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What’s Behind LBAA and Why a Ladies Tour was Formed



What’s Behind LBAA and Why a Ladies Tour was Formed September 2019


A good place to start is to look at what the LBAA has posted on their web site:

WHO WE ARE We are a group of women who wish to band together to reach our shared dream of having a professional tournament trail that…Meets our need to bond with other like-minded women; Provides the opportunity for us to earn a reasonable return on our financial investments; Understands where our financial obligations lie; and Allows us to provide our sponsors with a positive return on their investment.

MISSION: To provide women with an opportunity to fish professionally, to grow the sport of bass fishing and to build a program that will allow future generations of young ladies with more opportunities to compete in the sport of bass fishing.


Secret York, one of the co-founders of LBAA made some very valid, important points. First a few facts about Secret. She has been participating in a women’s trail since 1994. For 2019, Secret received the “Angler of the Year Award” for LBAA. First point Secret makes is, “It’s not about the “high dollars” lady anglers have been receiving. Anyone that competes in bass tournaments understands that in most cases, more money is spent than an angler has a chance to recoup in tournament wins.” So you might be asking why a ladies tour? Or why anyone competes in a tournament? Both are good questions and maybe these thoughts that Secret shared will help you understand how nice it is to have a ladies tour.


o “Promoting fishing and growing ladies participation in the sport.” Today, statistics show that ladies are a growing population of anglers and a significant group to market to.


o How does LBAA help ladies get into the sport of angling? Some ladies are comfortable fishing co-ed tournaments. Some feel more comfortable starting with a lady’s tour. Martha Goodfellow shared,“For tournaments. Some feel more comfortable starting with a lady’s tour. Martha Goodfellow shared, “For me, I always fished with my family or my husband. Starting to fish with a ladies tour, gave me the confidence that I could fish any tournament, ladies or co-ed. In fact, because of my women’s tour events, I went from a co-angler to a boater, and have fished both LBAA and co-ed tournaments as a boater.”


o Speaking of co-anglers, Secret mentioned, “Our goal is to get the co-anglers in the back of our boats and bring them up till they move to the boater (pro) side. We have been very successful with that so far.


o “Beyond the competition we want to grow our sport and pass it on and keep it alive and well,” per Secret. Female anglers can start as young as 16 as co-anglers. Please see the rules for more information.


Typically, “gender specific challenges” most often effect women. Secret stated, “Women are most generally, wives, keepers of the household, mothers to your children, grandmothers, and later in life usually the ones that take care of elderly parents… Ladies leave home and worry to death about whom is getting the kids off to school, getting their homework, which one is sick, getting them to soccer, going by to check on Mom, getting to Doctor appointments, taking care of the dog, ext.


The fun and fellowships with other ladies from over the country is priceless. We have made best of friends with their entire families,” said Secret. To begin, a lady needs to learn of LBAA and then start asking questions. Ladies that take the step to fishing with LBAA are amazed at how friendly and encouraging this group of anglers is. Many have expressed how thankful that they are that they learned about LBAA and have started fishing the tour.


Of course, as with anything that takes a commitment of time, ladies have to manage their time. With 3 regular season tournaments and 1 championship (for those that qualify), it will use a lot of vacation time and family support is critical. What some anglers choose is to start with what they can do and just get started.


Pro Angler, Penny McCurdy shared her thoughts, “I fish the LBAA because it is a women’s tour. I don’t have to worry about bathroom or others issues. I also fish other tournaments against men, but I fish with my son, brother, etc. I enjoy fishing with likeminded women of the LBAA and have made lifetime friendships.”


Lady angler, Barbara Harris, and what she had to say, “…a lady’s tour allows for the camaraderie and competition as well as the ability for co-anglers to come in when they may have potentially been too intimidated with co-Ed. It allows for increasing women in fishing, hopefully at the competitive level. But most women would not choose anything over their family EVER… This issue is so much bigger than the sport being “equal.” Yes it is man versus fish and woman versus fish. However there are different societal needs and expectations between men and women. Most people in the family would be supportive of a husband going all over God’s creation chasing a fishing dream while leaving the wife and kids at home…”


Pro Angler Melinda Mize had this to say, “I definitely love this conversation. I do not believe there is a single reason that women can’t compete against men... I have to admit that before I fished a couple of the LBAA events I really didn’t give them enough credit or respect. They are a like-minded group that enjoy fishing together. Why is it needed? Some are simply learning and feel more comfortable around other women. Some have been treated badly by men partners before. Some don’t have the confidence to fish against men. And believe it or not- some men don’t want their spouses competing against or with men. I never understood people not wanting their spouses to fish with people of the opposite sex. Not sure what they think goes on during tournament day but it’s a real deal. I’ve had several wives that were NOT happy I drew their husbands. I believe we, as women, should compete against men and push ourselves out of our comfort zones. Some simply just don’t want to. I don’t see any reason they have to, so it’s amazing there is an avenue that allows some women to get comfortable and get started fishing. I see no issues with it and I applaud them for their passion.”


Noella McLaurin commented, “There is something unique about competing with the ladies from the LBAA that goes beyond fishing. It’s a bond that you really can’t explain. I guess because it’s a woman thing.”

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