hey ranger, here is a partial history of how we started the ohio chapter and our first meet in 2007. thank you fishin nana for your article
HOW THE OHIO CHAPTER OF THE NAFC STARTED
What began with NAFC members Eric Hadden (ericbjred33), Arvin Eller (arv1) and Keith Schie (Sugarcreek angler), wanting to get together for a little fishing, culminated in a 58-person, 4 day fishing party. As these members talked about the trip on the NAFC Bulletin Boards, more and more Ohio members expressed their desire to be included. Even members from Indiana, Georgia, and Pennsylvania expressed an interest in attending.
As the numbers grew, a Planning Committee was formed with Hadden, Eller, Schie, Dennis Leisure (BigDog6, Jerry Taylor (playinhooky), Matt Dillon (SKEETERMAN), Aaron Tomko (aarhunt) and River. Non-members Darina Burkhart and Jack Snider also joined the committee. Thus the NAFC Ohio Chapter was born.
This group began planning for the location, available camping, and coordinated most everything on the NAFC Bulletin Boards. They had 4 actual planning meetings where the attendance continued to grow, and the rest was accomplished online. The Ohio Chapter Inaugural Meet was set for May 3 – 6, at West Branch State Park in Northeast Ohio, and anyone and everyone was invited. NAFC membership was not required and it was not limited to Ohio residents. The planning committee felt it was important to keep the Meet open to anyone who loves fishing. Two group campsites which held 25 persons each, and only allowed tents, were necessary to accommodate all the participants. Some had to rent their own campsites to park RV’s and motor homes. Two NAFC member from Indiana and two from Pennsylvania made it to the Meet. Food was abundant and there was one group meal each day. Although with the amount of food, most people were eating the entire weekend.
The committee decided to hold 2 raffles to raise funds for the Chapter, and to help fellow Ohio Angler, MuskyGirl who is currently fighting cancer. Raffle prizes were donated by places such as NAFC, Cabela’s, Tappan Marina, Stoney Point Supply House, Cripple Creek Bait and Tackle, Clows Landing Ltd., Weaver Ridge Surplus, Napa Auto Parts, Ohio Outdoor Magazine, Salt Fork Outdoors, Miller Gun Supply, Kidron Sports Center, Café Meroka and NAFC member Scott Randall for his beautiful shirts. Many individuals also donated items. A separate raffle was held for what the committee considered major prizes. These generous donations were made by Captain Jerry Taylor, of PlayinHooky Charters on Lake Erie, ( 2-one day charters for six) and Captain George of Rising Sun Charters (a one day charter for six). In the end, the Chapter raised over $300 for Muskygirl and just over $200 for the Chapter.
People began arriving as early as Wed. May 2, 2007. The weather was cooperative only as far as not raining. Temperatures were in the low 40’s at night and barely into the 60’s during the day. Winds were out of the East and fishing proved to be extremely difficult. Only a few crappie and less than legal size (15 in.) walleye were caught. The highlight of the fishing experience was for Pennsylvania NAFC member, Ed Colegrove, who caught a 35 inch Muskie, though he says he couldn’t have gotten it into the boat without fellow Pennsylvania NAFC member Pete Doutt.
Most everyone expressed their feelings when meeting new members as “feel like I’ve known you all my life”, “this feels like an extended family”.
No one seemed to mind the lack of actual catches, and the organizers barely got away to even try to fish. The mood was that people came to the Meet primarily to meet other members they had been talking to for so long on the Bulletin Boards. In the end it was a huge success and because everyone had such a great time plans were begun for a mini-meet in July. Everyone left this Meet with a sense of camaraderie and new lifelong friends and fishing buddies. Our Ohio Chapter website is www.nafcohiochapter.com and the NAFC site is www.fishingclub.com .
ORIGINAL OHIO OUTLAW
OHIO CHAPTER TRUSTEE
2007 NAFC OHIO CHAPTER MEMBER OF THE YEAR