More Women Trying Recreational Fishing

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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Susan Oliver, shown with a trophy-sized bass, is known as the "fisherwoman" in Tonto Basin. In a recent fishing contest sponsored by The Tackle Box, she took top honors with a 2.3-pound crappie.

When I talk fishing, whether it's trout, crappies or bass, my conversation is usually with a group of guys at weigh-ins for a bass tournament or working at The Tackle Box in Tonto Basin. The main topics that are the focal points of our discussion are numbers of fish, size of fish and what kinds of bait were used to catch fish.

Well, guys, let me tell you, the traditional male domain of fishing is attracting more and more successful lady anglers. I remember when the only woman bass fisherman in the area was Jane Haynes, and she could fish with the best of them.

An ever-increasing number of women are taking up recreational fishing, and some are trying their skills in local and statewide bass tournaments. The Arizona All-Star Bass circuit added a couples series about four years ago and it is attracting more male-female teams than ever before.

I have talked to a number of women who fish this circuit, and many responded that it provided an opportunity to tournament fish with their husbands who are probably fishing on the weekend anyway. At the national level, BASS sponsors a series of tournaments for women only.

Whatever the case, more lady anglers are on the water improving their fishing skills.

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Michele DeRouin is a frequent visitor to Roosevelt Lake, where she fishes with her husband, Derron.

The local free crappie contest had many lady anglers sign up. This being the final week of the two-month-long contest, sponsored by The Tackle Box, it had an interesting finish. There were more than 100 entries because the fall fishing was so good on Roosevelt Lake. It seemed that the crappies had lockjaw during the spring and summer, so The Tackle Box added a special fall contest.

The month of December had two gals take top honors. Rose Shields claimed second place, with a 1.9-pound fish; and Susan Oliver was the champion, with a 2.3-pound platter-sized crappie. Not only did Susan win for December, she took top honors for the entire fall.

These two ladies really enjoy fishing and accompanying their husbands on almost every fishing trip to the lake. I do notice when they come into The Tackle Box they spend time browsing the new baits and also seem to have their favorites.

Recreational fishing has certainly attracted a new crowd. So, guys, I encourage you to invite your wives fishing, and they may start to understand why there is always a need to buy that new bait or that better rod and reel. How about taking a trip to Roosevelt Lake and enjoy God's creation?

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