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A Completed Year and My First Classic

A Completed Year and My First Classic ~ October 2019 -By Rhonda Ashby

My name is Rhonda Ashby. I am from a little town called Mooringsport, Louisiana. I am blessed to live by Caddo Lake. As a kid I grew up with my grandfather and dad fishing on Toledo Bend out of Wrights Landing. As kids, we fished for white perch and bream. Back then, only the rich bass fished… LOL... When I was a teenager, my dad was a commercial fisherman. At the time, it wasn’t anything I was interested in. As my life went on, there were marriages and kids. I found myself going thru a divorce and a very low point in my life. I have a childhood friend everyone knows, Chris Forsythe, who encouraged me to go fishing with him a few times, that's all it took. With Chris’s encouragement and along with others, I took over my dad’s crappie boat and started on my journey. After a year, Chris said why don’t you join the LBAA and fish? I, as well as others, said no way, I am not as good as those woman and never will be. Well, with more encouragement, I did it. My first tournament was going to be on my home lake, March 2018. I was ready. I had worked hard and was very excited, as well as both of my daughters. Well most know how that turned out. I didn’t make it. I had a wreck on my way to the first day’s launch - long story short. God had a plan. I worked hard at my recovery, determined to not give up. Giving up is not a choice for me. I only got to fish Kentucky Lake last year. I had a blast. As I watched all the ladies head to Bull Shoals, Arkansas last year I set out to achieve my goal, to fish with LBAA. I knew I had a complete year to recover; more surgeries to face and therapy. I was determined to fish and finish out 2019. Well this year, God blessed my every step along the tournament trail. I was beyond excited and blessed to qualify for the 2019 Classic. Let me just say, if you think preparing for a tournament is something, the classics is a grin. Four days of straight practice and three days of hard fishing in the tournament. Remember those fish don’t care if you live by their water or 8 states away ...they are in control ...The Classic is an emotional, hard grind, sleepless nights, and takes determination. It’s also a closer to an amazing year and a closer to a chapter of determination and dedication that we as Women are blessed to be able to do. Congratulations to both ladies who won on both sides as well as congratulations to all who worked so hard to make it to the Classic, that in itself is a win. Enjoy your time off and let's hit it hard in 2020... LBAA ten years in the making. Thank you, Rhonda Ashby

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