Osceola County man loves his bass fishing
HERSEY — Tim Johns, Castaways, bass fishing tournament.
Those three names just seem to fall together.
Johns of Hersey is one of the co-founders of the Castaways Bass Fishing club, active in the area during the summer. Mitch Harrell of Paris started the club with Johns.
They started it in Jan. 2009.
“We used to fish (tournaments) up in Cadillac,” he said. “We used to fish those for years. That was back when gas prices were going up. We decided we needed a bass club around here so we could save on gas money.”
About 30 percent of the club consists of Osceola County residents, Johns indicated.
Since then, the club has been going strong. They’ve had tournaments starting in June. There was one tourney at the Muskegon River, with 34 boats. First prize was $1,800.
“We fish every Thursday night,” Johns said. “I like to think of it as a fishing league. You have your golf leagues and bowing league. We have a fishing league.”
Spots include the Martiny Chair of Lakes, Chippewa Lake, the Tri-Lakes of Round, Blue and Lake Mecosta, the river and Hardy Pond.
“The club’s grown so we had to cut out a few of our smaller lakes out,” Johns said. “Since 2011, we’ve had 30 boats every year. This year, we’ve had 33 boats. At Chippewa Lake (recently), 30 boats came.”
They’ve expanded to having a Castaways Club in the Cadillac area. There’s also one in Lake.
“We’ve turned boats away so we decided to have different divisions,” Johns said. “Poundage is the main thing, We have a three-fish limit, so everything is done on poundage.”
Fishing has been slow, Johns noted a week ago.
“We’ve been having cold weather and rain,” he said. “It’s supposed to warm up and we hope it picks up for us.”
Tournaments go until the end of August. The tournament has proven to be very successful, which motivates organizers to have more divisions.
“We’re doing some weekend tournaments this year,” he said. “On weekdays, we get together and fish three hours. On weekends, it’s an eight-hour tournament.
“It’s more like a semipro event. We’d like to do a weekend series next years; still do the weekdays, we’re not giving that up.”
People that fish these tourneys love the outdoors and were competitive in high school, Johns indicated.
“People love just that little extra competition. They’re fishing against people and with people, he said. “Our club is very competitive but everyone is so friendly. That’s what makes it a success. We try to keep it that way.”
Johns obviously loves fishing overall and has loved the sport since he was a youngster.
“I’ve fished South Carolina, Kentucky Texas, all bass fishing,” he said.
“I started out fishing for everything but once I got into bass fishing, I got hooked. I don’t know what to tell you. It’s something I love to do.
“I like the catch-and-release, You catch the fish, and let them go and go back and catch them tomorrow if you want.”
All tournaments are catch and release.
Johns fishes more than he hunts.
“I think it’s an age thing. I just turned 40 and I love the relaxation of fishing and being on the water,” he said. “I’ll take fishing over hunting any day.”
It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy hunting. Johns likes deer, turkey and small game. He especially likes bow hunting.