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Bass Fishing Team Reels in Interest


Bellarmine senior Trevor Hulsey has been fishing all his life, but his biggest catch ever was reeling in a bass fishing team at Bellarmine University.

“Dr. McGowan wanted to get bass fishing going to help boost male involvement,” Hulsey said.

Although he saw a great opportunity to create a collegiate bass fishing team his sophomore year, Hulsey had to wait until the right moment. He was too busy with classes to form the team that year, but things opened up when he was a junior. He helped begin the team, and Bellarmine hired Greg Dulaney as the head coach. Although the team has a coach, Hulsey, the president and treasurer, said the members of the team are in charge.

“The primary function of the coach is for travel and recruitment,” Hulsey said. “Everything else is team-run.”

Dulaney said the structure is in place for the bass fishing team to be successful.

“I think Bellarmine has done a great job of going through the motions,” Dulaney said.” “I was hired early March and we were up and running and (2015) was a learning year.”

Bass fishing is a club-team sport. Unlike other sport teams, it is open to everyone in the university. However in the spring, the club sport transitions into a travel team. The first big tournament is called the Big Bass Bash.

“Most tournaments are five fish total combined weight for that boat. so the boater and co-angler have to work as a team. the Big Bass Bash is unique in that they just weigh in your one big fish and you weigh in separately. It’s not a boat weight. It’s individual, and they allow us to put three people on a boat. So we kick off the year and take everybody with us. Cabella’s hosts it, and it’s out on Kentucky Lake,” Hulsey said.

In order to make it beyond the Big Bass Bash, you have to be a part of the travel team.

“There is a point system we apply to the club, and the people who perform the best in the club are on the travel team for the spring,” Hulsey said.

These travel team members have the opportunity for scholarships awarded by Bellarmine on an individual basis.

“The travel expenses are big. It’s the fuel and hotel cost alone… It’s tens of thousands of dollars,” Hulsey said.

Eric Shinkle, a current Bellarmine senior, said he’s excited to join the team. Up until this year, Eric has just fished recreationally but is looking forward to the competitive side of things.

“(The first meeting) went really well, and we are all ecstatic to go fishing,” Shinkle said.

Shinkle said he loves to fish and loves that Bellarmine has a team.

“I find fishing relaxing and challenging,” Shinkle said. “(It’s fun to find) where they are at and where they are biting,” said Eric. His most memorable fishing experience was when he went fishing with his uncle.

“We caught up to 50 fish,” Shinkle said.

Although some people may not consider bass fishing a “real sport,” Hulsey said his sport is real, and the interest they received at Bellarmine’s Involvement Fair can back that up.

“Bass fishing is a competitive sport,” Hulsey said. “We had 50 people interested from the involvement fair and most people that signed up want to take their push button real and go sit at the pond, which is great. Our mission is to help educate people and highlight conservation missions, but as far as manning a team goes, it’s very competitive, drawing a line between the casual and competitive side.”

Dulaney said that, although the team went through some growing pains early on, he expects the program to reach new heights in coming years.

“The team didn’t know what to really expect. The student athletes know what is going on this year and what needs to be done in order to achieve success. We have been on the water a couple times versus last year we weren’t even set up. They are going to have the time to be successful,” he said.


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