Benefit of a fishing club

Discussion in 'Mac Byrum's Catfish University' started by Mac-b, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    North Caro
    It is with a great deal of pride that I'm writing this article.

    Over the years, from 2001 to the present, we have had a changing of the guard yearly as it relates to the best cat-man in the club. The only measuring stick I have for declaring someone the best is how they do in club tournaments and other tournaments they fish in. Our club members are a threat to win almost every tournament they enter. Before someone jumps me about tournament fishing, let it be known that these guys barely make enough from their winning to cover the cost of scouting a lake, getting their equipment in tip top shape and the expense of the tournament itself. So, it is not a money thing, but a way to measure yourself against someone else under the same fishing conditions.

    This year we have had two teams to surface as a tad better than the rest of us, they are Jeff Manning and his partner Michael Holmes and the team of Lindsay and Holmes and McHenry. Dieter Melhorn has held his own fishing the local tournaments on Lake Wylie.

    In 2008 it was Cary and his partner Matthew with Lindsay and McHenry giving them a run for their money. Dieter still doing his thing on Wylie.

    In 2007 it was Dieter Melhorn and a variety of partners, such as Cary, Mac and sometimes Rodger. Dieter and Rodger still doing their thing on Wylie.

    In 2006, Dieter Melhorn surface as a threat to win wherever he fished and he did.

    The year 2005 was a big year for myself fishing alone and later in the year fishing with Rodger Taylor. That year we went to Capella's King Kat Classic and got ourselves a top ten finish, plus some top fives and wins in the J & J tournament and club outings.

    From 2001 to 2004, Kevin Custer ruled the roost, no question about that.

    From 2002 to 2008, the Carolina Catfish Club had someone or more than one at times, in the top ten, plus several in the top 30 of the King Kat Classic at lakes all over the map. It did not matter where these guys fished, they alway found them.

    Last, but not the least, is Ronnie Howard and his wife. They hold the best record for anyone from the club as to finishes in the King Kat Classic. At least two seconds and another top ten. Ronnie is an accomplished guide on Santee Cooper.

    I do have have the records of the J & J Tournament Trail nor the NCCATS stats, but from memory I do know that CCC members would have at least three or four of the top five places in almost all the tournaments. High percentage of the time we had a member taking the top money.

    At least once a month or more, we will have a CCC member being exposed in the Regional Newspaper and/or local papers holding a trophy blue or flathead. It is always stated under the photo. that the fish was released alive for others to enjoy catching.

    Dieter and myself were discussing what the underlying factor in these guys and gal doing so well in their fishing endeavors this weekend. It did not take too much discussion for us to decide what has helped these folks is the openness of the older members to the younger ones, plus our fishing seminars. Also, when a new member joins the club, one of the older member will take them or several of them at one time cattin' and show them the tricks of the trade. We let it be known from the get-go to a new member that we as a club are willing to help them. When a new member or existing members comes to a members lake, we gladly tell them where to get bait and some of the best places for them to fish. At the end of each scheduled meeting, our President, Dieter Melhorn, opens the floor up for a bull session about catfishing, problems that some might have, etc. and a lot of information is shared at this time.

    Well I have talked about winning and winning, but what about those guys that are no longer winning, what happen to them. Several things have taken place, some have gone on to being catfish guides and have conflicts with tournament dates or have just lost interest in competition. Also, lets remember that success does not bred continued success. Some of the older ones continued to fish in the same places year after year, even after they had experiences failure in those locations. The cream of the crop is out there trying out new places and finding better quality fish. What some of us do not recognize is that there is nothing as constant as change. Lesson there for all of us.

    For a catfish club that has a primary goal of educating the public and state officials about conservation, we ain't bad fisher persons !:big_smile:

    My fishing cap is off to the young guns and their accomplishment and I wish that all cat-fisher person could have a club in their local, same as ours. Now, that would be a hoot!
  2. BigBird

    BigBird New Member

    Charlotte, NC
    Mac thanks for the kind words about all. Just a little history-I river fished many years on the pd river and inshore coastal. when i moved to charlotte two years ago, I was pretty much lost. after one trip to the lake it was clear that i needed a bigger boat and needed to learn reservoir fishing.
    I bought a triumph 19' bay boat with the intent of handling the rough water of reservoir fishing. I didnt know anyone that wanted to fish or give me any direction on the lake.
    I came to the first catawba wylie tourney two years ago and got embarrassed. I cought only one weigher fish. Whether you remember i invited myself and showed up at the ccc picnic to join where nobody knew me. Instead of getting ignored i was felt welcome and started my reservoir education. I got invited to meet and greets at the local lake of choice at least once a month and had many emails and phone conversations with ccc members
    I learned how to drift and some other helpful techniques including getting bait ideas.I have learned alot and try to learn something new each time I go fishing.
    Thanks to the CCC and the BOC, have shortened my learning curve exponentially and feel confident when i got to other lakes with a serious game plan and strategy and met some good folks/friends along the way.:big_smile:

  3. martygreen

    martygreen Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Rock Hill,S.C.
    Same way here Lindsay,Jeff and I were not new to fishing or catfishing when we met some of the guys of the Carolina Catfish Club.Most were met or introduced thru the BOC and some of the tourneys.We joined up a couple of years ago and it has been a blast to attend what meetings we can and fishing with or competing against these guys.These are truly some of the best Catmen around and you will always learn something at a meeting,tournament fishing or fun fishing together.
    My personal thanks to some of the Veterans,Dieter,Cary and Rodger and of course Mac who I have never gotten to met in person yet but have learned a great deal thru his post.And also some of the newer guys like Jeff Manning,George Lindsey,Damon Gibson,Lindsay Bigham and Michael Holmes,its a joy fishing with and against you guys throughout the year in all these local tourneys,yall make the competition fun and stiff,in fact yall been whopping our tails lately but we learn something new and friendships grow each day.Thanks to the CCC for that.We enjoy it and look for many more years of it.Thanks Mac for the post.
  4. billfish76

    billfish76 Active Member

    Rock Hill, SC
    I have to give thanks to some of the members that were there when I came to my first meeting. Rodger, Mac, Ron, Dieter, and the guest speakers that grace us with their presence. I wouldnt as good of a catman if it wasnt for listening to them and fishing with some of them.

    When I moved to Charlotte the only freshwater fishing I had done was at the local ponds growing up. I only fished the saltwater. When I found out how close Lake Wylie was to me, the spring after we moved here I bought another boat. Now I had to learn how to fish the fresh water. I hired a bass guide and learned alot in that day of fishing, but that wasnt something that I could do with friends and family easily (plus my wrist hurt after casting all day). I then hired Rodger to take me out and teach me how to catch catfish. He told me about the club and the BOC. I attended a meeting and met Dieter in person after seeing him on the water a few times. Ive always enjoyed tournanment fishing for the competition so I started to fish a few and started doing good. Luckly for me the meeting place changed and I was able to attend more of the meetings. Thats where I learned the most. While Rodger taught me alot, the little things covered in the meetings were the most informative. Im hoping to get back to that this upcoming year and learn something new.

    If your in the Charlotte area and are interested in learning something new or just hanging out with fellow Cat fishermen come to the meetings. Hopfully we can find a new meeting place closer to SC for the upcoming year to get more of our members out to the meetings.

    Thanks guys and Im looking forward to a great upcoming year.
  5. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Great post Mac.

    As always, I really enjoyed the time with you on the water. Even more than catching fish, which we didn't do a good job of Monday, I enjoy the talking, reflecting, and learning.


    Your post really summarizes what we talked about and some of the conclusions we came to. I am relatively new to the Carolina Catfish Club and tournament fishing. In my short time I have seen a big change in the club, the membership, and the quality of anglers we have.

    On any given day, any of the CCC members can take home a win in any tournament on the Catawba chain of lake. CCC members are always a threat. Whats even more impressive is that the winners are more than willing to share how they caught there fish with the other members. They realize that exactly WHERE they fished is not as important as HOW they fished.

    An good example of "what you give, you get back". :big_smile:

    The bottom line is; I'M PROUD, damn proud of the folks we have as members and where we have moved as a club.