It’s a quiet Sunday morning on Carter Lake.
OK, it’s not that quiet. Cars rush by on Abbott Drive and there are the intermittent sounds of planes taking off at Eppley Airfield.
But for Creighton University sophomores Adam Hanna, from Elkhorn, and Mitch Seigel, from Papillion, officers with the Creighton Student Angler Fishing Club, aboard a bass boat in a lake offering a sterling view of the Omaha skyline, this is another piece of nirvana.
“Fishing can fix about anything,” Seigel says as he casts for the hundredth time on the rare day when neither he nor Hanna will land a bass. “Never a wasted day fishing.”
Creighton’s fishing club just completed its first year as a student organization at the university, and, by any measure, it was a monster catch. Boasting more than 30 members, the Student Anglers will have fished eight tournaments by the time summer is done, battling more established teams in the South and Midwest. Though the NCAA does not sanction bass-fishing teams, Hanna says he knows of at least one school offering fishing scholarships.
“It’s a competition, both to get anglers and to put together a good team,” he says. “If you watch a fishing tournament on TV, you get a sense of the intensity involved. There’s a rush there.”
The bass-fishing tournaments, like those on television, feature dozens of boats out on the water for six to seven hours with anglers reeling in the five biggest fish they can hook. But on a day like today, it’s just enough to put a line in the water and enjoy the leisurely elements.
“Anytime is a good time to fish,” Seigel says. “Any lake is a good place to fish.”
Both Seigel, a lifelong angler, and Hanna, who got his start as a high schooler, see the club as filling a niche at Creighton. Hanna first got the idea for a high-school fishing club, but couldn’t make it pan out. Arriving at Creighton, however, he found ready takers for the bait.
“It’s been exciting to see the response we’ve had in just one year,” says Hanna, the president and founder of the club. “We have all skill levels represented, people from all over. People see it as a good excuse to just fish.”
Next year, Hanna said the club will take on collegiate tournaments held under the banners of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and Fishing League Worldwide.
“A fishing club doesn’t seem like the kind of thing Creighton would have, being that we’re an urban campus in downtown Omaha,” he says. “But when we put the word out there, people showed up. We’re looking forward to what another few years can bring for bass fishing at Creighton.”