Alabama Student Inspired To Fish After Attending 2013 Classic In Oklahoma
TULSA, Oklahoma - Day one of competition in the Bassmaster Classic is now in the books.
More than 100,000 people are expected here for the three-day fishing tournament, and that could rake in $29 million for the local economy.
Bass fishing has always been male dominated, but women are getting involved in even larger numbers.
There are plenty of women who bass fish, both recreationally and professionally, but there's one from Alabama, who came to Oklahoma’s Classic three years ago, and decided to make it her life's goal to take home a trophy and inspire other women.
In the fishing world, Laura Ann Foshee may be a young woman among men, but she’s ready to prove her mind is made like a pro’s.
“Fishing is a very intellectual sport,” Foshee said. “I wanna be able to win the classic one day; and when I win, wanna be able to share my testimony with everybody when I'm on stage.”
She's a high school senior out of Alabama who decided to start fishing after a trip to Oklahoma's Bassmaster Classic in 2013.
Foshee said, “I came to this three years ago and I saw how big it was.”
So, she and her mom started a fishing team at her high school; and, turns out, she’s a natural. Though, in the beginning, she said dealing with bullies was tougher than bagging big bass.
“So many people would make fun of me because they'd think, 'Fishing? How's that a sport? How you can you do anything with that? Plus you're a girl; you're not even supposed to be fishing,'” Foshee said.
But she stood her ground, took home trophies and became the first female to ever receive a college scholarship for bass fishing.
Foshee said, “I feel like it's really God's purpose for me and why He has lined everything up so well for me.”
The pros themselves even know her name - like 15-time Classic contender, Gerald Swindle. And he said he's certain, Foshee could one day be the first woman to win a Bassmaster Classic.
Swindle: “To me, this is the first lady in bass fishing in my 20 years that I think can do it.”
Foshee: “That's so sweet of you.”
In 46 years only one woman has fished the Classic, Kim Bain-Moore in 2008. Of the nearly 750,000 licensed anglers in Oklahoma, about 40-percent are women.