An unprecedented closure of Kentucky Lake forced the cancellation of the Women’s Invitational Tournament scheduled for May 6-7th. Although disappointed, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the women who traveled from 17 states. They converged on Moor’s Resort and Marina in Gilbertsville, Kentucky for two reasons. In addition to fishing competitively, they were there to review plans and make recommendations for a new women’s circuit, run by women. They accomplished their goal and set the foundation for the new Lady Bass Anglers Association.
Professional anglers Secret York and Cheryl Bowden organized this momentous event. “We’re impressed with the enthusiasm and willingness of everyone who played a part in the formation of the Lady Bass Anglers Association” said Bowden. “We’re establishing committees for a variety of activities. Even if someone wasn’t at the meeting, he/she can still volunteer to help.” Cheryl also announced the dates for the first Lady Bass Anglers Association event as September 16-18, 2010 which will kick off the 2011 events.
“We’re developing a Website so people can learn about us and stay up to date on our events,” said York. “Look for us at www.ladybassanglers.com.”
“This was an awesome experience,” said angler Dawn March of Arlington, Texas. “I am honored to be a part of the birth of this new organization. It lets me know that I have a chance to do something I’m really passionate about.”
Sponsors of the Women’s Invitational Tournament also participated in the meeting and provided valuable input. They were just as disappointed in the cancellation of the Women’s Bassmaster Tour earlier this year. CastAway President Gena Young said, “To quote the words of Joel Osteen – ‘A SETBACK is a SET-up for a come-BACK.’ The Ladies Bass Angler’s Association is making that comeback happen with their time, energy, finances, and just plain hard work. Their passion and dedication to the sport is obvious. CastAway is happy to be able to be a part of the future of women’s bass fishing.”
“During our meeting on Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard informed us we would not be able to hold our Thursday and Friday Women’s Invitational Event on Kentucky Lake,” said Bowden. “We were forced to cancel the official event.”
Women had arrived several days prior to the meeting to scout out the best places to fish during the scheduled two-day tournament. “Waters had already risen several feet and flooded brush and trees which made the fishing excellent,” said Angie Douthit of Okeechobee, Florida. “I was on good fish and even caught an eight pound largemouth. It would have been a great tournament.”
Bowden said, “Thanks to the assistance of State Representative Rex Smith the women were invited to a private lake so the women, many who had traveled a great distance, could have a friendly competitive day on the water.”
In the pro division for the one day event, Robbie Hartline of Foristell, Missouri, took first place with five fish weighing 13.85 pounds. Second place went to Patti Campbell of Waxahachie, Texas, and third to Secret York of Benton, Kentucky. In the co-anger division, Donna Newberry of Van Buren, Arkansas took first with five fish weighing 12.4 pounds. Second went to Jennifer Helgren of Park City, Illinois, and third went to Leslie Lively of Grapeland, Texas.
“All in all, everything turned out,” said York. “We want to thank our sponsors who made our event possible: SHE Outdoor Apparel, Moors Resort and Marina, Castaway Graphite Rods, Ray Barga and Associates, Inc., Sportsmen’s Edge Triton Boat dealership, West Kentucky LED, Todali Lures, Necessity Jigs, Nite Owl Media Productions, Triton Boats, Dave Stewart’s Big Bass Guide Service, Sure Life, North Texas Marine Triton dealership, Legend Boats, BassCat Boats , Phoenix Boats, and Skeeter Boats.