[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve been asked on multiple occasions to write in the direction of the female audience, but never have I tapped out the words I’m about to share with you. I’ve decided to write something I wish another lady angler would have voiced to me.
Here’s my background: I started fishing bass tournaments at 15; from there I never stopped, but changed my focus. Today I’m fishing freshwater, saltwater, inshore and offshore tournaments all from my Hobie kayak. I travel across the country camping at most of my tournaments alone, traveling alone and fishing alone. I like to think I’m the master at being a loner, but that’s very far from the truth.
The uncomfortable truths are silly little unfortunate circumstances we face daily, but when you’re faced with them standing in a room full of men, they’re much less inviting. These things could range from traveling alone, being the only girl, and restroom challenges. In my 10 years of tournament experience, I’ve bravely faced every single one of these more times than I’m excited about.
Which brings me to the uncomfortable truth of a tournament lady angler. It’s hard to convince your family that it’s safe for you to jump in the truck alone, travel 10 hours, stop at who knows how many gas stations, at some weird hours of the night and then land yourself in the boonies at a camp ground, where service always seems to be nonexistent. Fear no more, these are my tips.
Tip #1 – Traveling Alone: Travel smart. You would be silly to think as a female you aren’t an easy target. When you stop for fuel, phone a friend. It’s such a simple task that allows you to check-in with someone and avoid any weird situations. Purchase roadside assistance. For example, I have AAA and I’ve used this at almost every tournament for a multitude of things.
Tip #2 – Being the Only Girl: Reality is you’re in a male dominated industry and I’ve never meet a fellow lady angler who couldn’t handle being around it. Yes, it’s difficult at times, but if you want to jump on the tournament train then you’ll find your way of making it through the tough ones. What really helps me is that I don’t engage with the ones who aren’t there for the same reasons I am.
Tip #3 – Restroom Challenges: Oh boy! This is a fun topic that we’re so bashful about. It’s silly to forget that everyone does it. We don’t have to be gross like boys and use socks, or you’re more than welcome to it! I prefer to fish prepared. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the GoGirl. In my opinion, that’s one more thing I have to worry about and hold while the boat is rocking. I preferred to perfect my stance. If you have to ‘go’ just announce it to the boat, this way no one will be surprised when you’re prancing around in half birthday suit, plus it breaks the weirdness. Most kayaks and boats are actually fairly simple to ‘go’ from and would require a quick briefing from the persons you’re with. If you’re alone then I
suggest you experiment with things that work for you. My kayak has a giant hole in the middle where I remove the pedal system and it’s an instant ladies room.
Now that we’ve gotten to know each other a little better things aren’t so uncomfortable. This is the truth behind my tournament scene, the scene that no one ever hears about or asks about and the one that brings me to a win.