Laurie had the pleasure of interviewing Denese Freeman, a co-angler on the Women’s Bassmaster Trail. Denese offers some advice on how to handle daily life and what she likes to make sure she has in the boat as a co-angler. A couple of years ago when the WBT fished the Red River for it’s schedule Laurie also got enjoyed time with Denese while pre-fishing the event. They have remained in contact with each other and Denese offered to let us pick her brain from time to time.
Denese, I seen that overall after the last tournament on Old Hickory you were in 19th place.
I ended up in 19th place after Old Hickory, but I actually ended up in 23rd place for the year after I dropped my worst tournament – The Ouichita River. Without the drop I would have made the championship. Funny how that works out. I am proud of each and every angler that made the championship this year. They worked very hard to get where they are and earn their time in the spotlight. They are all winners in my book.
What one thing this year do you think helped you to do this well?
I believe that winning my boat in 2008 has helped me with how well I did in 2009. My boat has given me the greatest opportunity to practice my fishing skills between tournaments. In 2010 I plan on taking my boat to several of the lakes on the tour and using it to pre-fish on my own. On another note, I love the competition that the tournaments provide. Without the competition, it would just be fishing.
There are a number of lady anglers that get a tremendous amount of coverage in the media. Do you think that the coverage they get makes it harder mentally to compete?
I am not one that is in the media spotlight like some of the other ladies that compete in the WBT, but I would think that it would make it harder mentally to compete and focus on fishing. Some do tend to handle it better than others.
You are getting and making coverage for Angler’s Legacy. I know that it is something that you truly believe in.
Anglers’ Legacy is an important mission for me. My mother taught me to fish but it was my sister that got me into tournament fishing. I feel that it is our duty as anglers to pass the legacy on to the next generation. I taught all three of my children to fish hoping that someday they will be able to teach their children to fish.
I teach several fishing workshops throughout the year and speak at several expo’s. I always mention Anglers’ Legacy and talk to the mom’s and dad’s about the importance of teaching children to fish. Our fishing future depends on the next generation.
You also photograph a lot of the lady’s tournaments, different events, manage your website and a full time job. Do you find it hard to wear all the different hats at times and if so what is the toughest hurdle you have?
Yes, I find it difficult to wear all the different hats at times. However, this year, I tried to focus less on covering the tournaments and tried to focus mainly on fishing which I feel helped me focus mentally. I found that my fishing suffered the first couple of years on the tour because I tried to do a little bit of everything.
I had the opportunity to fish with you and I know you are a skilled individual. When you were here and we were fishing the Red River your strengths seemed to be soft plastics. Is that still your strength? and if so what technique is your favorite? If not what is your strong suit now?
Soft plastics are still my strong suit. I love to fish plastics weightless, Texas rig and Carolina rig. I like to throw senkos and flukes. My weakest style of fishing tends to be crankbaiting. I am trying to practice my crankbaiting skills on my home lakes between tournaments as much as possible so I can gain more confidence.
When at a tournament, I never board a boat without my weightless rig, a Texas rig, a Carolina rig, a spinnerbait, a crankbait and a shaky head. You always have to be prepared to “adapt” to where your Pro chooses to fish.
Denese, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions and I am looking forward to talking with you again. Good Luck in the 2010 season and we all are looking forward to the day that you take that step and jump into the boater side, I know you can do it and compete well.