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Early 2010, after the elimination of WBT, I wrote:
Future for Women’s Tournament Circuit
With the end of the Women’s Bassmaster Tournament trail many are asking if a women’s circuit is important and worthwhile. Yes it is important. And as for worthwhile, it depends on your definition. I’d like to share what fishing the 2009 WBT as a co-angler did for me. Some of my history: I have been bass fishing for 25 + years. My husband and I have fished competitively, as a team, for 20 years. My experience with WBT was my first time to go out with another angler. There was excitement and uncertainty going out with another angler. I recognized that I depended a lot on my husband/partner to advise me what to fish and to retie some of my rigs. Before I went out on my first WBT tournament, I knew how to do most things but, there were still things I needed to learn. My husband taught me how to manage my own tackle and retie some rigs that I always “let him do”. I learned that I can fish with someone other than my husband. I put a lot of effort in learning about bass fishing. And since my WBT experience, I actually volunteered to be a boater in a BFL tournament, at the last minute, when a co-angler that was currently 5th place in the standings for the season, needed a boater (his boater got sick). I finished in the middle of the group and my co-angler caught his limit and qualified to fish day 2. He won Co-Angler of the year. I credit my experience with WBT and the support my husband gave me to give me the confidence to fish as a boater. It was an awesome experience for me. And now, for 2010, I am signed up to fish as a co-angler with BFL and my husband and I will fish as a team with ABA Couples.
You’ll find my story isn’t very different from other lady anglers. A lot of the women anglers that start as co-anglers, and even the pros, will benefit from a women’s circuit. It is a great “spring-board” for experience that has lead many to continue to pursue their love of fishing. During my WBT experience, I saw ladies developing friendship and support to build on their fishing talent. Ladies have been fishing in many different trails and from what I’m hearing, 2010 will have increased numbers of lady anglers in all tournament trails.
I've heard that a lot of young female anglers are looking forward to their turn to compete in a women's circuit. During last season, there was a 16 year old that fished as a co-angler in one tournament. She did quite well. Many young ladies approached the WBT anglers for their signatures and benefited from the encouragement offered by the WBT anglers. Parents are pleased that their daughters can be positively affected by interaction with other lady anglers. The number of female anglers is increasing, more are competing, more are fishing. The fishing industry will see an increase in the number of lady anglers. One way to produce more lady anglers is through a woman's circuit.
What’s next? There is a lot of discussion and opportunities for the future of women anglers. I encourage anyone that wants to compete, just do it. If you want a women’s circuit or division, look into what is happening by going to the sites above. ~ by Martha Goodfellow