By Jed Ninefeldt
The Duluth Bass Club (DBC) goes well beyond a group of people who like to fish for bass. If you’re looking to wet your feet in competitive fishing, looking for some friendly competition or just another reason to get out on the water the DBC might be for you. I sat down with Doug Pirila, Tournament Director and past President of the DBC, on Sunday during there year end awards, coinciding with the Bassmaster Classic (world championship).
Doug explained that “the DBC is a group of members that meet the first Thursday of the month at the Powerhouse Bar in Proctor, at 7 p.m. We’re a fishing league one night a week and have tournaments on the weekends. In the summer we fish many Thursday nights and as needed, have a quick meeting at the landing to take care of business. We’re affiliated with Bassmasters (B.A.S.S.).
Membership starts at $30.00 for the year but can increase if one wants to fish weekend tournaments. The entry fee is $50 per team per weekend tournament or $10 per team per evening tournament. There is an optional big fish pot (all events) of $10 per team per event. All of the entry money goes towards jerseys or winnings for each event. Their sponsors help with certificates, club jerseys, hats, boat towels, club stickers and expenses. They currently have forty-nine members, but have had as many as seventy-five and as little as twenty-five. Generally, they average around fifty. We have guys from the Bigfork, International Falls, Hibbing, Grand Rapids, Pine City, and Barnum areas.
The DBC is incorporated with B.A.S.S. (Bassmasters) and the Minnesota BASS Nation. You can start here, work your way up, and in as little as nine months you could be fishing for the National Championship.
The Forum asked, but “Why Bass in Northern Minnesota?” Doug said that there is “No other species that spans so far nationwide and appeals to so many people.”
The Duluth Bass Club fishes up to two hours away on weekend tournaments and in the evenings stay within an hour of Duluth. The only criteria for weekends is that the lake has to be able to handle launching 25 boats and 10 boats in the evenings.
“Who can fish in the tournaments or Thursday nights? Teams or individual?” the Forum inquired. “Anyone can fish as long as one member is in the boat. There’s some guys who fish with the same partner, others change partners weekly, and some guys just choose to fish by themselves,” Doug answered.
When asked if the DBC allows kids to participate, Doug said, “Absolutely, for some guys, that’s their partner for the summer while others have their kids fill in from time to time.”
Questioned about the need to have an expensive boat to be competitive, Doug stated, “No, the guy that almost won last year had a little Lund. What you need is some system to keep the fish alive and store the required safety equipment (life jackets, throw-able life preserve, etc.). Optional and very helpful equipment would be a depth finder, electric trolling motor, a couple of rods, and a selection of tackle.
Doug said that they have some great sponsors but are always looking for more. Likewise, we are looking for more guys and gals who love to bass fish to join and fish with us.
Anyone wanting more information or to join should contact Doug by email at email@example.com, by phone (218) 390-9973, or go to www.duluthbass.org