HISTORY OF FIVE LAKES FISHING CLUB
The Five Lakes Fishing Club was founded in August of 1997 when a group of friends decided to get together to have a fishing tournament. It was also decided we would have a fish fry after each tournament cooking what we caught. That first tournament was held on Clarks Hill Lake with a grand total of six boats. The winning weight that fateful day was a whopping 7.20 pounds.
The next year saw the club grow to average twelve boats, still mostly relatives and friends but open to anyone who wanted to fish. This was the first year we crowned a points champion at the end of the year. The 1998 season saw nine out of ten different winners with the Angler of the Year champion decided by the most cumulative weight for the year. Vince Bass and Ed Warren held off Gary McClain and Brad O'Dell by only 4.80 pounds to capture this first championship. 1998 also marked the last year we held a fish fry after each tournament.
By 1999, the club grew to an average of eighteen boats and adopted its current format of fishing five lakes twice each year. The second half of the 1999 season was dominated by Vince Bass and Ed Warren, who won the last three tournaments of the year to win their second Angler of the Year championship.
The 2000 season saw the end of the open format of the club for a more formal type club. Members began paying dues and tournaments were only open to members. It also saw the implementation of the current point system to determine the Points Championship. Randy Jones and Don Crowley won the 2000 Points Championship.
By 2001, the club had grown to 36 teams consisting of the best fisherman in the area making the Five Lakes Fishing Club the most competitive club in the area. Out of ten tournaments held that year there were ten different winners. The Points Championship was no less competitive. Going into the last tournament of the year, six teams had a chance to win the title. At the end of that last tournament Paul O'Dell and Tim Hodges held off Dennis Henderson and Bennie Vaughn by only three points to win the 2001 Points Championship.
The early half of the 2002 season was dominated by several of the twenty-two new teams to join the club. By the end of summer three teams emerged as the leading contenders for the 2002 Points Championship. Much like the 2001 season, ten different tournaments saw ten different winners and the closest race for the Points Championship in club history. After the final tournament Jeff O'Dell and Steve Arsenault, who scored six straight top ten finishes, won the Championship by a single point.
2003 was the tail of three teams, David Batson/Kevin Calliham, Roland McInville/Ralph Reed, and Joey Madden/Jason Snyder. These three teams swapped the points lead throughout the Spring, Summer and early Fall but the last three tournaments of the year saw the team of Joey Madden and Jason Snyder pull away from the other contenters by a comfortable margin. 2003 also ended the club's streak of seasons without a repeat winner during the tournament year.
The 2004 season saw the trail grow to 80 teams with an average of 56 boats per tournament. The team of George Copeland and Otis Patterson were the dominate team throughout the Spring and early Summer scoring top 5 finishes in every tournament thus building a huge points lead. By fall the teams of Roland McInville and Mike Alexander followed by Gary McClain and Brad O'Dell found themselves locked in a tight battle for the points lead, separated by ten points going into the final tournament of the year. Due to fog, Roland and Mike, needing only a top ten finish to clinch the Championship, were aided by a two hour delay in the blast off and held on to win the Points Championship by eight points.
The club was founded as a not for profit organization with no paid employees, thus paying back the members all proceeds. That still holds true today, all officers, directors, and weigh-in staff are all volunteers.
# of Members Who Have Fished Every Five Lakes Tournament: 1- Jeff O'Dell
Largest One Day Catch: 30.18 Lbs. Caught on Lake Greenwood on Feb 17, 2007 By Josh and Sean Goldman(7 Fish)
Largest One Day Catch: 25.03Lbs. Caught on Lake Greenwood on Mar 6, 2010 By Brad Nappier and Nathan Luke(5 Fish)
Most Weight Caught in a FLTT Tournament: 921 Lbs. by77 Boats On Lake Russell On March 24, 2007.
Biggest Bass Caught: 9.49 Lbs. Caught March 22, 2003 on Lake Murray By Jeff O'Dell
Most Teams To Compete in FLTT Tournament: 77 on Mar 24, 2007
Gary McClain and Brad O'Dell Have Fished As A Team Every Year Since The Inception Of The FLTT.