Texas Mother and Daughter Qualify for WBT Championship on Arkansas’ Lake Hamilton
Oct 15th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 15th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
Mother and daughter BASS anglers, Debra and Kim Petrowski of Arlington, Texas, both qualified to compete in the Oct. 23-25 Women’s Bassmaster Tour Championship presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors, the season-ending event on Lake Hamilton out of Hot Springs, Ark.
They won’t be fishing against each other: Debra qualified in the pro division, 23-year-old Kim in the co-angler division. They earned their championship berths by staying in the top 20 in their respective divisions’ points races after traveling the country together to compete in the 2008 circuit’s four regular-season events.
“I’m really excited,” said Debra. “I was confident I’d qualify, but I was anxious for Kim to make it too. Her qualifying makes the championship even more special for me.”
Debra will compete for the WBT Championship title and first-place pro prize, a $55,000 Triton/Mercury boat package and $5,000. Kim’s eyeing the top co-angler prize, a $37,500 Skeeter/Yamaha rig and $3,250.
“After the championship, we’re hoping to be a three-boat family,” said Kim, explaining that she now shares a boat with her mother and father, Mark. “I set a goal to make it to the championship this year, and knowing it would be a first for us both was a big incentive. Still, making it really shocked me.”
Besides a season champion, the Lake Hamilton event will produce the first woman to qualify for a Bassmaster Classic. As the winner of the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year points race, the pro will earn a berth in the 2009 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. The AOY will also win a Toyota Tundra.
Currently in 15th place, Debra knows the Classic spot will likely go to a pro higher in the points standings than she is. For her, the mother-daughter entry in their first championship event is milestone enough.
“This is the first year she was able to fish all season because of her work,” said Debra of her daughter. “The women on the trail need to watch out for her. She’s an upcoming pro.”
Debra and Kim have scouted Lake Hamilton.
“I feel like I can do well there,” Debra said. “It’s got a lot that I like – boat docks, rock, wood, deep water, shallow water.”
Both mother and daughter give a lot of the credit for their success to Mark Petrowski, Debra’s husband, who also competes in BASS events, including as a co-angler in the Bassmaster Opens alongside Debra.
“Mark is our ‘caddy.’ He makes sure we go to sleep, he makes sure we wake up, he feeds us – he takes care of everything,” Debra said.