Aledo and Westmer students hooked on new fishing club

Kara Jacobs/Correspondent
The students practice casting by aiming at rubber hoops floating in the pool.

The new Aledo-Westmer bass fishing club is a success. At any given practice anywhere from 20 to 25 members are perfecting their fishing skills. The Aledo leaders are Bill Breeden and Aaron Hart while the Westmer side is led by Will Chism and John Swank.

Wednesday practices are held in either of the school’s gymnasiums. Sundays the students go to catch the big fish located in the Aledo YMCA pool. Special guests come to the practice to talk about fishing techniques and teach the students how to perfect them. Some of the past guests include Bruce Meminger on flipping and switching and Roger Koopman on jerk baits. At the March 22 practice, professional fisherman Mel Gibbs came to teach about spinner baits.

Mel Gibbs has been fishing professionally since 1972. Gibbs says he averages about 20 tournaments a year, mainly on the Mississippi River. He was recently named the Twin Rivers fisherman of the year. Legend Boats of Alabama currently sponsors Mr. Gibbs. Gibbs also shared two personal stories with the club. In the first he told, he and his father went out fishing on a rainy day and caught 51 fish. The very next day, when it was sunny, he went back to the same place but only caught one fish the entire time.

Gibbs also spoke about how important it is in a tournament to keep the items on your boat organized, citing a time when he and his partner had the net tangled in something so when Gibbs flipped a fish onto the boat to net, the fish bounced off the windshield and splashed right back into the water. That one fish ended up costing Gibbs and his partner first place.

The students' first tournament on March 28 at Lake George had to be cancelled. Although the two schools practice together, they will be playing against each other during tournaments.

Other tournaments will follow at Lake Storey and Lake Argyle which lead up to sectionals. If you see a bass fishing club member, make sure to wish them the best of luck and the biggest of fish.