TAMU-CC Islander Anglers Club Fish for Fun and for Science
While student life at many colleges and universities often includes joining a few clubs throughout the years spent on campus, the Islander Anglers, the official fishing club at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC), offer their members a one-of-a-kind experience.
Like most clubs, the Islander Anglers host usual meetings each week but most of their time is spent on the water. Not just a group for saltwater anglers, the group competes in both salt and freshwater tournaments and even hosts their own tournaments each spring and fall.
“We have meetings every Thursday once the school year starts up, but we’ll often go out on the water as a group, or maybe we’ll meet up at the beach, instead of the typical meeting,” said Nick Korpan, an Islander Angler member and former student worker at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI).
Nick has been working at HRI since the summer of 2020 and has part of the Islander Anglers group for the last four years, starting in his freshman year at TAMU-CC. Throughout that time, he’s seen the club grow, bringing in more conservation-minded members each year.
“I think we grow about 20 members each year,” Nick said. “Last year we had somewhere around 40-50 people total and obviously the die-hards stick around. Hopefully, we will have an even bigger group this year.”
Nick hopes that the group’s booth at this year’s freshman orientation will encourage a few new members to join, as well as the opportunity to get hands-on with science.
The Islander Anglers not only fish for recreation, but they are also able to provide valuable assistance to the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at HRI by catching, tagging, and releasing multiple fish species.
“It’s cool because it’s really what makes us standout among other fishing clubs,” Nick said. “We’re the only club that has their own tagging program in the U.S.”
Since April 2021, the Islander Anglers have tagged 83 fish including Southern Flounder, Spotted Seatrout, Cobia, Atlantic Tarpon, Common Snook, and King Mackerel. Their efforts are providing valuable data to researchers about these species’ seasonal movements, their habitat, and their growth through tag recaptures.
Matt Streich, Assistant Director of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation, said that so far two fish tagged by the Islander Anglers have been recaptured, both were flounder.
Those interested in learning more about the group can visit the TAMU-CC I-Engage page