Another Fishing First for a Woman

Category: notes

 Jan 29th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jan 29th, 2009 at 12:00 AM

When Kathy Crowder of Sherwood, Ark., won the co-angler competition last Saturday at the Bassmaster Central Open on Lake Texoma out of Denison, Texas, she didn’t realize until later that she had also scored a first for her gender.

“I had no idea,” said Crowder, who became the first woman to win a co-angler competition in a Bassmaster Open tournament. “I was out to win a $3 bet with the two co-anglers I travel with. It was a just-for-fun, bragging-rights bet on who would do the best.”

Crowder’s Open win came just one week after Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., became the first woman to qualify for a Bassmaster Classic. Bain-Moore earned her berth by winning the Toyota Tundra Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year title at the WBT Championship on Oct. 25 in Crowder’s home state of Arkansas on Lake Hamilton.

Crowder’s milestone in Texas wasn’t her first “first.” She said she was a member of the 2007 BASS Federation Nation Arkansas state team, and as such was the first woman from Arkansas to make it that far on the Federation Nation’s long road to qualify for a Classic.

At Texoma, where she’d never before competed, she came from eighth place on Day 2 to land the win with a 20-pound, 10-ounce three-day total. She bested a field of 29 other co-anglers who had made the final-day cut from the 144 who started the tournament. She won a $32,000 Triton/Mercury boat rig and two $300 bonuses for having the Day 1 and Day 2 co-angler Purolator Big Bass, a 3-15 and a 4-2.

“Luck definitely met opportunity for me every step of the way at Texoma,” Crowder said.

She kept a fishing diary of the event, in which she noted: “Who you draw when you’re the co-angler has as much to do with your success as the skills you bring with you to the ramp.”

Her “draws” were pros Aaron Johnson of Bossier City, La., on Day 1; Logan Sherrer of Shongaloo, La., on Day 2; and John “Nick” Aber of Piedmont, Okla., on Day 3. Johnson finished 139th and Sherrer 105th, so Crowder has reason to credit her ability as much as her luck.

Taught by her father, Crowder has been fishing since she was 3 years old. Her competitive fishing career took off after she met and married Cliff Crowder, who also competed in the 2008 Central Open circuit, but on the pro side. They’ve been entering local and regional events together since 1996.

She’s a 27-year veteran of Entergy Corp., where she’s a senior analyst. Her years of service with one company means she has accrued enough annual vacation time to follow her dream: to compete in 2009 on the pro side in the Bassmaster Central Open circuit, and shoot for a Classic qualification.

In her diary, she wrote: “I want to earn a spot to the Bassmaster Classic. … I know it’s going to be hard out there, competing on the other side.”

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