August 2006

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Women’s Bassmaster Tour In Full Swing

Lisa Sternard of Tennessee

Beginning April 20-22 at Neely Henry Lake, Ala., continuing May 18-20 at Lake Lewisville, Texas, and, at press time, July 27-29 at Lake Norman, N.C., the 2006 Women’s Bassmaster Tour is providing exciting competition for women anglers from across the county.

Four Arizonans, including Darla McDowell of "Outdoors Arizona" and "Outdoors in America" radio shows, were competing as of press time. Results will be available on

According to McDowell, one of the biggest challenges anglers face during these tours is knowing the baits that will lure the fish at the different venues. As humans, fish in different locales have different tastes.

She calls ahead to local bait and tackle shops in the area to find out what local bait is successful. The basses’ food source depends upon temperature, color, bait fish in the area, so type/size/design/scent are all important considerations to study in a new place.

Although it is too early to report if McDowell hooked "Normie" as she fished, she was being wary of the legendary Lake Norman Monster.

Venues remaining on the tour include Aug. 24-26, Lake Dardanelle, Ark., and Sept. 14-16, Bull Shoals Lake, Mo.

Richardson Best Angler

One of the highlights of the 2006 season for women was the naming of Arkansas angler Tammy Richardson as Best Angler at the ESPY Awards. Richardson was also the winner of the season-opening Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats. It marked the first time an ESPY had been awarded in the Best Angler category, formerly Best Outdoors.

"This means so much for all the women who fish competitively," Richardson said. "I'm honored to receive this on their behalf and I can't thank ESPN and BASS enough for advancing the sport to the level it is at now."

The top 12 anglers and co-anglers after this inaugural year’s competitions are finished (based on Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year points) will qualify for the 2007 Mercury Marine Women's Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats in Alabama on Lake Mitchell, near Birmingham, Feb. 22-25.

A New Era

It will begin a new era of bass fishing as the first-ever women’s championship event, to be held in conjunction with the 2007 CITGO Bassmaster Classic.

"Every woman who qualifies for this legendary event should know they are making history," said Don Rucks, vice president and general manager of BASS. "Women anglers asked for a league just for them, and BASS was happy to deliver. This championship will not soon be forgotten."

Merchandise and cash totaling $225,750 will be awarded to the field by BASS. This will include a first-place prize of a 2007 fully rigged Triton boat valued at $50,000 as well as $10,000 cash.

The winning co-angler will receive a similar prize valued at $24,000 plus $1,000 cash.

For three days, the 12 pro-anglers will compete before the competition is cut to six for the final day. On the last two days of competition, the women will weigh-in on the Bassmaster Classic stage at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center. All 12 co-anglers will compete in a two-day tournament.

Rucks said the women will find lots of support in Alabama. BASS has thousands of members in the state — many within in a 500-mile radius of Birmingham, which includes the support of the growing Alabama BASS Federation Nation.

Anyone interest in volunteering at the CITGO Bassmaster Classic or the women's championship should call BASS at 1-877-BASS-USA. Sponsors of the Women's Bassmaster Tour include Mercury Marine, Triton Boats, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advance Auto Parts, and Plano.