Lakecaster Online

WOMEN & THE OUTDOORS
By: Sue Crochet

Is summer almost over? I don't know about all of you, but I'm ready for this heat to go away! Not only do the bass not bite as well, but it sure is hard to concentrate on fishing when it feels like the sun is burning a hole right through you. I sure hope all of you are doing all the right things to prevent heat-related illness, such as heat stroke, because I don't think this heat's going to let up until well into September in this part of the country.

The general rule of thumb when exerting yourself in this type of heat is to drink water at least every 15 minutes, which also requires you to take mini-breaks frequently throughout the day (preferably in a shady area). If you're waiting until you actually have the urge to drink, you're probably not drinking enough. Additionally, it's recommended that if you're going to be in the sun all day, you should wear clothing that completely covers your skin and is "breathable". This means long sleeves and pants made out of some type of cotton fabric.

Shielding your head from the sun with a cap or hat of some kind will also keep you cooler, as well as provide some protection to your eyes and face. However, you should always wear sunglasses that provide UV protection and use sunscreen on those parts of your body that remain exposed (including lip balm) when you're planning to be in the sun all day. Many sunscreen manufacturers advertise their products as being "water resistant", but I recommend that you reapply several times throughout the day.

Those of us who have abused our skin for years are prime examples of why you need to follow these simple, but important, guidelines. I can assure you that as you age, having tanned skin becomes a lot less important than making sure you don't get skin cancer and can still enjoy doing the things you love to do in the outdoors. Many ladies I know have also developed an "allergy" to the sun from years of exposure. Because our skin is generally more sensitive than a man's, we are more apt to develop this problem. Once this happens, there is little you can do to avoid the extreme discomfort that comes from direct exposure to the sun, other than wearing clothing that completely covers your skin.

With the depletion of the Ozone Layer, lying in the sun to tan should be a thing of the past and definitely not taught to our children! These precious little ones want to play and think nothing of staying in the sun all day without drinking plenty of water or protecting their skin. As responsible parents, it's up to us to make sure they're safe from all sorts of dangers, which should include the prevention of skin cancer and heat stroke.

Changing the subject, I'd like to congratulate Robin Babb (Livingston, TX) who won the Lake Area Lady Anglers' Lake Livingston event in June. I'm proud to say that Robin fished with me and brought 12.1# of bass to the scales, which included Big Bass of the day.... a 5½-pounder! No, I didn't fare as well, but I've become accustomed to my non-boaters putting it on me now and then. J Congratulations also go out to Tommie Domingue (Livingston, TX) who had the only other two-digit weight that day... 10.02#.

As I mentioned before, current daytime temperatures make bass fishing extremely tough. However, being familiar with a lake and what the fish will do in these circumstances is valuable to a tournament angler. These ladies know that the high salinity of the water on Lake Livingston causes the baitfish to stay relatively shallow, which causes the largemouth bass to do the same. We concentrated on boat docks, laydowns, and brush piles that provide both shade and ambush points, using plastics that were either Texas or Carolina-rigged. I would venture to guess that most of our fish came out of less than 7 feet of water.

Our July tournament is on Toledo Bend and I expect tactics for catching largemouth bass to be totally different. Except for fish that might come on topwater lures fished over shallow cover very early in the morning, I predict that most of the bass taken during the July event will come from depths of 10 feet or more. Generally, once the sun begins peeking out, shallow-water bassing becomes almost non-existent on Toledo Bend. I'll provide the results of the July event in our September issue.

In late June, BASS, the largest fishing organization in the world, and ESPN Outdoors, the worldwide leader in sports entertainment, announced the addition of the Women's Bassmaster Tour to the Citgo Bassmaster Tour format. This is very exciting news for the sport of bass fishing and women anglers all over the world! Finally, we are being recognized for our contributions to this sport!

Did you know that 43% of all boaters are women and that nearly 1/3 of all fishing licenses are sold to women? How about this... 26% of all world record fish have been caught by women! The 2.5 million subscribers of Bassmaster Magazine claim that 73% of their readers are women, so don't let anyone tell you it's only for men! I have lots of male fishing friends (including my husband) who have become much more receptive to the idea of women pros in the bass fishing world. However, the national recognition just hasn't been there for us. I look forward to seeing women strut their stuff on ESPN!

More details are to be announced at this year's Bassmaster Classic, which is taking place at the time this article is being prepared for print. I hope to share them with you next month, but if you'd like to keep up with current information, log onto the internet at www.bassmaster.com. God bless America, where only this type of thing is possible!

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Toledo Bend Media continues its "Wish'n I was Fish'N" tournament series and will be hosting several of these family-oriented fishing events throughout the year. This is a fun event that appeals to the avid bass angler, as well as anglers who enjoy fishing just for fun. The entry fees are very affordable and the rewards are great! For a schedule of events, you can log on to their web site at www.tackletoledobend.com or call 318-315-0872 for more details. Toledo Bend Media's goal is to promote business and tourism on Toledo Bend, which is beneficial to those who have camps, as well as those who live on the lake. Please support them in any way you can.

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