Students start first kayak fishing club in state

Kayak fishing is quickly becoming one of the most popular and practical methods for anglers to catch fish, and two pioneering students have started the state’s first club of its kind at The University of Alabama.

The sport offers a much greater chance of success than if one were simply fishing from land or a traditional boat. The versatility of kayaks offers increased stealth and mobility in order to sneak up on unaware catches. Not only is one able to fish from the entire pond, which would not be the case with land fishing, but a kayak’s lightweight design allows for easy access from pond to pond and over land as well.

Tyler Clark and Evan Yell brought the sport to the University because they wanted to share their hobby with others and were concerned with the lack of representation on campus.

Founded on March 4 of this year, the club already boasts nearly 40 members and is continuing to grow. With an entrance fee of $20, one of the lowest member fees for any club on campus, students are flocking to the club as a way of socializing and competing in their favorite sport.

Clark said “most other bass fishing clubs can charge as much as $200,” so this club’s cheap price offers a more financially viable solution.

Students are not required to obtain extra equipment upon joining the club, since the kayaks are provided at each outing. The only equipment that must be provided by the prospective members are rods and reels, which Clark and Yell help purchase at discounted prices through the club’s sponsors.

The club is supported by 13 sponsors, the most prominent of which are Mann’s Bate Company, Backwater Paddle Company, Double Catch Lures and Yak-gear.com. These sponsors provide donations and discounted prices for the club’s members.

The founders’ goals are to spread the sport to other Alabama campuses so students of the state can experience Alabama outdoors.

“Alabama has nearly 53,000 miles of waterways,” Clark said. “And our lakes are famous for their fishing.”

The state has one of the longest navigable inland waterways in the nation, and the club’s purpose is to explore and fish these areas. They also expect to compete against other teams from the Southeast in the future. In the meantime, they compete with each other, with the victor winning prizes and gift cards to outdoor stores. These competitions and outings are mostly held at the Cahaba River, Lake Lurleen and Lake Nicol, but members also go to various places across Alabama.

The club is always seeking new members, and the best way to get information about joining is to go to The University of Alabama Kayak Fishing page on Facebook.