Fishing with her grandparents and father as a child at age 3 fishing for crappie and catfish from the bank was where it all started. Fishing a lot by herself or with her younger sister in grade school; they would pull a wagon with tackle and worms they had dug for themselves, down a road and fish from a creek bridge, about a mile from where they lived at the time. From junior high through college years, fishing was not feasible because the family moved into town where Judith got heavily involved in team sports and working full time while in school/college. That all changed in her mid twenties when Aaron was little. For quite a few years, when her son was young she would take he and his friends fishing and camping.In 2002, Judith started bass tournament fishing with the New Mexico B.A.S.S. Federation, and the first official practice for the first Federation tournament she fished was the first time she had ever fished out of a boat. In 2005, she became involved with observing and fishing as a co-angler for the B.A.S.S Elite Tour, and also have participated in the Central Opens, WBT, BASS Weekend Series events, and have been an official weigh judge in the boats for all four of the PAA Toyota TX Bass Classics.
When asked when and where she got started fishing women’s tournaments Judith replied “I joined Dallas Bass N Gals in 2005 and have been a member of that club and have since fished with them when I can. I also was one of the charter members of the North Texas Lady Anglers based out of Dallas when they were founded. I also participated when I was available to, in several of the Womens Bassmaster Tour events when those events were being held in Texas or Arkansas.”
The most meaningful events have been the charity events like C.A.S.T. for kids, Take a Soldier Fishing, and Wounded Warrior events. The most special events have meaning that go beyond fishing itself. When you fish with a child that has been extremely disadvantaged or with a veteran who has sacrificed a lot to protect our lifestyle and given us the opportunity and freedom to enjoy the outdoors, there are no words to give it a true measure.
I could fill an entire book with memorable moments from practicing with, competing in the boat, and observing with accomplished elite anglers. From a competition standpoint, I also have some great memories of co-anglers when they were fishing with me for their first tournament and landing their first fish ever to take to weigh in, and how excited and thrilled they were, and how contagious that excitement is; even if I’m getting skunked at the time they land their first fish.
From a personal perspective, I had a day a couple years ago on Lake Fork when my best 5 fish of the afternoon totaled 43lbs and that included two 11lbrs that were Lake Fork overs; what made it even more memorable was that there had been an 800 boat tournament on the lake all weekend, it was late in the afternoon, and I had been feeling ill that day and almost did not put my boat on the water, but decided to go out anyways because it was a nice sunny day.
Judith’s favorite lakes are Amistad, Falcon, Lake Fork, Lake Lewisville (All in TX) and Grand Lake in OK. She loves fishing any of these lakes with senko style baits, Texas rig tubes and power drop-shotting!
The Lady Bass Anglers Association provides a unique opportunity for businesses to promote their products and services. I have fished with both predominantly male and women’s organizations and can tell potential LBAA sponsors that a woman’s natural verbal communication skills and the attention all female anglers regardless of their age receive on and off the water (like at stores, parking lots, motels, gas stations, trade shows, media, etc) provide us with unique opportunities to discuss fishing techniques and promote all kinds of products and services. Many novice male anglers or boaters new to the sport appear to find female anglers less intimidating to approach and ask us questions about the boats, vehicles, and equipment we are using, or how we fish specific baits they see tied on our rods. The LBAA provides lady anglers with a unique setting to compete either as a professional or as a co-angler in an upper level tournament, all female events.
There are many women who have not reached a comfort level with competing alongside, in the boat with a competitor (who they likely would have just met the night before at a pairings meeting) of the opposite sex; or they have chosen to compete in all ladies events out of respect for their male significant other’s moral values and comfort level. The LBAA has the potential to really flourish with developing and promoting strong lady anglers and with promoting sponsors and advertisers. I know I will try to participate in events whenever possible in order to support an all ladies bass fishing tour so there can remain an outlet for the women, who for whatever reason; are not able to fish in the predominately all male tours. I have been told by many male anglers who by happenstance attended a ladies tour weigh-in, that they found the ladies weigh ins more interesting and entertaining that the usually male dominated tournaments, even if fishing was tough and there were not spectacular bags or big fish weighed in. These folks who made comments stated it was funny and interesting the way lady anglers on stage tell stories of their day, and the increased variety of ages, appearances, and personalities of the anglers that made the ladies weigh ins so interesting.
“I don’t currently have any official sponsors; but I would like to recognize the following businesses that have helped me along the way: The wonderful tournament service crews from Triton, Mercury, Nitro, Skeeter, Motorguide, & Legend, (Big shout out to Andy, Happy, Scott, & all of their compadres!) , North Texas Fiberglass in Denton, TX, Sartin Marine at Lake Fork, H&W Marine in Tyler, TX, Logan County Marine in Russellville, AK, Southwestern Parts and Service in Dallas, Lockhart Lures, Loomis Lodge/RV Park & Boat Storage at Lake Fork, Minnow Bucket Marina at Lake Fork, Pro Locker, Stanley Jigs, Sure Life Labs, and the former Setyr Rods.”