Bain’s lead stretched to 24 points, even with a sixth-place finish in the June 19-21 event of the Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors on Tennessee’s Old Hickory Lake.
On the line is a berth in the 2009 Classic, Feb. 20-22 on Louisiana’s Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City. The Classic entry for the WBT Angler of the Year will be historic because it will be the first for a woman pro. The AOY also will win a Toyota Tundra.
Even with all that’s at stake, Bain is laid-back about the points race.
“I’m really not thinking about it that much,” said Bain, an Australian native who joined the women’s tour this season after competing for several years on other U.S. circuits. “I’m just going out and fishing. I’m enjoying hanging out with the women on the tour, and I’m not worried about points. Of course the Classic would be fun and I think I’d enjoy it. To be the first woman would be something to tell my kids in the future, and I’d always be very, very proud of it and remember the experience forever.
“Besides, my truck is old, and getting a new Toyota would be awesome.”
Juanita Robinson of Highlands, Texas, moved up from fourth place and trails Bain by 24 points. Reigning Toyota AOY Sheri Glasgow of Muskogee, Okla., built her total to 801 to move into third, an improvement from seventh.
“The most important thing to me was to move up in the points standings and get closer to first place,” Robinson said. “Second in importance was winning the tournament.”
Glasgow’s now sitting better in the points standings than she has all season. She figures that this season’s drop of the lowest tournament finish from the points mix will work to her advantage.
“The pros ahead of me in points have done better at all three WBT tournaments than I have, so dropping one will help me the most,” she said. “I need to finish as high as I can at the next two and hope the leaders stub their toes a bit. I don’t count myself out at all.”
Bain also must hold off Patti Campbell of Waxahachie, Texas, in fourth place with 774 points, and the inaugural WBT Champion, Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Ga., who’s in fifth place with 772 points.
Complete WBT points standings are available on www.Bassmaster.com.
Next up for the WBT is the Sept. 18-20 event out of Evans, Ga., on Clarks Hill Lake. The top 20 pros in the points after the Clarks Hill event will qualify for the Oct. 23-25 WBT Championship on Lake Hamilton out of Hot Springs, Ark., where the Angler of the Year and the 2008 WBT champion will be determined.
DREAM JOBS. Some co-anglers enter a Bassmaster Elite Series event because being an Elite angler is their dream job. Fishing from the back seat of a pro’s boat is a common approach to learning the sport.
But co-angler Rodney Clawson of Old Hickory, Tenn., already has his dream job. Once a Texas farmer, Clawson now writes country music songs.
One of his song credits, I Saw God Today, became a No. 1 hit for George Strait in May. It was Strait’s 56th No. 1 single. Recently, Clawson and the colleagues who co-wrote it -- Monty Criswell and Wade Kirby -- were honored at what’s known as a “No. 1 Party” hosted by Broadcast Music Inc.
“It’s a standard thing in town when a song goes No. 1,” said Clawson, who at the party received awards from the Country Radio Broadcasters, Broadcast Music and Country Weekly, among several others.
For all his success in the music industry, Clawson is serious about competing on the water. He’s entered as a co-angler in the June 26-29 Tennessee Triumph on Old Hickory Lake, a fishery near Nashville that he considers home water.
“I don’t think I have too much of an advantage,” Clawson said. “It’s not a fishery that people can’t figure out pretty quickly. As a co-angler, it’s a lot about which pro you draw and how and where they’re fishing. But if I draw somebody’s who’s on fish, I’ll know how to catch them.”
Fishing and country music fans can track how Clawson fares by watching the Elite weigh-ins on www.Bassmaster.com at 2:30 p.m. CT Thursday-Sunday. The public is invited to the weigh-ins at Sanders Ferry Park, 100 Sanders Ferry Road in Hendersonville, Tenn.
Other Saturday events for fans at the park include Bassmaster University’s “Ask the Experts,” hosted by BASS emcee Steve “Lurch” Scott, a Berkley Beginner Fishing Class and the Purolator Big Bass Fan $1,000 Giveaway.
Sunday’s weigh-in will be preceded at 2 p.m. CT by the live taping of Hooked Up, which airs on www.Bassmaster.com. Live streaming video and real-time leaderboards of the weigh-in will also be on Bassmaster.com beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT.
MCCLELLAND WRAPS IT UP AGAIN. In third place in the hotly contested Bassmaster Elite Series’ Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., is leading the way in innovative, tournament-specific sponsorships.
McClelland, who debuted a Tahoe Smokeless wrap as a one-time deal at the June 12-15 Bassmaster Elite Series event on Kentucky Lake, announced that the sponsorship has been extended to include the June 26-29 Elite event on Tennessee’s Old Hickory Lake.
Besides bringing back the Tahoe wrap, McClelland again will wear the Tahoe jersey he sported at Kentucky Lake. Like the wrap, it’s a green and black design that promotes Tahoe, a brand of snuff made by Rock Bridge Tobacco Corp of Keysville, Va.
McClelland started the 2008 season with a Champion Boats-Falcon Rods wrap. He has burned no bridges: Both Champion and Falcon are featured on the Tahoe wrap.
ETTER WINS PRIZE IN BASS SWEEPSTAKES. Bruce Etter of Chatam, Ill., was the big winner last week in the BASS 40th Anniversary Gear Up Giveaway, which is offering 325 prizes throughout June.
Among the thousands who entered the sweepstakes at www.Bassmaster.com, Etter won a Moty-Ko Survivor Kit, a big tool bag. It was one of many prizes awarded to those who entered June 16-22.
The sweepstakes continues this week with more than 90 more prizes being offered, including an Abu Garcia Revo STX baitcasting reel.
All sweepstakes participants are entered in the drawing for the grand prize, a Triton boat with an official Toyota Tundra wrap. The rig includes a Mercury 250XS engine, wrapped trailer with aluminum fenders and wheels, MotorGuide TR109 trolling motor and two Lowrance marine electronics units, an LCX-25C and LMS-332C.
The last day to enter is June 30. Entry is free and easy. Details are at www.Bassmaster.com.
WHAT IT TAKES. “After winning the first one, a calm comes over you. You can see what it takes. When you win another one, you really get the hang of what it takes to be on top of the leaderboard. It’s never easy. You’ve got to put your game together, work hard and you can’t have any personal problems going on. And you’ve got to have a little bit of luck, too.” — Dianna Clark of Bumpus Mills, Tenn., after taking her third win on the Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Sports & Outdoors
WHAT IT TAKES, TOO. “I got sick a few days ago, and being sick while you’re on the water isn’t fun. But I came here to do a job. You have to make do, deal with what’s going on and just get out there and focus on catching a limit.” — Women’s Bassmaster Tour pro Angie Douthit of Clewiston, Fla., as she finished second at last week’s event on Old Hickory Lake in Tennessee
For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive web properties in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage to passionate audiences.
The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Women's Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.
BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 525,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.