In 1938 a small group of local fishing friends that shared the love of bass fishing met with the intent of forming a club that would address issues concerning the states warm water fishery. The club was to be known as the "Western Bass Club" and was the only organized club in the United States dealing exclusively with Bass, Crappie, Perch and other spiny ray fish. It was founded by Ed "Mr. Bass" Frederich, Owner of Rainier Tackle Company in Seattle. He was also the clubs first president.
The name "Western Bass Club" was selected because most of the initial members lived in western Washington. But it wasn't long before its membership grew to include residents in Oregon, Idaho and northern California.
On July 17, 1939, Ed T. Frederich, Frank C. Kelly, Ralph Higgens, and Earl Van Vleck filed the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State's office in Olympia. Those articles singled out the primary purposes of the club to include:
The Western Bass Club continued as the states only organized bass club until 1976. The club has been instrumental in the growth of bass fishing in Washington and has helped to establish and set up many of the states existing bass clubs.
Over the years, club members put on many educational how-to bass clinics, resulting in the publication of the "Washington Bass and Panfish Guide", the true warm water angler's bible for this part of the country. Originally published in 1978, it enjoyed over a decade of popularity. Although the book is now out of print, many of the original members that put the book together are still members of the club today.
In 1988 the club celebrated its 50th anniversary as the "oldest chartered bass club in the United States". The club was so honored by the Washington State Department of Game, which is only five years older. In 2013 the club celebrated is 75th anniversery at Vasa Park on Lake Sammamish with a barbeque and one day tournament that awarded the Rainier award for the largest bass caught and on day two a Jack-n-Jill tournament.
The club attributes its longevity to the quality members it attracts and the ability to adapt to changing times. Through the years, many creative and innovational programs have been incorporated into the club. These programs make the Western Bass Club unique and appealing to new and old members alike. We hope you decide to become a part of our 78 year heritage.
What are the club events?
We are a non-affiliated club that hosts 6 multi-format tournaments a year and has an annual swap meet and awards party.
The club also has several recognition programs such as the Greenslip Program and the coveted Grand Slam Award.
If that's not enough, there are monthly fish-ins held on the first Saturday of every month put on by the Ambassador Program throughout the year.
Meetings -- The Western Bass Club meets the third Wednesday of each month to conduct business and socialize. Guests are always welcome so feel free to stop by and say hello. Follow these directions to get there.
What are the annual costs?
Annual Club Dues are $45 per family, includes children under the age of 18 living at home. Tournaments cost $30 and this price includes a $2 Big Fish kitty and $5 for raffle prizes. Payouts for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place finishers and giving out raffle prizes will be determined by the tournament director and are given out after covering the cost of trophies and paying out the Big Fish kitty. Unlike many other clubs, tournament fees are not due at the beginning of the year. Instead, you pay as you go for each tournament and you pay for only the tournaments you attend.
How do I join the Western Bass Club?
Membership in the Western Bass Club is governed by a constitution and by-laws. Interested parties may join at any of the monthly club meetings.
How can I get more information?
Come to the next meeting where you can get many questions answered and meet others that enjoy bass fishing. Each meeting attracts some of the best bass anglers in the state mixed in with amateurs, both learning from each other, that comprise the membership of The Western Bass Club.