ECU Bass Fishing Club
East Carolina’s Bass Fishing Club competes in three national collegiate series. The club’s approximately 50 members travel the eastern half of the U.S. and even north to Canada to compete against anglers from other colleges and universities. Participants catch their fish then release them after weigh-in.
Club members use their own boats — two members to a boat in tournaments, about 15 boats total in the club — and pay many of their own expenses either out of pocket or through dues of $150 a semester. The university provides about $4,000 yearly, as it does for other club sports organizations, but its use is restricted. The club also holds fishing fundraisers around the state.
The club’s co-president is Braxton Chase, a business major who plans to graduate in May 2021. “I’ve already built relationships with people in the industry to hopefully get a job after graduation,” he said. “It’s something I enjoy. It’s not really going to be work for me.”
The biggest bass he’s caught in a tournament was 7.5 pounds; the biggest he’s ever caught was an 11-pounder he hooked in seventh grade.
Chase’s favorite time to fish is in May, after bass have spawned. “They’re really hungry and skinny,” he said. “They’re going to be aggressive and try to feed before they go out deep for summer.”