“I’m not really a joiner ... you know, going to monthly meetings and just talking about fishing ... not sure if that’s for me”. I have heard this many times from anglers over the years and admittedly this was actually how I felt as well before joining a fishing club in 1995. Since then I have become a strong proponent of the whole fishing club scene. I have come to learn that these clubs don’t just offer their members some great fishing opportunities and an educational component to help make them better anglers, but that they are also responsible for an incredible number of fine conservation projects, youth initiatives and community events. The list of fishing related clubs below was created to simplify your search if you are interested in joining a club. Not all are strictly focussed on fishing, and although every effort was made to include all those within the watershed, we may have inadvertently missed a couple. If this is the case, please supply details and we will be happy to include in this list.
Beaverton and District Conservation Club (BDCC)
Simcoe Bass Anglers (SBA)
This club is one of several belonging to the Canadian Bass Anglers Federation (CBAF). Their goal is to create a gathering place to teach novice and seasoned anglers the fine art of competitive bass angling. With about 50 members whose motto is “Camaraderie and Friendly Competition”, the SBA members meet from September to June and during the summer at their tournaments. They get together on the second Thursday evening of each month at the Shoeless Joe’s restaurant on Woodbine Ave. just south of Mount Albert Rd. The CBAF also holds seven Inter-Club events involving all chapters, giving non boaters the chance to fish with boaters from all over Ontario. The club is affiliated with OFAH and involved in community and conservation projects, including the recent perch tagging effort written about in last week’s column. “ New members are always welcome”, says president JP DeRose “and we look forward to another fantastic year on the water”. For more information on the Simcoe Bass Anglers and CBAF please visit: www.cbaf.ca
South Simcoe Bassmasters (SSB)
The SSB is a affiliated with the Ontario BASS Federation Nation (OBFN) which is one of about 50 federations around the world belonging to the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. They meet at Shoeless Joe's, 100 Dissette Street in Bradford ON the first Tuesday of every month. They have guest speakers who share their knowledge on a wide variety of fishing topics. The SSB was founded on the basis of: Learning, Sharing and Ethics to educate and instruct the finer points of "Competitive Bass Fishing". Like most OBFN clubs, they run several tournaments every year in a Boater, Non Boater format. New members are welcome. For more information www.southsimcoebass.com
Georgina Sportsmen's Alliance (GSA)
Since 1988, this OFAH affiliated club has completed various conservation related projects throughout the Town of Georgina. They have constructed bass and pike spawning beds in the Keswick Marsh, made a boardwalk and viewing tower in the Holland Marsh Provincial Wildlife Management area, built and installed duck nesting boxes, are involved in project purple, and green up clean up events. Spring and fall yearly fishing trips to the Temagami area are planned by the membership. When needed the GSA addresses Town Council on issues relating to hunting and fishing. The members of the (GSA) share a concern for healthy forests, a clean Lake Simcoe, abundant fish and wildlife and the right to enjoy them. The GSA meet monthly in Georgina to share information and ideas. For More information about the GSA contact president Rob Hare at 905-989-7672.
The Aurora Bassmasters:
A founding member of the OBFN, this club has a slogan that states “More than Just Another Fishing Club”. Members compete in about 10 club tournaments every year but also run two Lake Simcoe based open events – the pike tournament and transfer in May and the Bass Pro Shops Lake Simcoe Open in late October. All OBFN club tournaments help anglers gather points to qualify for a provincial championship in late August with opportunities from there to compete on a much larger scale in the US through the BASS Federation Nation program. The club also has a very strong conservation mandate, performing several projects over the years ranging from fish habitat creation to roadside clean ups to an ongoing bass tagging research project on Lake Simcoe. They meet the first Wednesday evening of each month in Newmarket at the Optimist Hall. For more information president Dave Meadows recommends anglers check out their site at:www.aurorabass.com
Pefferlaw Anglers Club:
For over 30 years this group of volunteers has considered themselves more of conservation club than an actual fishing club. They have been involved in partnerships with the MNR on several conservation projects over the years ranging from raising young walleye to a recent adult walleye transfer. The group is based out of Pefferlaw and the president Brian Guildford can be reached at 705-437-1276.
One of the most active conservation clubs in the watershed, the Barrie club has performed several fish habitat enhancement projects in Kempenfelt Bay. They are also the host club for the OBFN’s Junior Bassmasters and Barrie Bassmasters president Gerry Heels is also the youth director of the OBFN responsible for the Juniors. www.barriebassmasters.com
Orillia Fish and Game:
Since 1947 this club has represented like-minded outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen from the area, who dedicate their time and money in the interest of conservation. They own, operate and maintain the George Langman Wildlife Sanctuary located at the 14th Concession of Oro-Medonte Township. As well, the club has a tree Farm with sighting-in range, pond and picnic area at Bass Lake and 9th Concession, and the Conservation Education Centre opened June 27, 1994 at George Langman with a 6 Km nature trail that is open to the public. For more details, president Ted Duncan suggests you check out: www.theorilliafishandgameconservationclub.com
Barrie District Anglers and Hunters: This Club is also non-profit organization dedicated to the responsible use and protection of our natural resources. They work closely with many other organizations towards this goal. This is also one of the few clubs in the Simcoe watershed fortunate enough to have their own property ... a beautiful site located on 243 acres of land just north of Barrie Ontario, in the Township of Springwater. They can be reached through their website at: www.bdhacc.com