Judy Wong Wins Women's World Bass Fishing Championship Title on Lake Eufaula
When Judy Wong, Sugarland, Texas and 2001 Women's Bass Fishing Association Classic Champion arrived at Lake Eufaula Alabama, she said, "I am here to defend my title and be the first back-to-back Women's Bass Fishing Classic Champion." At the close of the scales on Saturday, Wong had clearly demonstrated that her determination matched her optimism. Tallying a total of 30.51 pounds during the 3-day event, she earned the title 2002 World Champion.
In spite of a rising lake and challenging weather, Wong charged ahead on the first day of the event weighing in the only 5-fish limit and holding down first place by 9 pounds. She said, "Because we had some clear skies, I was able to use a Gary Yamamoto 61/2-inch cut-tail worm. I swam it through the grass in 2 to 4 feet of water. The bass were coming up to take it."
Wong stayed with her shallow water pattern during day 2 and 3 of the tournament. The Yamamoto pro-staffer explained, "Because it was so overcast, I switched to a Yamamoto Salty Craw but stayed in the shallow water. I moved down to the fish."
On the final day, Wong was the last to walk to the weigh-in stage. She only needed 1.46 pounds to capture the title. When she handed three fish to the weighmaster, Sammy Lee, the other lady professional anglers and the crowd knew she had successfully defended her title.
Mary Divicenti, Clinton, Louisiana, brought in one of the few 5-fish limits caught on the final day. She also had the big bass of the day with a 4.89-pounder. Her final day's weight of 13.33 pounds jumped her from 6th into the second place position. Divicenti used a buzzbait in shallow water to catch her lunker bass.
Debra Petrowski, Arlington, Texas stayed on her first day pattern to capture the third place spot. She said, "I stayed with a spinnerbait and topwaters. I found that the fish were feeding in the shallows around green grass. If the grass was dead, I kept moving."
Emily Shaffer, 2002 Angler of the year echoed the fishing pattern of the other ladies. "With the lake rising, the fish were in shallow water," she explained. "I caught a lot of fish, I just did not seem to be able to get on big fish."
Tournament Director Willie Cook presented Wong with the keys to a 2003 Triton TR19 bass boat equipped with a Mercury 150HP outboard, Minn Kota Trolling motor, Deka Marine batteries, and Hummingbird electronics.
Wong accepted the title humbly, but proudly. She said, "I am extremely lucky to be able to live in a land where I can participate in a sport I truly love."
It was a great finale to a weeklong event including a Catch A Special Thrill (CAST) for Kids program, VIP tournament, and WBFA awards. Lonnie Walsh, Havana, Florida was named 2002 Rookie of the Year. Ann Hood, Statesboro, Georgia and Debra Petrowski were named Co-Amateur of the Year.
Cook stated, "The success we have enjoyed at this classic is due to the support of our major sponsors, the exceptional people and businesses in Eufaula, and the dedication and professionalism of the lady anglers. They are the success of the Women's Bass Fishing Association."
1. Judy Wong Sugarland, TX 30.51 2. Mary Divicenti Clinton, LA 26.49 3. Debra Petrowski Arlington, TX 22.72 4. Jan Hudson Harrison, AR 21.94 5. Donna Newberry Van Buren, AR 21.37Women's Bass Fishing Association News Archive