FHC’s fishing club strives to make everyone feel like family

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If you ask sophomore Anthony Ott what his favorite fishing memory is he’ll tell you that it’s when he caught his personal best fish—a pike that was 50 inches and weighed 31.7 pounds.

And while he refuses to give up the secret of where the best fishing place is—claiming that he’ll never tell—he wanted to start FHC’s fishing club as a way for students to come together and experience moments like catching a personal best as well as to help people improve their fishing skills surrounded by others who enjoy the same hobby.

“[The main focus of the club is] to make new friends and have fun catching big fish,” Anthony said.

FHC’s newest club is open to anyone wanting to make new connections, spend time with friends, and catch fish with Anthony and co-collaborator, senior Collin Ward.

The club is a great place for students to come together and help each other improve their fishing skills and come together and make impactful friendships while out on the water while doing an activity as relaxing as fishing.

“It’s calming, relaxing, [and] it’s nice [to] detach from electronics and go out and enjoy nature,” Anthony said.

There is nothing more relaxing than sitting in a boat in the middle of a lake with nothing but you, your bait, and the other individuals in the club. And without any distractions, it makes for the perfect concoction to form quality relationships with your fellow fishing enthusiasts.

Anthony got the idea to start the club because fishing is one of his favorite pastimes and wanted to use his treasured hobby as a way to bring people together.

“Fishing is my favorite thing to do in the summer with my friends,” Anthony said. “I just decided to make [the club] to have fun, make new friends, and fish.”

Collin Ward—Anthony’s co-leader of the club—wanted to start it for a different reason than Anthony had in the beginning.

“We decided to start the fishing club because there are many fishermen at FHC who could all give great advice,” Collin said. “We thought it would be a good way to unify the FHC fishing community.”

While FHC has a wide variety of clubs—everything from HOSA to the environmental club—the fishing club brings something new to the table that the other school related clubs can’t offer.

“Our club stands out from others because there are not many clubs at FHC that get people outside,” Collin said. “Not many people know how to fish so it is a fun thing to learn for many people.”

The combination of being out in the elements and the care-free attitude of it’s members adds another dimension to the club that others don’t get to experience on a day-to-day basis.

We decided to start the fishing club because there are many fishermen at FHC who could all give great advice. We thought it would be a good way to unify the FHC fishing community”

Senior Gavin Brady, a member of FHC’s fishing club, says that, while the club started as just a fun idea between friends, it’s blossomed into more.

“The main focus of the club is to bring people who have a common interest together,” Gavin said. “People [should] join if they have an interest in fishing or just want to be a part of something cool.”

Between the three experienced fishermen, having several years under their belts and having impressive personal bests (Collin’s being a fish he caught in Canada and Gavin’s favorite memory being when he caught a three-foot Pike in the Thornapple River), they have a few words of advice for students that want to learn more about the relaxing and high-thrill world that is the Fishing..

“Some advice I would give to beginners is to find out why you enjoy fishing,” Gavin said. “There [are] so many different fish you can [catch] or ways you can fish.”

And, while Gavin suggests that you should spend time getting to know what works well for each individual person, Collin suggests that people should just join the club to get better at their skills.

The original purpose of the club may have been to unite FHC’s fishermen and give them a place to trade advice and hangout doing the things they love, but it also was started with the purpose of creating strong bonds with each other.

“We won’t be friends in this club–we’ll be family,” Anthony said.