Lakecaster Online

WOMEN & THE OUTDOORS
By: Sue Crochet

The Lake Area Lady Anglers do it again! For the second year in a row, this awesome club has earned recognition as the top women's bass fishing club in the country! Table Rock Lake was the site of the May, 2005 Women's Bass Fishing Association Affiliated Club Championship. Seven clubs from five states sent their Top Four anglers to compete in this prestigious event.

Unlike the regular season WBFA national tournaments, which are Pro-Am events, boaters and non-boaters in the ACC are given equal time to fish on their best practice spots. On each of the two competition days, non-boaters are paired with boaters from different clubs. Boaters are expected to allow their non-boaters to fish on their own practice waters for at least half of the day, if they choose to.

Generally, partners discuss this prior to tournament day. In most cases, each angler will have areas that are better in the morning or in the afternoon. They will come to an agreement on where to fish at the beginning of the day, then move to the other angler's fishing waters the second half of the day. During all of the years that I've been fishing these events, this has never been a problem for me.

As a member of this year's Top Four Team, I want to say how proud I am of how we planned, strategized, and executed to come out on top. I never doubted for an instant that our team could compete on any lake, anywhere in the country. I've fished with some of these ladies for many years and know that they don't give up. In my opinion, this is the key to being a successful tournament angler.

Since none of us had the time or money to make a practice/fact-finding trip to Table Rock prior to tournament week, the "plan" was for each of us to gather as much information as we could. Some of us knew other anglers who had fished this lake before and who gave us information on areas that produced for them in the past. I posted messages on various web sites asking for information, which produced some very helpful and current information. We also purchased maps well in advance so that we could familiarize ourselves with where we would be launching and how to get to the areas where we wanted to practice.

During the three official practice days, our "strategy" was to take the different sections of the lake where our practice spots were located and cover them as thoroughly as we could. We had also received information about various lures and techniques that were more productive on Table Rock at this time of the year. I'm a firm believer in doing what comes naturally, so each of used our preferred technique to fish the same lures to practice on and eliminate waters that were not productive. Each evening, we reviewed what worked, what didn't work, marked places on our maps, and took notes.

Teamwork is what it takes to "execute" properly in an event like this. Our non-boaters had to feel confident that they could find the areas where we located fish in practice and that they had the right to fish there as much as their boater team members. When fishing as a team, there are no areas that are mine and yours... they're OURS. However, there is a certain amount of courtesy that goes along with fishing in the same area as another team member. This is especially significant on the first day of a two-day tournament to assure that relatively small areas aren't hit too hard and will still produce the next day.

Our execution consisted of allowing our boaters (myself and Tommie Domingue) to target the prime areas where we caught fish in practice during the first half of the day. Since our non-boater team members were planning to fish in their boaters' areas during the first half of the day, this gave them the option to go to those areas that Tommie and I fished that morning during the second half of the day. If we were still there, then they would go to another area that produced fish for us during practice.

There you have it... our plan, strategy, and execution. I feel sure that my team members would agree that this is what got us into 1st Place on the first day and what kept us in 1st Place on day two. On day one, Sandy Jeane (Hull, TX) led our team into 1st Place with four fish weighing 8.46#. On day two, yours truly was blessed to bring five fish to the scales that weighed 13.74#, which led our team to victory.

The heaviest stringers for the 1st and 2nd Place teams at the ACC earn berths to the WBFA National Championship, which will be held later this year. My personal two-day weight of 20.84# turned out to be the heavy stringer for our team, as well as the heaviest stringer for the entire event! Since I had already earned a berth to the championship at the 2004 ACC on Kentucky Lake, the person on our team this year with the second heaviest stringer has earned a berth to the championship, as well. Congratulations to Sandy Jeane!

On behalf of the Lake Area Lady Anglers, I'd like to thank our sponsors... Mike D. Bono Century 21, Ray Mose & Associates, Cating Accounting Firm, Power Cleaning Equipment, Academy Sporting Goods, and Chester Moore & Sons... for your confidence and support, which makes all this possible. There are many others... personal friends, co-workers, e-mail acquaintances, fishing buddies, family members, and tackle companies to name a few... who support us in their own unique ways. Thanks to you all!

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The Lake Area Lady Anglers will be holding their July tournament on Toledo Bend out of the Public Ramp @ the Dam (Texas side) on July 16. Please call me at 337-217-9283 or e-mail me @ cbasskitten2@cs.com for more information.

Toledo Bend Media presented its "Wish'n I was Fish'N" tournament out of Cypress Bend during the weekend of June 4th. This is the first in a series of tournaments designed to include the entire family, as well as any angler who would like to participate. The next event is scheduled for July 9-10 out of Frontier Park and future events are already scheduled for September and October. Be sure to visit their web site at www.tackletoledobend.com for tournament rules, entry forms, and lots of other good things to come!

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