Ultimate Bass

Glasgow Sees Bassmaster Classic Berth as a Bright Promise for Women

Glasgow Sees Bassmaster Classic Berth as a Bright Promise for WomenAs a veteran of many circuits, including several women’s tours, Sheri Glasgow understands how wide the door swung open for women pros Oct. 10, the day BASS added a berth in the 2009 Bassmaster Classic for the 2008 Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year.

As a veteran of many circuits, including several women’s tours, Sheri Glasgow understands how wide the door swung open for women pros Oct. 10, the day BASS added a berth in the 2009 Bassmaster Classic for the 2008 Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year.

She’s the 2007 WBT Angler of the Year, so Glasgow, 40, would have to win the title again next year to secure the Classic spot. But she was as enthused about the news as she would be if she were headed to South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell to compete in the upcoming Classic.

When contacted the day the news broke, Glasgow was working her “day job” in Muskogee, Okla., as a designer for a custom cabinet business.

“What a huge deal this is! I don’t know all the details, but I’ve already had several people call me about it,” she said. “I can’t imagine anything bigger than this for the WBT.

“A Classic berth gives us a platform we’ve never had before to let people see we’re serious about the sport — not only that the sport can be enjoyed and appreciated by women — but that we can compete in the sport.

“The Bassmaster Classic has always been the Super Bowl of fishing. I remember the day I first went to a Classic weigh-in, back in 1995 in North Carolina (Greensboro/High Rock Lake). I absolutely was overwhelmed to be there watching it. I remember thinking, I cannot believe all these people are here to watch a weigh-in. It gave me goose bumps. I couldn’t help but stare at the guys and wonder what it was like for them. You can’t reach a higher pinnacle than the Classic.”

The public interest and media coverage that the first female Classic qualifier will receive is an unparalleled opportunity for sponsors, Glasgow pointed out.

“There are going to be a lot of eyeballs focused on that woman,” she said.

Ever the competitor, Glasgow already is highly motivated to earn the right to be the first woman to compete in the most prestigious championship of bass fishing.

“Tell all the WBT anglers they’d better be ready to fight to get in there, because I will be fighting hard to be the one.”

Her first shot at building points toward capturing a second AOY title will be April 10-12 on Texas’ Lewisville Lake, the kickoff of the five-event 2008 season of the Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors.

HOME LAKE. Only Todd Auten and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Ashley can claim a home-lake advantage for the Feb. 22-24 Bassmaster Classic on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.

Auten, who lives in Lake Wylie, S.C., qualified Oct. 20 for the Classic through the Bassmaster Southern Open circuit.

“I love Lake Hartwell, it’s a great fishery,” Auten said. “I live about two hours away, and I’ve fished it a lot. I’ve done well there in the past — but that doesn’t mean I’m going to do well at the Classic.”

Ashley’s hometown of Donalds, S.C., is even closer to Lake Hartwell than is Lake Wylie. He secured his Classic berth by landing 32nd place in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race.

With seven Classic berths yet to be determined, Auten and Ashley could be joined in the Classic field by other South Carolinians.

Six of the remaining Classic spots will be filled Nov. 10 at the conclusion of the BASS Federation Nation Championship on Lake Tohopekaliga in Florida. The winner of the final Classic berth, the Bassmaster Weekend Series champion, will be known Nov. 17.

WRAP RAP. Bassmaster Elite Series pros aren’t the only ones who have wrapped boats. More and more contenders in the Bassmaster Open and Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors circuits are running wraps.

Now even participants in amateur-level events, smaller inshore saltwater tournaments, and so-called “occasional anglers” want to be like the pros, according to Damon Coppola, vice president of Wrap This Ink in Orlando, Fla., the company that last year did the work on 25 Elite Series pros’ boats as well as the 53-foot ESPN Outdoors “Watch on Saturday” trailer.

“Having your boat wrapped is an ego thing for non-pros,” Coppola said. “We’re even wrapping the boats of weekend fishermen.”

While boat owners want to be in style and make an on-the-water or over-the-highway statement, for fishing pros, wraps are moving billboards for sponsors.

“This is a big sponsorship trend,” Coppola said, “Companies are finding high value in the exposure they get from a wrap.”

ALL EYES ON THE NATION. The site of several major BASS events, including the 2006 Bassmaster Classic and a 2007 Bassmaster Elite Series event, Florida’s Lake Tohopekaliga is the setting next week of the final big show of the year, the BASS Federation Nation Championship.

The Nov. 8-10 championship will result in six of the 55 contenders earning invitations to the 2008 Bassmaster Classic.

With a structure unlike any other tournament, the championship does not pit each entrant against all the others for the Classic awards. To get a coveted Classic ticket, an angler must come out on top within his division.

There are six regional divisions, thus six Classic berths to be earned.

The championship’s overall winner — the angler who catches the most weight in the three competition days — gets one of the six berths because he will also have bested everyone in his division. He’ll take home two additional big prizes: a $49,000 Triton/Mercury rig and eligibility to enter bass fishing’s highest competitive level, the 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series.

THE MARK OF A PRO. “I just don’t let it bother me too much. You let it get to you, it’ll eat you up. I just take my time, get things together and get back on the water.” — Bassmaster Open pro Terry Segraves, whose boat broke down on Day 1 of the Wheeler Lake event; he worked all night to find and swap to a borrowed boat for Day 2, then fished his way into the cut. He finished sixth.



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