May 2008

An Old Yellow Jeep, A Borrowed Boat, And —

Darla Bardelli Has Her Own Victory At WBT

Driving from Phoenix to Lake Lewisville, Texas, in an old yellow Jeep and towing a boat loaned her by Lew Rayer of Lew’s Tackle Shop in Apache Junction, Darla Bardelli had her own victory this past month.

"In it to win it" is Bardelli’s slogan. She means fishing in the Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors. She also means her battle against the breast cancer with which she was diagnosed on Aug. 23, 2007.

And, just eight weeks after Bardelli’s double, radical mastectomy, she finished 24th (out of approximately 100) in the pro division, her best showing to date in a WBT event.

"I’m looking forward to the rest of the season," said Bardelli."I feel like I got a great start and I have a shot at that Classic spot."

She was referring to the big prize of the WBT season, winning the season-long points race to become Toyota WBT Angler of the Year and the first woman in history to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic.

With No. 1 of the WBT season behind her, Bardelli is ready for the second event May 22-24 on Alabama’s Lake Neely Henry and the third June 19-21 on Tennessee’s Old Hickory Lake.

"After the tournament in June, I will begin seven weeks of daily radiation. I will be ready to come back and fish in October in Georgia," she said, referring to the Clark’s Hill Lake event out of Evans, Ga., Oct. 23-25.

Editor’s Note: We wholeheartedly support our “Tight Lines” co-editor and our friend as she continues to make her own victories through incredible courage, determination, and skill.