All through my fishing career I have heard the old saying, “No girls or wives allow”! I even remember the old tree houses that we built while growing up, the first thing that got done was a big sign painted that hung on the door saying, “No girls allowed”! When I would ask my friends why, I would always get the same old dumb answer, “It’s too risky!” To risky for what I would ask? I never to this day really understood what it was they were so scared of. Whatever it was, it must have been very bad indeed for it to scare a full grown bunch of guys to death.
Even today there are clubs who don’t allow females to join and fish with them. Is this the old fashion way of thinking that our fathers and grandfathers taught us? Is it because of the fear of having to fish with someone’s girlfriend or wife and not knowing how to handle the day on the lake with them? Could it be that we believe our female partners have a special need to be treated different? I don’t think so, most would rather just be treated like one of the guys and I’m fine with that. I’m sure if ‘mother nature’ calls, we would all like to have those special needs. If these clubs only could look into the future to see who they were really hurting, it might just surprise them. It’s a known factor that the more members a club has the more money it can raise in membership dues. The old saying is true about there is power and money in numbers. Plus they will have a greater work force when it comes to club outings and money raising events. Maybe not all clubs have weekend outings, but in this day and time you have to offer something different in order to gain more members or keep the older members happy. I think we all know who would sell the most raffle tickets when the time came to make extra money for the club. At least I would rather buy my tickets from a great looking lady dressed in fishing attire than from some guy in a wore out ball cap who is spitting tobacco juice all over the ground where I’m having to walk to buy a ticket. Sometimes great looks will just make the best salesperson that much better. Take ‘Hooters’ for an example, no male waiters in their line up, just great looking sales ladies!
With the ever increasing popularity of tournament bass fishing around the world and the new B.A.S.S. Women’s Tour starting this year, it is to be expected that more women will take up the sport of bass fishing. I’m now see more articles being written toward the ladies of our sport and also highlighting some of the new lady pro’s that are fishing the new tour. Will they be good at it or dominate the men who rule the waters? I don’t know for sure yet, but if we don’t allow them the chance to compete how will we ever know. I know that there are many great female anglers out there so it will just be a wait and see type of deal. I know one thing for sure; we all were new to fishing once upon a time when we started out just like the ladies are having to do. It’s good to know that someone took the time to not only take a boy fishing, but also had the time to take a girl fishing so that she may also grow up to enjoy our great sport. So when I ask you to please take a child fishing when you can, I don’t mean just the boys. Please give the little ladies of the world a chance to grow into our sport too. There have been many times when I had a lady partner in my boat and was proud of it. Not only where they focused on fishing, they were a pleasure to fish with too!
I now see a lot of clubs going to the ‘team’ format which is a great idea to me. This way a husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, dad/son, dad/daughter, mom/daughter, mom/son or two buddies, either male or female can pair up and fish as a team. Do you remember the Mom/Son team from California who made the headlines with all their wins? If you were thinking of Aaron Marten, from the Pro Rates of B.A.S.S., then you are very correct. Aaron and his mom fished as a team for many years while Aaron was growing up. They were also a tough team to beat as they walked away from many team tournaments with all the money. One more thing about the team format is that once you get into the click with your partner, you will both know the strengths and weakness of each other which will help you work out these issues way in advance of the tournaments.
I also like the team format because it gives me time to fish with my wife in a tournament setting. This way I can spent time with her while keeping pace of tournament fishing at the same time. This also allows me time to pre-fish for upcoming tournaments out of town by making it a weekend trip for the two of us. I like having the company while pre-fishing, plus it really helps while loading and unloading the boat. Another thing is the food; we sure eat well when the wife is fishing with me. She always packs enough goodies to keep both of us happy. Unlike when I fish by myself, I may have a left over biscuit from McDonald’s and a mashed cookie from the local tackle shop/gas station for lunch. One main draw back from this type of team fishing is that I always end up booting the entire cost of the trip. Plus I always end up buying 3 of everything too, one for me, one for her and always a spare just in case we find something that the bass like and we lose one. So now you can see the whole picture of the husband/wife or boy friend/girl friend team format. Husband pays for all the goodies while wife enjoys weekend fishing trip. Maybe those guys did know something about it being ‘risky business’. Maybe it wasn’t the ‘good ole boys’ weekend from the girls partying that they were scare of after all. It could of have been all the money spent on tackle that they didn’t want their wives/girlfriends to find out about! Back then, a few extra dollars mean a trip to the picture show downtown or maybe a Friday/Saturday night date out on the town. Now days you can just about buy 2 or 3 cases of beer/mountain dews for the cost of a good crankbait and a good spinnerbait will cost you a 12 pack. With the cost of tackle these days, you almost have to hide those bags of baits in the boat before your next trip. Just be sure to do away with the sales slip in the bags before telling her to get her own baits, because this could cause a big problem too, trust me on this one!
Last weekend was a good example of this as I took my 5 year old nephew Brian with me to do some shopping at the ‘Adult Super Store’ in Broussard, La. Yeah, I can already read your mind while you are sitting there thinking out loud, ‘Adult Super Store’? This super store is full of every type of fishing supplies you can think of including live baits. Brian’s first impression was Uncle Ricky, this is a gas station until he walked into the building and saw all the fishing baits and goodies. At the check out counter the little lady said sir that will be $48.17. As I looked down at the few types of bait I had picked up including a scum frog for Brian, I couldn’t believe what she had said. Oh yeah, better hide this sales slip too and blame it all on Brian! It was a good thing we ate before going there because that 50 dollar bill didn’t last long in there.
As we see more women in our job careers and in sports today, maybe the “no girls allowed” syndrome will fade away. If you look in any Sunday Morning Newspaper you will see women in all types of sports from Car racing to Basketball to Bass Fishing. It’s truly not a guy’s world anymore, even if we can drive down the street and see the tree houses with the big signs saying no girls allowed on them. One thing for sure, those little girls are going to grow up one day to become pretty little ladies looking for guys to fish with. If this constitutes a ‘risk factor’ or ‘risky business’, you can bet that I will take that chance. I hope you will also and give the ladies of bass fishing a chance to prove that they deserve a spot right beside us in our great sport. The ladies have worked hard for many years getting their tours together. From the Bass’n’Gals in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s to the WBT Tour, there have been many key women who helped along the way. Maybe the WBT will be the charm for them as they trailer across the great USA in search of the mighty Bass. I can tell you this much, if there is every a chance for me to have one of these fine ladies fishing with me, she can not only have the back of the boat like some would how it, she can also have the control of the front seat of mine also. I might just learn something new too, “You just never know”! Maybe if each one of us started thinking about it some, that old saying “no girls allowed” might just go away!
Until next time, fish hard, have fun and enjoy this great outdoors we have! As always, please try and take a child fishing, One day they will grow up and maybe take you too! Please remember to Pray for our Troops; it is because of them that we have this great “FREEDOM” of ours! May God Bless You and keep you safe!