Lakecaster Online

OF BASS & GALS
By: Sue Crochet

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We U. S. citizens surely do have a lot to be thankful for, but I guess the most special privilege is our Freedom.

Right here, in our own little part of the country, there are a number of lakes that are seldom ever fished and they're loaded with everything from good-sized bream to huge catfish. Most of us get hung up on going to the same old places, sometimes hundreds of miles from home, when there are prime fishing waters very close by.

One of the things I enjoy so much about tournament fishing is traveling to new lakes, often in parts of the country I never would have gone to before. I've learned lots of different methods of catching bass, mostly using the same types of lures we use on our home lakes. On the other hand, some of the lakes are so different, it requires that you learn to use other types of lures. This is what makes us more versatile anglers.

Another aspect of traveling to new places is meeting people and making new friends. One thing about people who live on and around lakes ... they're some of the most friendly people in the world! A prime example of this are the folks from the Shreveport and Coushatta areas who live on or near the Red River. My husband and I were blessed to qualify for the Anglers Choice Couples Championship this year. As close as we are to the Red River, we have never fished it until this year. It's an absolutely beautiful body of water, but what was even better are the great people we met there.

125 couples from five states came together in mid-October to fish for two fully-rigged Bass Cat boats. After several months of fish tournaments in their own divisions, these folks were those who made enough points throughout the season to qualify for the Championship. If there are any husbands and wives (girlfriends/boyfriends) who love to fish and haven't tried this yet, you don't know what you're missing! Sure, it's challenging, because these are some of the best anglers in the country. But, it's also very rewarding to work as a team toward a common goal, doing something you both love to do!

Amazingly, the couples who placed in the Top 3 fished very differently from one another. Congratulations to Aubrey & Johnette Johnson (Arkansas), the first place couple, who reported catching most of their fish on spinnerbaits and some on jigs. The second place couple, Pat & Kim Ponds (Mississippi) said crankbaits were their bait of choice. The third place, Joe & Pam Pope (Texas), who were in first place on day one, told me they were fishing plastics. The common thread is that all three couples had determined that the fish were not in the back of the oxbows.

Later in October, the Bassin'...Her Style women's team organization also wrapped up their first season on Sam Rayburn. Lack of rain caused lake levels to drop and good-size bass were hard to come by. Most of the eight teams fishing in this event came in with limits each day and reported catching lots of small fish. The weights were very close right to the finish, but the Arkansas/Florida team of Joan Craig and Kathy Stewart held on to their first-day lead to win the event with a total weight of 22.24#. Congratulations to Joan and Kathy, who will go down in history as the winners of the first-ever Bassin'...Her Style Championship!

If I had to describe why fishing with this group was so much fun, I'd have to quote Sherry Glasgow (Oklahoma). Sherry teamed up with Westlake local, Sherrie Brubaker, to take Anglers of the Year. During her acceptance speech at the Awards Banquet, Sherry said, "I had a really good time this year, although putting up with Sherrie is quite a challenge (just kidding, I think)! Seriously, fishing as a team takes away a lot of the pressure that you feel when fishing as an individual."

From handling the boat to making decisions on where to go, having a partner to share in some of these worries eases the burden and allows you to enjoy the event a lot more. The team and women-only aspects of this type of organization are what make it unique and so much fun. Bassin'...Her Style has set their year 2000 schedule, which can be found on the Web @ www.anglerschoice.com. Also, anyone needing more information can reach Connie Bales, Tournament Director, @ (512) 331-8736.

Until next year, I hope everyone has a Blessed Christmas

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