The Sacramento Bass Trackers Club is a community of local fisherman who share a passion for the good catch with good friends. Founded in 1984, the Bass Trackers host monthly club tournaments that help the veterans hone their tactics and teach the rookies the ropes.
“The club gives someone interested in bass fishing who can’t afford it otherwise the chance to go out and fish on nice bass boats and learn how,” said Bass Trackers Club President Bob McCorkle Sr.
A typical tournament consists of a $100 buy-in that pools between the teams of two, with cash prizes given to the top three winners. Teams are selected by a random drawing at the club’s monthly meeting. To win the tournament, teams must accrue the most weight with their five biggest catches, and prizes are given to the top three weigh-ins.
Points are also given to winning teams, and special year-end prizes are given to those who have gathered the most points or caught the year’s biggest bass.
“New members are encouraged to start in January or February so they have a chance to win more points,” McCorkle said.
McCorkle’s son, Bobby McCorkle Jr., is the tournament director for the Bass Trackers Club. He joined the club four years ago and said the largest bass he caught was 7 pounds.
“The fish are caught, weighed and released from the dock,” McCorkle Jr. said. “The teams who win are asked how they caught the fish, what bait they used. It’s designed to be a learning experience.”
McCorkle Sr. said he became involved with the club after his brother-in-law met another club member while out buying fishing bait. When McCorkle Sr. went along to one of the meetings, he was hooked.
“The club has been doing really well,” McCorkle Sr. said, adding that the difficult economy brought attendance down recently, but he’s seen it pick up lately. It currently has 23 members and about seven boats per tournament. Some members, he said, have been there as long as 21 years.
McCorkle Jr. joined the club two years after his father. He said he’s always loved fishing and thinks the best part about the club is “meeting new people each month and learning new strategies.”
They travel to lakes as far as 150 miles from Sacramento for tournaments but prefer the closer locations so more members are able to go. Previously, McCorkle Sr. said, they would meet up with another fisherman’s club and have competitions. That, however, was a short-lived expansion when the rival club backed out.
“We won the trophy all three years,” McCorkle Sr. said, “so maybe that had something to do with it.”
The Bass Trackers meet at 7 p.m. every second Tuesday at Sam’s Hof Brau. They encourage new members and offer a two-meeting, one-tournament pass before asking for the $40 annual member’s fee.