Fayette BASS Club
FAYETTE, Ala. — Virgil Beavers didn't know what he was getting into when he took his wife fishing about a decade ago.
"I think he wished he hadn't done that," Dana Beavers told BASS Times.
Dana Beavers fell in love with bass fishing and immediately joined her local Federation Nation club.
"When I joined [the Fayette BASS Club], I was the first woman ever to join," Beavers said.
Today, she's president of that group, Alabama's largest Federation Nation club, and the Frog Level Bassmasters. She's also senior advisor to the Dixie Junior Bassmasters.
However, it's her work as a florist that has flowered into an initiative to incorporate women into a historically male-dominated sport.
"About a year and a half ago I was being interviewed for an article about being a female bass club president, and the reporter asked me to relate my love for flowers to the sport of bass fishing," Beavers said. "I told her that both are something you have to love to do."
After the interview, however, Beavers couldn't get the question out of her mind.
"I see a lot of wives who come to weigh-ins or the Bassmaster Classic, and you get the impression they were just dragged there," she said. "So I started looking for a way to give wives something that appealed to them."
The result was a new logo, which reads "Tritongirl" with the "i" in "girl" dotted by a daisy.
"That brought the flowers and fishing together," Beavers said.
The initiative received a huge boost when Bob Hale, owner of L&L Marine in Northport, Ala., heard Beavers speak at a pre-tournament banquet.
"Dana is just such a breath of fresh air in this sport," Hale said. "She has this desire to take it to the next level without a pat on the back."
Hale set up a meeting between Beavers and Triton Boats President Earl Bentz and Vice President Neal Hart. The result was an entire line of Tritongirl clothing.
"If you look at the big picture of the boating industry, you see more families involved now," Hart explained. "You've got a lot of spouses involved in the fishing industry, and a lot of wives financially support their husbands."
Beavers' logo provides a way to reach the female side of that equation, he said.
"Man, what a great idea to talk directly to the other half of the consumer base," Hart said.
The clothing line initially was introduced at an Alabama outdoor expo, and Hale said it was an immediate success. "It sold out the first day," he said.
So Triton enlisted Beavers to work February's Bassmaster Classic, and she arrived with a new idea.
"Teleflora [a floral wire service] provided us with 5,000 yellow daisies to hand out at the Classic," Beavers said. The flowers were placed in the Triton booth and were an instant hit.
"It was amazing to me that as many men as women came to me to get flowers," she said. "They wanted them to take home to their wives, or their wives were on the other side of the Expo and they wanted to take them one."
Hart said he was amazed at the apparel's reception.
"On the second day, I started seeing Tritongirl apparel on women, and I knew we had hit on something that had been missed before," he said.
"I want other women and young girls to realize they can remain feminine and still enjoy a male-dominated sport," said Beavers, "whether they choose to participate as an angler or simply stand in support from the bank."
It's that kind of attitude that reminds Hale of Elite Series pro Boyd Duckett, whom Hale has sponsored for years.
"Boyd has never asked for one thing. He never asked Triton for anything," Hale said. "He always wants to know what he can do for us. Dana's out of the same mold: She calls me once a week asking, 'What do you need me to do?' That's rare.
"She's genuine, and she's just got a pure heart for people, especially children."
Hart said Beavers' interest in advancing fishing made it easy for his company to form a relationship.
"If you start looking at her contributions to the sport, she's someone we wanted on our side," Hart said. "To Dana's credit, she's involved with the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation, and her youth initiatives are huge."
The line of clothing is available at www.tritonboats.com. Click Apparel, then click on Ladies.