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Beauty & the Bass - Day 1 - WBFA Toledo Bend
By Patty Schaefer

LADIES and gentlemen - the "Beauty & the Bass" tournament kicked off on Toledo Bend Thursday, 4-11-02. This is a two day pro/am event by the Women's Bass Fishing Association (WBFA). There are 88 participants representing 15 states in the tournament that includes a wide variety of women angler's - world class pro's all the way to first year tournament anglers. Being the only all female circuit, the WBFA is growing stronger each year with more lady anglers and sponsors. This tournament marks the 4th of 5 qualifying tournaments for the Classic. The ladies had an added challenge handed to them. Since practice days, the lake has steadily risen over a foot with the influx of rainwater draining into the lake from the tributaries. Trying to keep up with where the bass are under these changing conditions is a tough job for any angler.

On the pro side -
1st place leader (15.12 lbs) - Karla Bullard of Del Rio, TX took her Triton bass rig to the south end of the lake (WAY south as she reports). With her Allstar / Abu Garcia / Berkley Trilene Sensithin 15# combination, she fished deep rocks and said that the bite was good all day and was able to cull four fish to get her weight. She also added that fishing very slowly was the key.

2nd place leader (13.64 lbs) - Pam Martin of Bainbridge, GA took her Ranger / Evinrude bass rig to the banks to catch her spawn / pre-spawn bass. She tied a fluke to her Allstar / Abu Garcia / Berkley 15# combo and had a 5.34 lb kicker in her bag. Pam is sponsored by Ranger - Evinrude - Winget's Lodge - Allstar & Gambler and has the honors for being the all time female money winner.

Big Bass leader (5.99 lbs) - Louise Howard of Eufaula, Alabama went south of Pine Island in her Skeeter / Yamaha rig to fish flooded trees. She fished texas rigged soft plastics with her custom rod / Quantum reel / Berkley TriMax #17 for her catch today. She commented that the fluctuation in water levels has affected her fish locations and fishing strategy.

Willie Cook, tournament director and Chief George Braswell recognized Kathy Magers today for her accomplishments in the fishing industry and on May 4, 2002 she will be inducted into the "Fishing Hall of Fame". Congratulations Kathy. During tomorrow's final weigh in Chief George will honor the participants and audience with his songs of patriotism. Eleven places will be awarded for both pro and non-boater along with a big bass award for each division.

PRO LEADER RESULTS:
1 - (15.12 lbs) Karla Bullard Del Rio, TX
2 - (13.64 lbs) Pam Martin Bainbridge, GA
3 - (12.56 lbs) Donna Newberry Van Buren, AR
4 - (12.00 lbs) Sue Crochet Lake Charles, LA
5 - (11.53 lbs) Penny Berryman Dardanelle, AR
Big Bass - (5.99 lbs) Louise Howard Eufaula, AR

NON-BOATER LEADER RESULTS:
1 - (7.11 lbs) Kerry Patin Braux Bridge, LA
2 - (6.38 lbs) Liz Sanders Brandon, MS
3 - (4.98 lbs) Linda Owens Brandon, MS
4 - (3.87 lbs) Linda Chelette Tallahassee, FL
5 - (3.80 lbs) Margaret West Leesburg, LA
Big Bass - (3.66 lbs) Dana Davis Vincent, AL

The WBFA Tour is the only tour which offers both professional and amateur women a venue to bass fish competitively among their peers. The next event will be in the second week of June at the Grand Lake of the Cherokees in Oklahoma. That event has a little twist, being not only the 5th of five qualifying events, but doubles also as the first qualifying event for the next season. For more information please visit the WBFA website at www.wbfatour.com or email at ebcwbfa@aol.com.

Sponsors include: Triton Bass Boats - Mercury Outboard Motors - Flowmaster Mufflers - Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits - Deka Marine Master Batteries - MinnKota - Kick 'n Bass Scents - Reyes del Mar Jewelers, Inc - and the participating anglers.


Karla Bullard is leading the Pro pack with a 15.12 lb stringer

Pam Martin with just a few of her bass putting her in 2nd place lead
< photos by Patty Schaefer>

Louise Howard with her 5.99 lb leading Pro Big Bass

Kathy Magers, 'Fishing Hall of Fame Inductee

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