Since the very first week I launched the Learn To Catch Catfish website people have been asking me for a “catfishing forum” to talk about catfishing techniques and share information with others. Being a veteran of the catfishing forum world with my old website The Texas Catfishing Resource and having run a large forum I was hesitant to enter this area of the online world again because of all the headaches and drama involved. I have mentioned this several times on the Catfishing Radio podcast in the past and also mentioned that I thought that traditional message forums are a dead platform and that people want and expect more.
In the past few months the traffic at Learn To Catch Catfish and the podcast downloads have continued to increase substantially, and the number of emails from people wanting some sort of way to communicate has gone through the roof. It reached a point that I was getting daily emails from people looking for some sort of community feature outside of the Facebook page we have been using. I follow the “give em’ what they want principle” so for the past several months I have been looking at some software platforms and finally found one that I felt would meet the needs of the Learn To Catch Catfish website. Since then I have been slowly letting small groups of people into the site to test the features and get feedback.
I am also pretty disappointed with what is currently taking place in the online catfishing world and want to fill what I feel like is a huge gaping hole in the industry, but I will cover some more on that at another time. The word got out pretty quickly and my secret was out so I had to move forward and go ahead and make the project public this week.
This is not a message forum, it is a “social networking site” for catfish. Think of it as Facebook for catfish anglers, but even more a place for people to communicate what is going on in their areas, ask questions, share their pictures and videos. It also provides a medium for me to communicate things that I come across that don’t necessarily fit into the “blog” format of the main website.
Welcome To The Learn To Catch Catfish Community – CATFISH247
Again, I want to reiterate, this is not a forum, it is a community networking site. Again, think Facebook, MySpace, or Google+ but for catfish anglers. There is a “forum” aspect of the Learn To Catch Catfish community but that is a small portion of the catfishing community site and it’s features.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic features:
My Page: The my page feature is a “profile” with your information. This is a home base. Here you can create a profile, add photos, videos or any other type information as well as your profile. You also have the ability to provide status updates and other information and add friends.
Groups: Think of groups as a small club within the community. These are a place where you can share and communicate on specific topics. We will continue to add groups as we get requests but there are currently groups for blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, jug fishing and a few others. If you have a catfish tournament organization, catfish club, or want to have a group for your area or state we will add them as we get requests.
Photos: All of the catfishing photos uploaded get aggregated here. Think of it as a catfishing photo album on steroids!
Chat: Want to chat real time about fishing, this is the place for that!
Members: Looking for other anglers to fish with or share information with in your area. You can find them here, add them as friends, communicate or do a number of other things through the community space.
Videos: Here you can share your favorite Youtube videos and comment or communicate about them. Ultimately we will have the ability to upload videos directly to the site so you can share your catfishing videos right within the community.
These are just some of the initial features. Like everything else, this will evolve and grow and we will be adding some additional features as things progress.
FAQ About The Learn To Catch Catfish Community
Q: Are you switching Learn To Catch Catfish to a community site completely?
A: ABSOLUTELY NOT. Again, I am adding these community features due to visitor requests. I will continue to focus on creating articles, how to videos, the Catfishing Radio podcast and all of the things that I have been doing for the past two years. I feel that is where I excel, that is what I enjoy doing and that is how I can help people the most. The community is just an extension of the current Learn To Catch Catfish site.
Q: Is there a charge to join
A: NO, this is totally free
Q: I am a catfish guide, can I create a profile, share fishing reports and information and promote my services?
A: Yes, a catfish guide, bait manufacturer, tackle company or anyone else that has a business related to fishing can create a profile, post their information and promote their services. I want you to do this. There are no fees associated with this and we won’t require you to plaster our logo all over your website or kiss up and jump through a bunch of hoops either. It is our belief that the best way to grow and promote the sport and be a resource to other anglers to allow open and honest communication and let conversations flow naturally.
Q: Can I link to another website, business or service?
A: As long as it is not spam and is relevant to the conversation or topic at hand, YES. We again want things to be natural and free flowing. The goal is to provide a friendly and open environment where people can share information, discuss catfishing and promote the sport.
We have a few “special” things planned for the community in the coming weeks. Make sure you head over and sign up now to be sure you get notified!