Lakecaster Online

OF BASS & GALS
By: Sue Crochet

This month, I'd like for you to meet Jennifer Lesperance, another of our local lady anglers. Jennifer is the mother of two teenagers and has been a full-time employee of the LA Department of Transportation for 19 years.

Her love of the outdoors, especially the sport of fishing, is inbred. She explains, "I guess you could say it's inherited from my parents, because I've been fishing all my life. During the 70s, they would take my sisters and me on vacations to Toledo Bend, where we'd camp in a tent on state-owned land. We'd fish for bream, white perch, and catfish mostly, then we'd clean and cook them on an outside stove." What a life!

Jennifer went on to say, "This is where I learned to respect and enjoy the outdoors and to try to teach my children the same. Hopefully, they will pass this on to their own children some day, so they too will come to appreciate our beautiful natural resources." As my parents have done and their parents and grandparents did before them, I have tried to do as Jennifer has. It has been my experience that youngsters who are raised this way are more well-rounded and friendly individuals. No matter what direction their lives may go in as they grow up, they will always cherish these memories and most will pass this on to others, even if they never have their own children.

Evidence of Jennifer's upbringing can be seen in her modest lifestyle and the way she conducts herself around her friends and family. She and her significant other, Wayne, have been raising their children in the country (just north of Sulphur, LA) for many years now. They raise animals and, as we Cajuns say, know how to "pass a good time". You just won't find anyone friendlier or more willing to lend a helping hand.

Over the past 8 years, Jennifer's professional angling career has included membership in the Bass 'N Gal (Women's Individual), Bassin'...Her Style (Women's Team), and WBFA (Women's Bass Fishing Association) Pro/Am Tours. Her accomplishments include: 2nd Place Big Bass - Pro Side - WBFA Texas Invitational, 1st Place Team and Big Bass - Bassin'...Her Style Arkansas Invitational, 5th Place Team - Bassin'...Her Style Lake Texoma, 20th Place - Bass 'N Gal - Sam Rayburn, TX, and qualified as the 3rd Place Team for the Bassin'...Her Style Championship in 1999.

At a regional level, she has participated in the Angler's Choice, MBAA..Bass America, and Skeeter/McDonald's Team Bass circuits, fishing both Texas and Louisiana lakes. Locally, Jennifer belongs to the Lake Area Lady Anglers (LALA) women's fishing club and Louisiana Pigment bass club. As a member of the Association of Louisiana Bass Clubs, she has also been a two-time qualifier for the Louisiana Top Six invitational through her participation in the LALA club.

Recently, the Bassin'...Her Style organization decided to close their doors. When I asked Jennifer what her plans were in the team-fishing arena, she said she is hoping to find a partner to fish in one of the regional Angler's Choice Amateur Team divisions. As for her individual professional career, she wants to continue fishing with the women's national tour (currently, WBFA is the only one out there) for as long as possible.

Sponsorship is harder to come by these days, what with all of the competition in this sport. You have to prove yourself before these sponsorships will begin to materialize. Evidently, Jennifer has done just that. Her sponsors include Bass Cat Boats, Mercury Outboards, J&W Investments, Owner Hooks, and Action Bass.com. Traveling to tournaments, sometimes for weeks at a time, can be very costly. She mentions that all of these folks have been very supportive and without them, she may not be where she is today. I can vouch for that!

As President of the Lake Area Lady Anglers, and speaking for the rest of the club members, I can truly say that Jennifer is respected and admired by her peers. Her easy-going nature, perseverance, and dedication are largely responsible for her success and I expect to see great things from Jennifer in the future.

Until next month, good fishin'!

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