As a part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, an anonymous reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “Curious to know if you have any students who cannot financially afford to belong to the Husker bass fishing club. Scholarship potential?”
According to Daryl Bauer, the Fisheries Outreach Program Manager at the Nebraska Game and
Parks Commission, 200,000 fish permits are sold yearly. Of these permits, bass fishing is the second-most popular type of angling, showing its appeal in Nebraska. The popularity of bass fishing has spawned a club at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Husker Bass Anglers.
While most clubs are a mere $10 to join, the Bass Anglers’ base fee is $30.
“Our club is $30 to join, and that comes with a team T-shirt, which is a new design every year,” said Jackson Ebbers, president of the Husker Bass Anglers club.
The Bass Anglers club goes to tournaments, and most of the expenses come out of pocket. While there is not a scholarship offered exclusively for the Bass Anglers, there are other price reductions that minimize costs. Oftentimes, the club is able to receive fuel reimbursement, but that does not include the price of renting boats, food and lodging. These expenses are currently not alleviated by any scholarship opportunities, but that doesn't mean you have to spend thousands of dollars to be part of the program.
As far as individual expenses, a member of the Bass Anglers can decide whether to spend or not. For example, a member can join the club for the $30 fee. However, he or she can choose not to participate in tournaments, where most of the expenses come from. In addition to having regular club meetings and discussions, the club also hosts fundraisers and other events at no cost for the members to participate in.
Expenses are steady per boat, and the only variation comes in the form of vehicle fuel.
“We can’t pay for all the expenses of the trip with that [membership fee], especially not knowing how many people are going to be boaters in the next few years and things like that,” Ebbers said.
While scholarships may be out of the question, a perk to the Bass Club is the sponsorships they receive from various companies, accumulating to approximately $1,500 per year.
“We have a bunch of discounts by all the different brands we get sponsored by,” member Hunter Suchland said. “[Members] also get access to everything we have access to.”
The club is sponsored by companies such as fishing rod company Denali Rods and the Nebraska Fish and Game Association. In fact, the club can receive up to 50% off of equipment such as rods and reels.
While the Husker Bass Anglers club is a little pricier than the other clubs, it offers many benefits that can lure in those who are hesitant about the extra out-of-pocket fees.
There are currently no exclusive scholarships for those who want to join, but the big picture in regards to discounts and benefits outweighs the extra fees.