Interview with Stan Honeycutt
An in Depth Look at Fishin’ Pals
“Oklahoma’s Most Important Tournament Trail”
By: Douglas Detherow
How did Fishin’ Pals originate, by whom and when?
Fishin’ Pals began with a simple ad placed in the Broken Arrow local
newspaper in 1993 by a man named Ron Hall. Fishin’ Pals was then
formed through the efforts of interested individuals responding to
that article. The club averaged a little over 40 boats the first
year. The interest was so great that Fishin’ Pals was incorporated
as a Non-Profit Organization still based in Broken Arrow with me
being appointed President of the organization. I’ve been fully
dedicated to this organization since.
How many teams usually enter?
Fishin’ Pals has averaged approximately 85 teams per event for the
last 7 years with this being our 10th year in existence.
What do entry fees go toward?
Entry fees are $20.00 per team with a membership of $30.00 per team.
If any additional youth enters out of the same household that
youth’s membership fee is $10.00 and the entry fee for this youth is
$10.00. The fees fund the organization’s needs with not one
individual drawing any compensation. Full volunteer staff. These
fees purchase prizes, trophies and fund cookouts at each tournament.
These fees also fund a free Championship as well as a Year-End
Awards Banquet that is loaded with major prizes. Fees also fund the
publishing of a monthly color newsletter as well as all the
administrative costs as well.
Are there Any Regional competitions to qualify for?
This organization acts entirely on its own. No affiliation to any
other organization exists.
Do you fish the tournaments?
Occasionally when I have the means and time. Once in awhile I get to
fish with one of my grandsons when my son needs me too. I also have
taken numerous youth over the years and find this extremely
enjoyable. The problem with me fishing the event is that I can’t
devote the hours during the day that a youth has available to them
due to my numerous responsibilities at the weigh-in site. We set up
a complete weigh trailer with all the electronics and
computerization of today’s bigger tournaments.
Have you ever seen any former Fishin Pals teams move on to success
on the other tournament trails?
The majority of the Fishin’ Pals youth that go on to the other
tournament trails have had great and steady success in those trails.
Let me give you a couple of examples. Two years ago 4 of our youth
members after becoming too old to further compete in Fishin’ Pals
fished the BFL. Three qualified for the regional and one went to the
All-American as non-boaters. Many of these youth mostly 19 to 20
years of age competed in the Triton tournaments last year as well as
this year. You will find them in the money placing quite frequently.
Triton averaged 390 boats per tournament last year and has averaged
362 teams this year. Obviously Fishin’ Pals helps in developing
their skills much earlier than youth not involved.
What sort of Public Feedback do you get on Fishin’ Pals:
Anyone coming in contact with this organization has been extremely
surprised at the professionalism of this operation. It is run in the
exact manner of all other big organizations other than it awards
prizes only instead of money. Fishin’ Pals promotes family
togetherness, youth/adult interaction as well as the competition
they embark in together. These young members become true sportsman
in every since.
What would you like to see happen with Fishin’ Pals that doesn’t
I would love to see Fishin’ Pals develop into a nationwide program.
Major corporate Sponsorship would most likely be necessary as well
as the right person to spearhead it. It would be pertinent that
Fishin’ Pals maintain its present goals.
Do you have any dramatic changes planned for next year’s
Presently, No, but keep in mind that we are continuously improving
each and every year. There is one goal we haven’t achieved that we
would like to and that is to produce a year-end Classic video. We’ve
done so in the past through the means of involved membership,
however we were not able to do so last year. I am presently active
in seeking help in this matter.
Where would you like to see Fishin’ Pals be in 5 years?
Once again this would be a national program offered to youth across
the nation where applicable.
Oklahomabassfishing.com will be providing full coverage of the Fishin’ Pals trail in 2004 complete with interviews and lots of
pictures for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to working with
Stan and the kids next year and will be providing any information
you will need to get involved.