The official saltwater fishing club of University of Florida students, faculty, and alumni

We are a group of sportsmen/women united by a passion for being on the water. Our mission is to educate, network, and serve so that we can maximize our enjoyment of the ocean's resources now and for years to come. 


About the Club

Our Mission

Our mission is to unite students who share a passion for the ocean and all its resources and to provide them with opportunities to better themselves through networking, education, and service. As a diverse group of saltwater sportsmen and women, we represent all facets of the sport ranging from inshore fishing to offshore fishing, and fly-fishing to spearfishing. We are a collection of anglers from all backgrounds and regions of the state/nation, each bringing our knowledge and experiences together in order to educate and perpetuate the development of the sport among the UF community. Whether a student is a seasoned veteran or a total novice, we welcome anglers of all skill levels and invite them to grow and develop as part of our organization. 

Education

A major focus of our organization is education. We work hard to bring in the most knowledgeable and experienced industry professionals, including captains, guides, conservationists, and company representatives, in order to educate members in all areas related to saltwater fishing. We consistently provide members with opportunities to learn through hands-on presentations, seminars, and access to exclusive conventions. Our educational initiatives cover a variety of topics such as understanding the mechanics and techniques of angling in various environments, purchasing and maintaining equipment, learning the behaviors and seasonal patterns of fish, and practicing responsible angling and promoting sustainable fisheries. 

Networking

Networking is another cornerstone of our organization, and we strive to provide members with opportunities to network with professionals across the industry. We've hosted fishing guides, business owners, freedivers, competitive spearfisherman, fisheries researchers, and more- all of which have been eager to get to know our members. Our members have even had the opportunity to meet TV personalities Miles "Sonar" Burghoff of Sweetwater TV and Capt. George Gozdz of Reel Time Florida Sportsman.

We also encourage interclub networking and host numerous social events throughout the year including tailgates, captains’ dinners, tournaments, camping trips, and scalloping trips. In this way, we strive to bring together students under a common passion and create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Service

Salty Gators also emphasizes service and strives to give back to the community through service projects and fundraising. Conservation and fisheries management is another big focus of ours, and we're currently establishing programs to help with preservation of saltwater ecosystems, fisheries research, etc. We participate in beach cleanups, coastal restoration projects, research symposiums, and fish tagging/ stock assessment programs.  We are currently working to partner with UF's Nature Coast Biological Station in order to bolster these efforts. 
Membership Benefits
Members of Salty Gators have access to numerous benefits including:
  • opportunities to meet and learn from captains/guides, diving instructors, fisheries researchers, company reps, and other industry professionals
  • access to social events like tailgates, cookouts, camping trips, and fishing trips
  • opportunities to travel to destinations like the Keys, Bahamas, and Everglades on club fishing and diving trips
  • significant discounts on gear from sponsors 
  • giveaways at meetings 
  • access to the club rental program
  • discounted entries in tournaments and other club events

Sponsor Discounts

Salty Gators is fortunate to have the support of the top brands in the industry with products ranging from apparel, sunglasses, rods and reels, dive gear, coolers, and more. As college students, we face significant financial barriers when it comes to accessing top quality gear. However, our network of sponsors generously provides us with discounted access to their products so we can be optimally equipped to pursue our passion while in college. Membership discounts typically range from 30-50% off. To see the companies that support our program, click on our sponsor page and be sure to visit their websites to see the quality products they provide. 

Gear Giveaways

Our support from sponsors also comes in the form of semesterly shipments of the latest gear. While some of this gear is allocated to tournaments and other events, we ensure that our members receive plenty of sponsored gear in order to rep our supporters whether it be on the water, in the woods, or on campus. We have giveways at nearly every meeting throughout the semester, sometimes up to $1,000 in gear at no cost to our members! Members who upload content featuring sponsored gear on social media are eligible to be featured on our pages and win additional prize packs!

Rental Program

Few people realize that Gainesville is not far from some of the best inshore fishing our state has to offer. However, for many college students, it is difficult to afford and store the equipment neccessary for enjoying this amazing fishery. This was the impetus for the establishment of the club rental program- to provide students with access to everything needed to get out on the water and fish while in school. The program began with some inshore rod/reel combos and kayaks, and has since expanded to include offshore combos, coolers, Gheenoes (in custom UF colors), and even dive gear like pole spears, masks, snorkels, fins, weight belts, etc. So as a member of Salty Gators, whether you're looking to fish the coast after class, dive the springs, or run over to the Bahamas, we can provide you with whatever you need at no cost. 

Club Trips

At the University of Florida we have students from all over the state, country, and world coming together for the purpose of higher education. This provides a unqiue opportunity to bring together an incredible assortment of personalties, experiences, and resources for the collective benefit of the group. We have members who run boats from South Florida to the Bahamas, some who have houses in the Keys, some who own hunting properties up north, and even one who owns a resort in the jungle of Costa Rica! As one "salty" family, our members are happy to share their resources to educate and open up new experiences to the group. It is through these means that we are able to host annual trips to places like the Bahamas, Keys, Everglades, and Costa Rica and give our members experiences that they would never otherwise have while in college. 
Membership Requirements
Membership is open to all students on a year-round basis. Membership dues are currently $30/semester for returning members and $40/semester for new members. Dues are payable by cash, check, or Venmo and are used to print club apparel, finance our social events, maintain our website, etc. In accordance with the club's merit-based philosohpy, members who regularly attend meetings, participate in social/service events, and serve the club in some capacity will receive greater benefits including routine provision of free gear like sunglasses, shirts, hats, croakies, buffs, etc. We strive to ensure that, the more a member puts in to the club, the more he/she gets out of it. 
The Alumi, Family, and Friends Program
Although we are a student organization, Salty Gators is by no means limited to students. We welcome everyone in the Gator Nation to be part of our group and share in what we do. While our sponsor discounts and gear giveaways are limited to student members, many of our events, including meetings and tournaments, are open to faculty, alumni, family, friends, and the local community. We truly value brining everyone together like this, so much so that we began the Alumni, Family, and Friends (AFF) program and started hosting events specifically for our non-student Salty Gators. Our AFF events this semester were a blast, and when it came to partying we actually struggled to keep me with the older folks at times! Next semester we plan on hosting a family weekend as well as an alumni tournament in which students act as guides to put the alumni on the fish! 


Interested in being a part of our AFF Program?
Fill out this form to be added to the AFF listserv which will keep you up-to-date on events and other opportunities open to non-student Salty Gators! 
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Join!