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Redlinerobert

First woman, ever, to fish the Bassmasters Classic

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From what I understand there are some people against it. I for one, am not. I had the pleasure of meeting Kim this year at ICAST, she's married to Andre Moore, owner of Reaction Innovations.  

http://basseast.com/?p=963

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Unlike some sports where physical attributes such as strength and size can make a huge difference in competition, and in the possibility of injury, fishing can be performed by everyone.  I see no reason why men and women can't compete in the same tournaments.  I know some women that are outstanding anglers.  My wife smokes me the majority of the time when we fish for crappie, her favorite fish.

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I am definitely for it! I would love to get more women into fishing. It seems like a stereotype that fishing is only for men. Something like this would help to get more women interested in the idea of picking up a rod-n-reel. IMO, fishing has nothing to do with physical speed and strength (like most contact sports). If a woman can outwit me and catch more fish, props to her.

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From what I understand there are some people against it. I for one, am not. I had the pleasure of meeting Kim this year at ICAST, she's married to Andre Moore, owner of Reaction Innovations.

http://basseast.com/?p=963

Wow that is the coolest husband ever!! Great company with great baits. I will be pulling for her in the Classic, I love Reaction Innovations!

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I'm all for it! Fishing is for everyone!

Somehow, I talked my girlfriend into coming out on the boat and fishing at night with us a week or two ago... She won't even hold the darn things if she catches one!

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I am excited that Kim will be the first woman to fish the Classic.  I met her in 2005 at the Pittsburg Classic, where she Andre proposed.  Hope she does well.

However, I understand why there would be some folks against this.  When the WBT first started, there were rumors that the AOY would qualify for the Classic.  Gerald Swindle was against it then (I haven't heard what he thinks now), stating that if there was a Classic birth at stake, everyone ought to be able to fish for it, regardless of gender.

Let me play devil's advocate for those of you who say "women can fish just as good as men."  If that's the case, then why hasn't a woman qualified for the Classic through the Elite Series, Federation, or Opens (if there are any open qualifiers)?  The traditional avenues for Classic qualification are open to women as well as men.

I'll cheer for Kim, but I do wish she had qualified on the same "playing field" as the rest of the guys (no pun intended ;)).  When a woman does that, I believe it will be a more celebrated accomplishment.

Now, before ya'll start throwing stones at me, let me just add that I'm the first to admit that any one of the women on the WBT could have out-fished me.  Alright, I've got my hard-hat on, let the stone-throwin' begin! ;D

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I am excited that Kim will be the first woman to fish the Classic. I met her in 2005 at the Pittsburg Classic, where she Andre proposed. Hope she does well.

However, I understand why there would be some folks against this. When the WBT first started, there were rumors that the AOY would qualify for the Classic. Gerald Swindle was against it then (I haven't heard what he thinks now), stating that if there was a Classic birth at stake, everyone ought to be able to fish for it, regardless of gender.

Let me play devil's advocate for those of you who say "women can fish just as good as men." If that's the case, then why hasn't a woman qualified for the Classic through the Elite Series, Federation, or Opens (if there are any open qualifiers)? The traditional avenues for Classic qualification are open to women as well as men.

I'll cheer for Kim, but I do wish she had qualified on the same "playing field" as the rest of the guys (no pun intended ;)). When a woman does that, I believe it will be a more celebrated accomplishment.

Now, before ya'll start throwing stones at me, let me just add that I'm the first to admit that any one of the women on the WBT could have out-fished me. Alright, I've got my hard-hat on, let the stone-throwin' begin! ;D

Yeah, I see where you're coming from here. It's kind of unfair to the men if they don't have the option of qualifying via the WBT.

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Come on Preach, that argument is just about as sound as saying somebody who qualifies through the federation or opens isn't as "good" as somebody who does it through the Elite series.  But I guarantee you that if somebody from the federation makes a run for the crown during the Classic, everyone will be rootin' for him!  

At least have the same common sense to give the WBT the same credibility.

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Agree with you 100% Preach.

And I don't care what anyone says, this is just an attempt for ESPN/BASS to win back some people. It has nothing to do with being "fair" or "giving women a chance". It is about good political publicity, something they haven't had in a while.

With that said I do like Kim and have met her on several occastions and I will root for her as well. Does she deserve it? Not exactly sure.

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Come on Preach, that argument is just about as sound as saying somebody who qualifies through the federation or opens isn't as "good" as somebody who does it through the Elite series.

That argument doesn't exist, but this one does. Just look at tourney weights around the same time of year on the same lakes that the Elite Series and WBT. I know fishing changes, but not that much. KVD won on Lewisville in early June of 2005 on the Elite 50 trail with 58 pounds (4 days), the next year the WBT hit Lewisville in late May, Dianna Clark won with 30 pounds (3 days). Even then the winners differ by a 5 pound a day average. I hate to say it, and I HOPE I'am wrong. But something tells me this will just make the WBT look like a joke.

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Come on Preach, that argument is just about as sound as saying somebody who qualifies through the federation or opens isn't as "good" as somebody who does it through the Elite series. But I guarantee you that if somebody from the federation makes a run for the crown during the Classic, everyone will be rootin' for him!

At least have the same common sense to give the WBT the same credibility.

Comparing the WBT to the Federation is like comparing apples to oranges.  Everyone has an equal oppertunity, regardless of gender, to qualify for the Classic through the Federation (as I mentioned in my original post).  Several Classic champions got their start in the Federation (Ike comes to mind).  Only time will tell if the WBT produces the next Classic champ.

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You're right, it's not a good comparison.  It's much tougher to make it through the WBT than the federation because only one makes it to the Classic.

Regardless of how you make it, once you're in, everyone is on the same playing field.

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Don't look now, but a woman just won the co-angler division at an Open, and WBT pro Debra Petrowski of Arlington, Texas, finished 29th.

http://www.bassresource.com/bass_fishing_123/bass-texoma2-08.html

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You're right, it's not a good comparison. It's much tougher to make it through the WBT than the federation because only one makes it to the Classic.

Regardless of how you make it, once you're in, everyone is on the same playing field.

Glenn, now your making an apples to elephants comparison. ;D  However, you did help me bring out the point I was trying to make.  It is "tougher to make it through the WBT than the federation" for men.  In fact, it is impossible!  On the other hand, it is possible for women to qualify through the Federation (as well as the Elite Series, Opens, and the Bassmaster Series).  The WBT is the only avenue to the Classic that discriminates against a gender.

Even if both genders were allowed to fish the WBT, it would still be tougher to make it through the Federation.  Compare the number of people that fished the WBT to the number who fished the Federation.  The chances of qualifying for the Classic are much better through the WBT.

Again, even though I wish she'd have qualified through a "traditional" avenue, I'm still going to be cheering for Kim.  I'd like to see her and some of the other big names on the WBT fish the Elite Series!

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Preach, I'm with you past and present. WBT is a two yr old infant that will gain experience and with larger participation the future for WBT is bright and will be as competitive as the rest.  Kim will do fine..there is a scad of people to see to it! Alittle advice is don't argue with a man who loves his wife and is proud of her WBT participation...my Question to all is why the need for a Womens Bassmaster? There were already 3 avenues.

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preach is not saying that the WBT doesn't have the same credibility as the Elites, Opens, or the Federation.  But unlike those tournaments a man could not fish.  Meaning if you don't make it in the Elites then you can qualify through the Opens or the Federation.  Many of the Pros fish the Opens just in case if they don't do good in the Elites then they have that way to requalify for the Elites or the Classic.  Take Rick clunn for example, did not make Classic cut in Elites but qualified in Northern Open points.  Charlie Hartley on the other hand will have to take a year off from the Elites and requalify fishing the Opens since he did not qualify in the Elites and did not fish Opens for a back up plan.  With that said the WBT only women can qualify.  So pros can't drop down to qualify through the WBT or other male anglers can't qualify through the WBT.  Which to me makes it a little unfair.  Not taking credibility from the women, but i think that is the point that he was trying to make.  Honestly I would like to see her win it or any of the Federation guys.  I like the underdogs.

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I see your point, and it makes sense from that perspective.

My point is that it's harder to qualify through the WBT because it's only a handful of tournaments spread across the country.  You have to travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to fish them all - against hundreds of women. And only one makes it to the big show.

By comparison, there's far less traveling for the opens and federation route, and you get to fish local waters that you already know.  So from an expense, logistics, and knowledge standpoint, it's "easier".  Plus you have more opportunities because there's far more tournaments in those venues across the country.

my Question to all is why the need for a Womens Bassmaster? There were already 3 avenues.

Great question!  Glad somebody asked that.  The fact-of-the-matter is, the largest growth potential of this sport is with the women.  Not a whole lot of women are participating, but their numbers are growing much faster than any other demographic.

To be sure, women can participate in the other tournaments, and they do.  It's easy to argue the women have more opportunities than the men because of the WBT, but they just aren't participating in those other tournaments.  More than a 1/3rd of anglers are female, but you don't see that number represented in those tournaments.

Those other tournament avenues have been available for years, but have you seen a lot of women participate?  Nope.  Why is that?  It's because they're dominated by men.  

That's not to say the women are intimidated by the men, but look at it from their perspective.  If you wanted to do something, but it was dominated by women - even though you would be welcome - you'd feel very out-of-place.  I suspect a lot of male nurses felt this way years ago when they first broke into that career.

Since few women are participating in the well-established, male-dominated tournaments, yet we KNOW more women are participating in the sport, something had to be done.  Enter the WBT.  Now you see hundreds of women participating in just a few short years.

Kinda odd when you think about it.  It's actually harder to participate in the WBT than the other tournaments, yet women are attracted to it because they don't have to fish with "the guys".

For clarity's sake, the WBFA was the predecessor to the WBF, and existed for a couple of years - Judy Wong won two of those championships as well.  However, the WBFA was modeled after the Federation, and there just wasn't enough female bass clubs to support it.

I suspect that sometime in the future, the need for the WBT will no longer exist.  But until then, it's successfully attracting more and more women to the sport.  This is fueling the growth, which benefits all.

Again, only one woman makes it to the Classic via the WBT.  It's not like hordes of women are invading the Classic.  Yet it's an incentive to integrate women into this male-dominated sport.

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Super.

Women are more patient than men and I bet she does well.

Thanks for sharing the news.  :)

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I will have to agree with everything you say.  Only thing that I could argue is how you said that the WBT is harder due to miles of travel and the more different lakes, and that its hundreds of women.  First of their stops were in GA, AL, and in AR.  Thats just like a open except with one more tournament.  So to me I can't say it takes more in that aspect.  Now hundreds of women,  I think the most anglers they had in a tournament was 94 with the lowest being 74.  So on average around 85 anglers.  Where as the opens have about 200.  That siad only 3 go to the Classic from opens and 1 form WBT so its pretty even on the difficult level to make it.  This might be the only reason I would agree with you.  The rest of what you said, I agree with you 100%.  

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Try living in Washington state and then go to those tournaments.  :o

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I hear ya...   or from PA!   I thought about doing the Opens this year- there is a northern division this year with only 3 tournaments.  The entry fees are slightly less and would be cheaper yet because there are less tournaments.  They are closer, so gas would be less expensive.  

But, I'm stickin' with the WBT.  Other than the $$$, I like traveling & meeting other women who fish & I can learn from.

However, I am also a Federation member (less than a handful of women in my state) and competed in all 3 of my district events and the championship. Didn't have to drive more than 5 hrs. for any of them and the entry fees are VERY cheap.  

I'm just saying that some of us do try the other tours, as well, and don't have a problem fishing with the guys.  I don't have a boat yet, so for me, I'll do it for the experience.  

Go Kim!

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Well look who came out of the woodwork!  Welcome back Lisa!  Didn't see you at Clarks Hill, otherwise I would've said hi.

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If allowing one female AOY from the WBT to fish the Classic helps create more sponsors for women, or helps build the sport up on the WBT, I'm all for it.

Go Kim, kick some bass.

   

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