Contributed by Stevie Nicole Jones, aka Mama Bass
As my girlfriends embark on their upcoming weekend adventures they start asking, “How should I do my hair?” “What shoes should I wear?” And I’m over here thinking about how I’m going to pee with 80 plus men around me because I’m sure the heck not leaving my spot!
Now don’t get me wrong. I love shoes and hair and all the fun things they love. But I’m putting together outfits for my weekends that protect my skin from the sun, are breathable, and comfortable enough to sit in for 12 hours at a time. And yes, that I can easily maneuver in while peeing in my kayak while surrounded by men!
You see, I have embarked on a different type of weekend adventure. I have found the addiction of Kayak Fishing.
I started this new journey a little over a year ago and have blown full speed ahead. Fishing is nothing new to me. I spent the majority of my childhood at our lake house fishing with my uncle and grandfather. I was always daddy’s girl with his fishing buddies. But this new idea of fishing from a kayak took me by storm.
Being a competitive soul, I immediately jumped into the tournament world. I have spent my weekends either pre fishing or competing. I knew as a female I would have to work extremely hard to earn respect and to be taken seriously. I didn’t want to be known as “the wife fishing with her husband.” I wanted to be one of the guys! But these guys were bad to the bone. And I was the girl intruding on their man time.
Last year between planning a wedding and raising two crazy boys, I managed to squeeze in a few tournaments. I caught fish in one of the three tournaments I entered. This year I went all in. I upgraded my kayak, got the latest and greatest electronics, researched baits, and have spent more time on the water. And it’s paying off!
I have caught fish in all four of the tournaments I’ve entered this year! When I walk up at 5 am the morning of a tournament, guys don’t say, “Oh there’s a girl.” I walk up and they say, “Hey Stevie!” My new found confidence and my endless drive to do everything they can do landed me in a record win. I competed against 140 anglers in a freshwater tournament on March 14, 2015. I landed a solid limit within hours. But my day ended early. While trying to execute a successful bladder release surrounded by guys, I peed on my camera! Within only three hours of fishing, I became the first woman winner of a KATS event that also happened to be a record breaking number of anglers in a freshwater kayak series tournament!
I have since been dubbed “The Girl in Pink.” I’ve also purchased a waterproof camera. While I’m not quiet one of the guys, I am slowly earning my respectable place within them.
Editor’s Note: Later in March of 2015 a new record of 158 participants in a freshwater kayak tournament was set in Tennessee at the Kayak Bass Fishing Open.