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Interview with Stan Honeycutt

An in Depth Look at Fishin’ Pals
“Oklahoma’s Most Important Tournament Trail”
By: Douglas Detherow

OBF:   
How did Fishin’ Pals originate, by whom and when?

Stan:
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.

OBF:
How many teams usually enter?
 

Stan:
Fishin’ Pals has averaged approximately 85 teams per event for the last 7 years with this being our 10th year in existence.

OBF:
What do entry fees go toward?

Stan:
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. 

OBF:
Are there Any Regional competitions to qualify for?

Stan:
This organization acts entirely on its own. No affiliation to any other organization exists.

OBF:
Do you fish the tournaments
?

Stan:
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.

OBF:
Have you ever seen any former Fishin Pals teams move on to success on the other tournament trails
?
 

Stan:
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.

OBF:
What sort of Public Feedback do you get on Fishin’ Pals
:

Stan:
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.

OBF:
What would you like to see happen with Fishin’ Pals that doesn’t already?
 
 

Stan:
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.

OBF:
Do you have any dramatic changes planned for next year’s competitions?

Stan:
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.

OBF:
Where would you like to see Fishin’ Pals be in 5 years?
 

Stan:
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.

-Tight Lines