‘I Like this Record, but Now I Plan to Keep Moving Ahead’
Jun 13th, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 13th, 2012 at 12:00 AM
In the fishing world, records come from many different lakes and by many different anglers. A pair of ladies set a record with their top-10 finish in the recent Cabela’s National Team Championship on Minnesota’s famous Mille Lacs.
Theresa Meade and sister Janice DeWaal fish numerous tournaments in their home state of Illinois. Theresa also has considerable regional and national walleye experience. At the NTC, they placed eighth, and were the first all-female team to earn a check in the prestigious NTC.
Theresa said, “I like this record, but now I plan to keep moving ahead.” There were 253 teams competing and Theresa said she felt proud of the sister’s success, but equally happy she could compete at all. “I’ve been battling Lyme disease for six years, but it is finally under control and I can get back to doing what I love.”
What drives her is a passion for the outdoors. Theresa has been fishing competitive walleye tournaments for 11 years, including the Chain Walleye series, the World Walleye Assn., the NTC four times, the Professional Walleye Trail and AIM pro-am tournaments as a pro. She’s been a member of a Team of the Year, qualified for seven Championships, has five wins and numerous top-10 finishes.
Fishing begs confidence, and Theresa said it has grown within her slowly, but was really driven home at the NTC, which ran concurrently with the MWC. “I wasn’t sure about Mille Lac and all those top teams, so did NOT enter the MWC. That was a mistake I won’t make again. Our weight after two days would have won the MWC,” she said.
Doing Mille Lacs homework meant talking to friends made over the years and listening to the advice. That was followed with 10 to 12 hour pre-fishing days. She said, “It has taken many years to learn to remain calm and have fun instead of running and gunning, especially on the third day of a tournament. Janice and I sang every time we landed a walleye – it can’t get much calmer than that.”
Off the water, Theresa and her entire family fishes. The early days started on a farm when they had no money, but family fishing trips were regular activities. The family now helps her run the Chain of Lakes Youth and Family Days with more than 100 kids participating. “I believe it’s vital to get a kid outside; that’s my goal,” she said. “I spend every opportunity encouraging children and families to discover fishing.” She also has been active with NPAA youth fishing events.
Her sponsors include Lund, Mercury, Optima Batteries, World Walleye Assn., Fox Lake Harbor, Wrangler Rugged Wear, StowMaster Nets, OffShore Tackle, Kunes Country Ford, Do-It Molds, Bad Bass Boat Wraps, Tournament Wear and PackerLand websites. She can be reached for seminars, appearances, youth events, marketing, hosting, fishing and sponsorship activities by calling 847-571-7334, [email protected] or by visiting her website at www.theresameade.com . She and her husband Bill live in Ingleside, Illinois.