By Trentyn Pues
Club president Cory Kerber says the Fresno State Fishing Club is a great place to be whether you’re a beginning fisherman or have been doing it for a long time.
“As long as you’re a Fresno State student, you’re welcome to come and join,” Kerber said.
He said the club is more than just fishing enthusiasts getting together and sharing their best stories, it actually competes in tournaments throughout the West Coast. As it turns out, it has some pretty strong fishermen.
“This year, we were pretty good,” Kerber said. “We took first, second and third at one of the tournaments. There were 40 schools from all over the West, and we were one of the Top-3 schools.”
They are impressive feats that have largely gone unnoticed. Kerber said most people don’t seem to know the club exists.
“I mean, if I wear a shirt that says ‘Fresno State Fishing Club,’ or a hat, they don’t believe me that it’s a real thing,” he said.
The club, which is about nine years old, actually predated the popularity spike in college fishing, which Kerber said really began to happen in 2007.
Kerber said the club had humble beginnings. It was originally just a group of students getting together for some organized fishing trips, and that still remains the core of the club to this day.
“Really, it’s just kind of a group of guys getting together and talking about fishing,” Kerber said. “There’s only three tournaments a year that we do. We’ll go on camping trips to lakes around here and spend the weekend there fishing and just hanging out. We’re trying to go to Shaver this year and also an ocean fishing trip somewhere off the coast.”
Club veteran Carl Nelson said he believes people shouldn’t be afraid to come and try out the club.
“We’re not just all about bass fishing,” Nelson said. “We’ve got guys in here that like to just go fishing. In general, we try to line up some things like trips just for people to have fun – people that share the same passion for fishing.”
That’s the hope of Kerber, who believes that outside activities, like fishing, have fallen out of favor in recent years.
“I feel like, in this day and age, people are kind of getting away from outdoors and outdoor activities,” Kerber said. “They’re moving inside on computers and stuff like that. I feel like the more people that get to try it out, they’ll enjoy it and pass it along to their kids and friends.”
The club meets every Monday at 3 p.m. in the University Student Union near the bowling alley. Kerber said not to worry about coming unprepared.
“If you don’t have gear, I’m sure someone could let you borrow some of theirs,” Kerber said. “Rod or reel or something like that, just to get you going.”