By Steve Graf
Today’s article may get me trouble but here it goes. Why are women not more prevalent in the bass fishing tours and why hasn’t their own pro tour taken off. Can women really compete on the pro tour with the men? Boy, these are some interesting questions that I’ll try an answer for you today and hopefully I won’t get myself in a pickle with all my lady friends.
Let’s make one thing clear, without women there probably would not be professional bass fishing tours! Now why is that? Because without the ladies back home holding down the fort, the men would not be able to go fishing! To be a professional bass fisherman, someone has to take care of kids and all their needs from doing homework to dance lessons to baseball practice to piano lessons and so on. Getting the kids up every day and ready for school and making sure they are fed, bathed and ready for bed at a descent hour. Taking care of all the bills rolling in and handling everything by themselves from a leaky faucet to changing a flat tire. This routine takes place every single day by the women who take on the role of being the home CEO. Yes, it’s a tough job and if you talk to any professional angler, they will tell without the women back at home doing all these things and raising the kids, they would not be able to be successful and fish the pro tour. It takes a special lady to be the wife of a professional bass fisherman.
Why aren’t more women fishing the pro tours with the men? As I have just revealed, 98% of the wives/women take care of everything going on in the household. This means that the ladies have less opportunity to get away and go fishing. To fish the professional level, requires a lot of time away from home with speaking engagements, travel, practice days and the 3- or 4-day tournament itself. When it’s all said and done, an angler will be gone from home 10 to 14 days straight at a time; sometimes even up to a month if the schedule calls for back-to-back events. Honestly, most men are not programed to handle the daily household chores and commitments with the kids required to keep a house running smoothly. Yes, this is sad but true! Us men know our limitations!
Now let’s look at women competing against the men. This is where I might get into some hot live well water. First, yes women can catch fish just like the men do but there seems to be a disconnect with catching bigger fish which I feel comes into play because of technique. Most men tend to power fish more than the ladies do. By that I mean men like flip and punch heavy cover like hydrilla, lily pads, deep brush tops and flip bushes with jigs and soft plastic lures; they like to throw big crankbaits all day which can take a physical toll on even the most fit angler. Most of the women I have fished with, tend to be more finesse type fishermen with lighter/smaller lures. A lot of women I’ve noticed really like to use a Carolina rig which is also more of a finesse technique.
Nothing wrong with anything the women are using; it’s just that finesse style fishing tends to produce smaller bags weighed in on tournament day. Trust me, I know there are times when finesse techniques work better for the men as well. But this is not the norm with guys most of the time. Now I know I’ll hear from some lady bass anglers how wrong I am but all I have to go by is what I have observed in my 31 years of tournament experience fishing with the ladies or guiding some of the pro tour ladies for an upcoming event. It’s just like any other sport; women are going to do things a little differently most of the time than men do basically because of our physical makeup. Another thing that gives the men an advantage is the fact that men will more than likely make more casts in a day than the ladies therefore giving them more opportunities to catch more fish again due to the power fishing techniques men tend to use.
Understand, that these are general rules of thumb and there are exceptions to these so-called rules I’ve established. Next week we’ll take a serious look at some of the best women bass anglers of all time. I just want to make sure you understand that I’m not trying to slight the ladies at all, but I want people to understand the reasons why there aren’t more ladies fishing either the women’s pro tour like the LBAA (Lady Bass Anglers Association) or fishing on the men’s tours. Again, without the ladies, it would be very difficult for the men to go fishing and make a living on the pro tour. Till next week, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!
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