins, we realized it should be Bass Anglers Who Stink. In then end when someone asks, we tell them, "it stands for whatever we want it stand for."
Because Connecticut is such a small state, it can be tough to schedule the places you want to fish at certain times of the season. We have an unofficial club rule that we don't fish any water smaller than 300 acres, which limits us even further. We generally hit the larger bodies of water in the state, including Candlewood Lake and the Connecticut River a couple times each, as well a smaller bodies of water like Congamond Lakes (usually a night tournament), Moodus Reservoir and Bantam Lake. Last year was our first foray into holding a club tournament out of state on the Connecticut River at the NH/VT border near Brattleboro, VT. It is smallie heaven up there and we had such a good time, we will be heading back, hopefully on an annual basis. We hold between eight and nine club tournaments a year, but many members usually get together to do some fun fishing or bragging tournaments on the weekends. We don't have a tournament scheduled.
B.A.W.S. is not affiliated with B.A.S.S. and we like to think of ourselves as a buddy club with some basic rules and the chance to win a little bit of money. Dues pay for the top three spots at the end of the year as well as trophies for boater/non-boater and each tournament winner. There are also awards handed out for most improved, lunker largemouth and smallmouth and big bag for the year. The awards are handed out at a dinner for club members at the conclusion of the season. Our current club records are 19.29 pounds for a five-fish limit, 5 pounds, 11 ounces for lunker largemouth and 4 pounds, 9 ounces for lunker smallmouth.
The club put on an invitational tournament last year, combining with some other bass fisherman from around the area. It was a 100 percent pay-out event and was very successful. Time permitting, we would like to do that every year. We will look to run some kids tournaments/derby's down the road, but most of the club members' children are too young to be out fishing all day.
We have nine boats and around 16 members heading into the 2008 season, and we can't be more excited.
Reprinted with permission from