As the weather warms up and the calendar turns to spring, the call of the bass boat will become louder and louder.
Wheeler Bass Club has already heard the call and held a tournament at Hubbard Creek near Breckenridge, Texas last week and will continue to have monthly, two-day tournaments through October. Their next tournament will be April 9-10 at Possum Kingdom.
Wheeler Bass Club is a club that competes within itself at each of the tournaments.
The club was founded in the 1980s and was intentionally ran as a small-boat club. It operated off and on for 30 years before President Jordan Jones (whose father and uncle founded the club) took it over around 2017 and renewed it through social media.
“I bought a boat and kind of decided to take over things,” President Jordan Jones said. “I started using social media and it was a big deal. I posted a couple of ads in some ‘for sale’ pages in Pampa and Elk City and got a good following off of that. I had a handful from White Deer, Pampa and some guys from Elk City.”
The club is primarily funded by sponsors and membership dues.
“This year we were able to get a new set of scales (we got a high-end pro tournament scale system to weigh fish) because we had enough money to do it,” Jones said. “We also used that money to pay a tournament fee in New Mexico. We have sponsors from Pampa.
“We are fishing for money (through entry fees $40/person) and have we have club dues ($150 with free jersey). All of the dues go into a pot and at the end of the year, we take all of the weight totaled per team, calculate that and the winner at the end of the year wins a percentage of it. It’s first through fourth and then we pay out the big bass for the year.”
Tournaments are held at lakes within a 250-mile radius around Wheeler. The club has 36 members and includes members 18-and-under.
“We let anybody 18 and under fish for free,” Jones said. “They don’t pay club dues or entry fees at tournaments. They get a free jersey through our sponsorships. We want kids to go fishing. We want to bring younger people into this because I know how the world is right now with video games.”
“It’s kind of a goal. We want younger people into this. I’ve got three boys and they are young, so they aren’t fishing in the club yet, but they like to fish. As they get older I’ll start bringing them with me.”
Teams are broken up into pairs, but allow a third member (family only) to be signed up as an alternate. Scoring is based on the top five bass each day and is totaled. Fishing is catch-and-release.
“We try to keep them all alive and do everything in our power to do so,” Jones said. “We don’t lose hardly any fish. We carry ice and do a lot of things to take care of the fish.”
For more information on Wheeler Bass Club, call Jordan Jones at 806-570-9369.
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