Fishing Slow on Final Stop of Season for Women’s Bassmaster Tour

What’s at stake: $88,940 in cash and merchandise to the top 25 pros in the Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats; valuable points toward qualifying for the Women’s Bassmaster Tour Championship; and the Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year title, announced this weekend. The top 25 co-anglers compete for $47,040 in cash and merchandise.

The Pros Said It
“Practice has been very hard, but I have found bass. All of the fish are keepers but they are few and far between. I think anyone who comes in with five fish a day will compete in the third and final day of the tournament. Right now everybody is struggling, and if they can put five keeper fish in the boat they’ll be in contention for the win.” – Laura Heflin, 40, Topeka, Kan.

“Practice has been pretty tough, but it’s been good, too. The high air pressure went down some today and the wind also changed, which made the fishing a little bit better. They’re pretty deep in the grass. It’s muddy but I found some clearer areas where I’ve been able to find some fish. This will not be a run-and-gun tournament. You’ll have to sit and soak your baits.” – Lori Masters, 47, Nashville, Tenn.

“It’s been really tough. Some areas that I’ve checked out do not seem to have activity and the bite has been very slow. The conditions have changed since the pre-fish period. The water level has also dropped and the river is not as swift; I think that is contributing to the bass not biting. Right now I want to stay in position to qualify for the championship and I need to finish in the top 20 to get there.” – Judy Wong, 55, Many, La., sixth in the Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year points

The Strategy
Heflin: The Kansan has identified a few key areas that she will target during the tournament, looking for three main things – depth, rocks and grass. Her two primary patterns are finesse fishing and jigs. Her approach is different than what she had originally expected and she has had to slow down quite a bit and choose smaller lures to catch the bass.

Masters: The Nashville native is staying off the main river and fishing in back pockets, which she has narrowed down to five main areas. She will be flipping grassy areas to get her limit and estimates 10 to 12 pounds a day will be needed to finish at the top.

Wong: She has narrowed down her fishing to a few key areas, targeting depth and a certain type of cover. She says the bass appear to be concentrated, and she must fish slowly to get a bite. She feels that the weights will be lower than expected, but if an angler is able to bring in a limit each day, she will be doing pretty well.

Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour Presented by Triton Boats Red River Shreveport-Bossier City, La. September 20-22 Field Cut to top 25 after Day 2 Launch and Weigh-in 6:50 a.m./ 3 p.m. CT Red River South Marina

Background Previous BASS events 2007 Bassmaster Central Open 2006 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series 2005 Bassmaster Open 2005 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series 2005 ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series 2002 Bassmaster Central Pro 2001 Bassmaster Tour 2000 Bassmaster Louisiana Invitational

Previous winners on lake 42-6, Danny Smith, 2007 9-14, Mark Smith, 2006 36-2, Sean Hoernke, 2005 38-2, James Niggemeyer, 2005 15-10, Danny Gulledge, 2005 42-3, Homer Humphreys Jr., 2002 41-8, Davy Hite, 2001 50-3, Brent Chapman, 2000

Heaviest winning weight 50-3, Brent Chapman, 2000

Lowest winning weight 9-14, Mark Smith, 2006

Weather 92 degrees, mostly sunny

Lake level 145.5 ft. above mean sea level

2007 Mercury Marine Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Triton Boats

Feb. 8-10 Lake Amistad Del Rio, Texas (Juanita Robertson)

March 29-31 Lake Dardanelle Russellville, Ark. (Sheri Glasgow)

May 3-5 Lake Guntersville Guntersville, Ala. (Tammy Richardson)

June 14-16 Kentucky Lake Gilbertsville, Ky. (Lucy Mize)

Sept. 20-22 Red River Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

Women’s Bassmaster Tour sponsors: Include Mercury Marine, Triton Boats, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Advance Auto Parts and Plano.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com. Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN's latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.

BASS is the worldwide authority on bass fishing, sanctioning more than 20,000 events through the BASS Federation Nation annually. Guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans, BASS sets the standard for credibility, professionalism, sportsmanship and conservation, as it has for nearly 40 years.

BASS sanctions and stages bass fishing tournaments for every skill level and culminates with the Bassmaster Classic. Through its clubs, youth programs, aquatic resource advocacy, magazine publishing and multimedia platforms, BASS offers the industry's widest array of services and support to its nearly 530,000 members. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.