Collegiate Fishing Catching on at Northwood University

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In 2010, Northwood University students Benjamin Nowak and Justin Bechtel founded the Fishing Club on the Michigan campus.
Northwood University Fishing Club members show off their catch.

Northwood University Fishing Club members show off their catch.

December 7, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – Collegiate bass fishing has been on the rise for years and recently has been added to the list of student organizations at Northwood University. The sport of competitive bass fishing has been around since 1967 when Ray Scott hosted the first-ever Bass Fishing Tournament on Beaver Lake in Arkansas. Ever since then the sport has grown, evolved and developed into a competitive sport for all ages, with tournaments ranging from local events to professional circuits such as the FLW Outdoors Tour, BASS Elite Series or the PAA.

Collegiate bass fishing really took off in 2005 with the introduction of the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship. Since then collegiate bass fishing has been one of the fastest growing competitive sports in the United States. Currently there are over 500 schools nationwide that host a competitive bass fishing team.

In 2010, Northwood University students Benjamin Nowak and Justin Bechtel founded the Fishing Club on Northwood’s Michigan campus. In the first season of the club, there were a total of three members but numbers have grown exponentially in the past two years to 15 members. The Fishing Club is backed by a number of large corporate sponsorships as well as various private donors. In the past year, the Fishing Club helped to create the Midwest Collegiate Fishing Series to generate more awareness for the sport of college bass fishing in the Midwest region. The club has also participated in a number of tournaments across the nation, traveling to Alabama, North Carolina, New York, Virginia and Indiana, as well as a number of events throughout the state of Michigan. In 2012, the club finished 44th out of 200 boats participating in the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing National Championship on Pickwick Lake in Alabama and had a 7th place finish on Tanner’s Creek in Indiana. The Fishing Club has lofty goals for the 2013 season with plans to again attend the BoatUS National Championship and qualify for the BASS College National Championship and the FLW Outdoors Conference Championship.

Northwood University’s Fishing Club would like to extend gratitude to all of their families, private donors and sponsors for their support in the previous seasons which helped to make this club possible. A special thanks is extended to Professional Metal Works, Ugly Stick, Pure Fishing, Lew’s, Wave Away, Tackle Warehouse, Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas.

Those interested in the Fishing Club at Northwood University can contact Benjamin Nowak at 989.948.1525.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.