Forget anti-social “social” media, get out and about with like-minded anglers.
If you enjoy fishing of any kind, joining a fishing club makes a lot of sense. You can socialize at club meetings and gatherings with other anglers who share your passion for angling; enjoy hearing and learning from club guest speakers who make presentations on their tactical specialties; learn new tactics from your fellow members and share some of your own with them; participate in competitive tournaments; and of course, tell your favorite whopper tales and endure hearing those of fellow members.
Whether you fish from a boat, beach, rocks, or a dock, along the oceanfront or saltwater backwaters or in any kind of freshwater locale, there is a fishing club in which you feel very comfortable as a member.
Benefits & Rewards
There are many benefits and rewards associated with being a club member. Some club leaders and members have their favorite club features. President John Kravchak Jr’s Berkeley Striper Club takes pride in promoting and protecting recreational fishing interests in addition to safeguarding our natural resources; giving back to the community is high on its list of priorities. Asbury Park Fishing Club President Joe Pallotto and Absecon Saltwater Sportsman Club spokesman Joe Ricciardi echo the sentiments of most fishing club members in saying that camaraderie is the biggest benefit and reward of club membership.
Atlantic City Saltwater Anglers President Leon Checinski cited both the camaraderie and socialization between his group’s members as huge positives to club membership. Jersey Shore Surfcasters spokesperson Darrin Greene likes that his club contributes to philanthropic causes that help people and fishing organizations, and that the organization takes care of club members and their families should the need arise. What follows are common threads of interest that run through both the leadership and membership ranks of most fishing clubs.
In addition to club meetings where you can socialize, network, and learn how to sharpen your fishing skills, club hold fishing shows and flea markets which help to fill in leisure-time gaps over the long winter months, including the Asbury Park Fishing Club, Berkeley Striper Club, Raritan Bay Anglers Club, Hi-Mar Striper Fishing Club, Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County, Jersey Shore Surfcasters and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association (see the Calendar of Events for more). Your fishing club may host one and you can be part of presenting the event, or you can just be a client at one purchasing new fishing gear in addition to sitting in on informational workshops that noted angling experts present during most of those shows.
Many fishing clubs perform charitable work to benefit the fishing community and support organizations that work to protect our marine environment. These activities include working beach clean-up days, sponsoring youth education programs, advocating for sustainable access, speaking to community groups about the need to protect and preserve our valuable marine resources, presenting youth fishing derbies and volunteering at functions like the annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament at Island Beach.
Club membership has its rewards: new techniques and equipment are showcased at club meetings. There are opportunities to participate in competitive tournaments with fellow members and against teams from other clubs. Club fishing trips are an option, discounts to local shops and informative club bulletins are available; plus there are occasional club luncheons and awards banquets.
There are many fishing clubs scattered far-and-wide throughout the state. Some have storied pasts, many have well-known names, and each has a distinct personality that’s popular with their membership. There is a club for just about any kind of angler, freshwater, saltwater, fly fishing, and species specific targets. Some organizations are competitive and focus on team competition in tournaments while other are non-competitive. Clubs welcome new members, membership dues are usually inexpensive, and some clubs have youth memberships. Many meet monthly, some bi-monthly or weekly. Best of all, they meet all year long – including the long winter months.
If you are already a member of a fishing club, you know how valuable and useful your membership is. If you are thinking of joining a club, look over the menu of club choices found in this article that are located along the Jersey Shore and even in interior locales. Pick one and ask to attend one of their meetings and talk to some of the members while you are there. There will be several reasons why one or more clubs fit your needs, location, and personal style of fishing.
Your reasons for choosing to join one or more fishing clubs can be complicated, or just as simple as wanting to learn how to catch more fish.