Babbs in the Woods: R.I.P. WBT

On January 4, 2010, BASS lopped off the women’s pro bass fishing circuit. Here’s what BASS issued:  “Despite BASS’ best efforts to grow the WBT [Women’s Bassmaster Tour], participation levels were declining, especially heading into the 2010 season.  This was a very tough decision and we understand the timing wasn’t ideal and we are aggressively working to accommodate all WBT anglers who were registered for the 2010 season into other tournament venues they are eligible for, such as the Bassmaster Opens, if they desire to compete.”

OK, so do fish really care who is on the other end of the line? Does the public care? What do you think? Is it time to put on our big girl fishing pants with the zip-off lower portions and get out there with the guys and compete alongside them? After all, a woman can flip and pitch with the best of them, right? It’s not like taking a firefighter’s test and having to drag a 35-pound hose or carry a human out of burning building, right?

I say, fish on, women, fish on!

~Barbara Baird


  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at


The Conversation

  • Women's Outdoor News says: January 9, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Thanks, Sharon, for taking the time to comment here. Yes, there is such a camaraderie, isn’t there, and like you and I talked about earlier … it’s good! I am sorry to see that the support isn’t there any longer, and will be interested to see what develops. Good luck on the Heartland Trail this coming year. We’ll be watching you and cheering you on!

  • Sharon Rushton says: January 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I understood but was saddened by the decision to end the WBT. I agree that fish don’t know who is on the end of the line. However, I would never have taken up competitive fishing if there had not been a women’s tour. I have fished tournaments that are male dominanted, but it is not as much fun. As a woman, the women on the WBT inspire me. To sit out on the lake before takeoff, surrounded by 100 boats all operated by women is exciting. We get to meet other women who have skills better than our own and they inspire us.

    And I have talked to many young girls at the tournaments who have been inspired to fish because of watching the women-only weigh-ins.

    I have signed up to fish the Heartland Trail this year. I would never have felt confident enough to do that if I had not first experienced tournament fishing through the WBT.

  • Les Booth says: January 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I’m not a fan, per se, of any fishing tournament; regardless of the method used. However, I do agree … I’ve never seen the rational for tournaments separated by sex.

    Let’s just open the gates and let anyone who wants to be a ‘fishing pro’ toss, chuck, flip or cast their baits in search of prize money.

    I have a hard time believing this would be a problem for the activity.

    Have fun folks. Promote fishing. Get over the bias. Fish on.

  • Jim Spencer says: January 7, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I never saw the value or sense of dividing fishing tournaments into boys and girls in the first place. Pro basketball, okay, but pro fishing????? I’ve had my butt handed to me more times than I can count by women anglers.

  • Terry Scoville says: January 7, 2010 at 12:08 am

    To the best of my knowledge fishing has never been gender based, perhaps biased though. Fish on is right on!

  • Paige "Chicki Chicki" Eissinger says: January 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    If competitive fishing’s your thing, then you fish where and with whom you can fish and no, I don’t think the fish care in the least.