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Wong Wins Pro Division in the "Beauty & the Bass" WBFA Tournament - Toledo Bend
By Patty Schaefer

The Women's Bass Fishing Association (WBFA) "Beauty & the Bass" Pro/Am tournament was held on Toledo Bend Lake at Cypress Bend Park April 11 & 12, 2001. Eighty eight lady anglers representing 15 states, divided into professional and amateur divisions participated in the event. With constantly rising lake levels, fish positions and fishing patterns were constantly changing from practice days to competition days and the ladies had to stay on their toes changing techniques to stay with the bass.

Recap day 1 - In the Pro division Karla Bullard took the lead with 15.12 lbs, but Pam Martin - all time money winner - was right behind her in second place with 13.64 lbs. Donna Newberry, nipping at their heels with 12.56 lbs was in 3rd place and with 12 lbs even Sue Crochet was sitting in 4th. Big Bass was caught by Louise Howard at 5.99 lbs.

In the Amateur division, Kerry Patin secured first place lead with 7.11 lbs, Liz Sanders a close second with 6.38 lbs, Linda owens brought in 4.98 lbs for 3rd place slot and Linda Chelette latched on to fourth place lead with 3.87 lbs. Big Bass in the amateur division was caught by Dana Davis weighing 3.66 lbs.

Day 2 came in with many surprises. On the Pro side, Pam Martin and Judy Wong were among the last to the weigh in, and allowed everyone else to go before them. There was a lot of excitement in the line as they both had great catches. Everyone took a peek at what the ladies brought in and it was hard to tell how they would place. Pam already had 7 lbs more than Judy from they day before and brought in a strong limit on the final day. Judy only had four bass in her bag but they were all very nice with a lunker for a kicker.

1st Place Pro - (30.13 lbs) - Judy Wong of Sugarland, TX brought in 23.69 lbs with her 10.01 lb lunker Big Bass winning a Triton/Mercury fully loaded bass rig. The lunker was Judy's biggest catch and she caught it on a Gary Yamamoto watermelon red Tube Jig flipping the bushes. It was her second catch of the day, her first being a 5 lb'r, and she had a little trouble getting it into the livewell. Judy fished alone on day 2 and when she hooked this sow it wrapped around a bush. To make matters worse, her trolling motor also got caught up in a bush. She didn't realize how big the bass actually was, and thinking it was a nice 6-7 lb'r just kept the line tight while she wrangled the trolling motor free. Once she got it to the boat and saw its "big bulging eyes" she knew it was her biggest bass ever but didn't imagine it would break 10 lbs. Judy is sponsored by Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits and once the tabulations were official she was congratulated via telephone at the weigh in by Gary & Beverly Yamamoto.

2nd Place Pro - (29.01 lbs) - Pam Martin of Bainbridge, GA caught her limit bringing in 15.37 lbs on day 2 with a 7.62 lb kicker. Pam caught 90% of her fish on a watermelon fluke in 3' grassy cove areas. She fished the south end and was able to cull 4 bass to get her weight. The lunker she had seen the day before but couldn't get her to bite. She decided to go to that bass first on day 2, and on the first cast she took the bait. "It's nice when a game plan works". Pam is sponsored by Ranger - Evinrude - Winget's Lodge - Allstar Rods & Gambler Baits. She uses an Allstar / Abu Garcia / Berkely 15 lb test combination rig.

1st Place Amateur - (11.35 lbs) - Stacy Futrell of Colofax, LA fished a split shot watermelon red lizard for her catch. Fishing flats on the north end of the lake, in 2' deep bushes. She caught around 15 total bass on day 2 giving her an 8.58 lb sack bumping her from her 11th place day 1 standings to first place overall. Stacy fishes with a Shimano Curado / Falcon / Suffix 17 lb combo.

Final Standings Pro Division
1st (30.13 lbs) Judy Wong Sugarland, TX
2nd (29.01 lbs) Pam Martin Bainbridge, GA
3rd (23.49 lbs) Donna Newberry Van Buren, AR
4th (20.89 lbs) JoNell Whitstine Pineville, LA
5th (20.48 lbs) Patsy McDaniel Gordo, AL
Big Bass (10.01 lbs) Judy Wong Sugarland, TX

Final Standiongs Amateur Division
1st (11.35 lbs) Stacy Futrell Colofax, LA
2nd (8.91 lbs) Linda Owens Brandon, MS
3rd (8.54 lbs) Julie Campbell Pineville, LA
4th (8.33 lbs) Dana Thornhill Pineville, LA
5th (8.21 lbs) Debbie Mason Hemphill, TX
Big Bass (4.38 lbs) Debra Petrowski Arlington, TX

Willie Cook, tournament director and Chief George Braswell of Gary Yamamoto Baits co-MC'd the event. Kathy Magers was recognized for her induction into the Texas Fishing Hall of Fame scheduled for May 4, 2002. Another recognition was given at the tournament in appreciation for all of the help, support, coverage and friendship he has given to the ladies and the industry to Ed Snyder of Lakecaster publications. Willie and the ladies had a special plaque made for him which reads: "Appreciation Award Presented to ED SNYDER for his support of women's competitive bass fishing and the Women's Bass Fishing Association". 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.

All bass were live released by the Sabine River Authority LA Shimano Live Release barge & crew.
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 - Humminbird Depth Finders & Electronics - Eidolon Bait Co. - North American Sportswoman Magazine - Flowmaster - and the participating anglers.


1st Place Pro Judy Wong with her 10.01 lb lunker and two 'side-kicks'

2nd Place Pro Pam Martin showing the best of her 2nd day 15.37 lb catch
< photos by Patty Schaefer>

3rd Place Pro Donna Newberry with her day 2 kicker

Judy Wong wins a new Triton / Mercury Bass Rig

(L-R) Top 5 Amateurs - Stacy Futrell, Linda Owens, Julie Campbelll, Dana Thornhill

 

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