I thought it would be fun to tell a little story about the years I fished the Bass'n Gal circuit. I grew up fishing farm ponds my family owned. It was something I really enjoyed doing with my dad and siblings. So, of course, when Randy and I started dating, we made many trips to the ponds to catch bass.
At that time, I was a push button reel girl. I think Randy made it his mission to turn me into a baitcaster girl. I have to say it only took about a day for me to make the switch; however, that is not to say I was perfect at it. Randy will attest to the fact that there were a few “bird nests” he had to pick out of his reels.
After we were married in 1992, we decided I would become his tournament partner. The benefit would be that whatever money was won, we could keep instead of splitting with a partner. I think he went into this little partnership thinking he would be responsible for money won or money lost. However, I have a pretty determined work ethic about me that I have always had. I wanted to contribute to the partnership as much as possible. I practiced on my casting, presentation and landing fish so that I could contribute as well. It turned out to be a really neat deal fishing together.
One great story from our years fishing tournaments together is when we won the Tarheel Team Championship on Buggs Island. I had just graduated college and was being offered jobs to teach. I was definitely going to have to accept one of the offers for a steady income to be made in these early years. But little did we know that God had other plans for us.
At that time in Randy’s career, full time traveling was not nearly what it is today. There were only 6 tournaments a year for him to fish, and not near as many appearances to be made in between. Around that time, the opportunity arose for me to fish the Bass'n Gal tournament circuit.
We had become friends with Jimmy and Chris Houston, who also fished the ladies’ trail. They encouraged me to fish, and Randy also pushed me to fish these tournaments. I thought it would be fun, so we dove in! We also looked at it as a way for Randy to get more on the water experience at various lakes around the country.