by Ron Presley
If given the chance, the new ACA can be a unifying force for the sport of catfishing.
Many believe that the formation of the American Catfishing Association (ACA) will be a true turning point in the growth and unification of recreational catfishing in American. The sport of catfishing continues to exhibit growth overall, but similar to bass and other species-specific sports, the lack of organization and the divisive actions of some anglers have slowed its growth.
As I write this piece and ponder the possibilities the organization has just been announced and there are many questions that remain unanswered. But that is no reason not to support the intent. It appears to be a forward-looking entity with the best interest of the catfish community at heart.
I believe that the ACA holds great promise for the growth of recreational catfishing if given the chance. It is an ambitious effort based on the premise that it will be member driven through a committee structure based on various areas of interest like conservation, tournaments, catfish related legislation, etc.
Given the many issues that need attention a set of priorities will need to be determined with maximum effort aimed at the most important ones.
The committee structure will be crucial to the overall success of ACA and the formation of committees are among the first tasks to be tackled. By dividing the organization’s work into manageable tasks progress is likely to follow as volunteers focus on a particular issue.
Interested anglers can get on board by joining and can, at their choice, be active on committees of their interest. As this committee structure develops and goals are set, it will serve to give the organization its greatest chance for success.
By joining the organization anglers will be providing financial support. By volunteering for committee work anglers will be lending their particular expertise to the cause and helping to create the direction of the effort.
The committee structure will result in a coming together of the catfish community and a solidarity that can be used to get the attention of legislators in various states in a way that will positively influence the long-term health of the resource.
As the organizers rolled out the announcement of its formation the naysayers were quick to surface. Keyboard warriors on social media jumped at the opportunity to bash something else. Others fought back and defended the birth of the ACA and the opportunities it offers. These groups should be on the same side. The divisiveness needs to stop and we all need to team up as one.
An organization like ACA, in a committee environment, offers the opportunity for all sides to be a part of growing something really good for the catfish community. CatfishNOW supports this new endeavor and hopes that all truly dedicated catmen and catwomen will get on board and work with each other towards a common goal. If the catfish community will come together and pull together the ACA can be the unifying force needed to grow the sport of catfishing and let the world know how special it is. Let’s give it a chance.