In the early part of 2001, a bunch of catfishermen started to talk amongst themselves about forming a catfish club. They talked about it at catfish tournaments, at local bait shops, on the water with other catfishermen and some at church. Then against all odds, this group decided to have a get together at a local fish house in Denver, North Carolina and to our surprise over fifty people showed up. We all agreed at the meeting to form the club right then and there, held an election of officers and appointed several guys to develop some objectives for the club. It was decided that our first goal would be the conservation and protection of our catfish resources. Later we voted to have as our code of ethics the following: (A) Obey laws and regulations associated with the fisherery. (B) Strive to be an example of a safe, responsible and courteous watercraft operator. (C) Do not judge fellow anglers and demonstrate respect for other forms of angling. (D) Educate and encourage others if they seek knowledge. Promote your sport. (E) Practice conservation through educational and selective harvest. Thus we started educating oursleves and others by inviting outside anglers to come to our meetings and hold 45 minute seminars, plus later some of our own membership conducted these seminars. We got involved with the University of Virginia for a study on the Ark. Blues on Lake Norman, which was a first in the state of NC. We got involved with our state DNR people and exchanged ideas and offered some of our catches to the state for study purposes. During this period we set some goals that we felt would protect the catfish population in NC and SC. The first item and the most important one was a size limit for the blue, which was accomplished seven years later. SC beat NC to this requirement by almost a year and a half for Santee Cooper. We all agreed from the start that we would be a family club, which meant that if you joined, your wife and children would also be members and were welcome to come to club meetings, which some did. As with all clubs, you have a flux of membership, due to some members moving due to job opportunties, lack of interest or other interest, etc. We had one group of members that wanted to be a tournament type club and we discussed it at length and a majority decided that we should remain an educational and conservational club. The off shoot of this tournament situation was the creation of the NCCATS which left with our blessings. Sometime in 2002, we became a qualifying club for Cabelas' King Kat Classic and our membership has done quite well in this series. In 2007 Ronnie Howard (roundhill) placed third, from 2004 thru 2006 our club placed the following people in the top ten of the KKC: Kevin Custer (9) in 2005, Robbie Byres (6) in 2006, Rodger Taylor (mudkipp) and Mac Byrum (LakeNormanBlues) (10) and a bunch of other members in the top 20 thru this period of time. It is possible that I have left someone out that was in the top ten over this period of time. Thus, the club has made a respectful showing in national competition. How could a little catfish club membership achieve such honors over this period of time, the answer is simple, exchange of ideas and education. In 2006, our President, Dieter Melhorn (WylieCat) arranged for us to joined up with the BOC (Catfish1.Com) and this was a blessing that we did not see at the time. The BOC has offered our club exposure, plus an avenue of education that can not be measured. Due to this exposure, we now have a group in South Carolina that wants to form a catfish club and be part our our group. The club I have been speaking of is the Carolina Catfish Club which currently has a membership of forty plus. Our first President was Tracy Westmoreland, next was Mac Byrum (2 terms), then Wayne Estes, then Rodger Taylor, and for the past two years Dieter Melhorn. Each of our Presidents has had their strong points, but Dieter Melhorn has been the guiding light in our endeavors of new regulation and their adoption. I have laid all this out, just in case there is a group of fellows or gals out there that have always wanted to do something similar, but felt that it was impossible. Nothing is impossible, so if you have been thinking about forming a club, whether it be a club like ours or a tournament club, go for it. But, make the BOC part of it and you will never regret it.