Duo of female anglers breaking new ground in LAPR bass fishing series
Lake Anna/Potomac River Bass Series event when she fishes with fellow female angler Michelle Armstrong.
The two will form an all-female team for what is believed to be the first time in LAPR history.
“The LAPR Series is loaded with the best anglers in the region, competing as a team rather than getting paired randomly with co-anglers, like in the Bassmaster Weekend Series,” Bradley said. “Most of the tournaments have over 60 teams – all men. There is one other woman who sometimes competes but that’s it.”
Bradley usually fishes these events with her husband, Mike, but he’s out of town this weekend. So Bradley will team with Armstrong – a competitor in the Bassmaster Weekend Series – in the Sunday Division event on the Potomac River.
“I look forward to fishing with her,” Bradley said. “She’s an incredibly good angler and is just as competitive as me. She has never fished on the Potomac River before. I look forward to seeing her react to how good the fishing is here. In my opinion, the Potomac is in the top five best bass fisheries in the country, outside of fisheries with Florida strain bass in Florida, Texas and California.”
Bradley has seen the number of women fishing competitively grow in recent years, especially among younger women. She works with a high school team, the Orange County High School anglers in Virginia, and has seen the number of females rise in recent years.
“There are lots of female anglers competing in team tournaments throughout the country,” Bradley said. “The sport is growing among young people, thanks to clubs like our local high school fishing teams. The high school team I work with has grown from less than 10 members to more than 40 in just a few years. Every year, more females join that club and compete.”
Having professional role models like Bradley can only help increase female participation in bass fishing.
“I believe girls see people like Michelle and I competing at a national level and representing our sponsors well, and they realize they can do it, too,” Bradley said. “That’s significant because historically, woman that wanted to join a series, or even local small clubs, was something they hesitated to do. Everywhere I go, women comment about a hesitation to join because it was intimidating.”
At her recent Weekend Series tournament in Lake Norman, N.C., a mother and daughter talked with Bradley about fishing for more than 10 minutes while she waited in line to weigh in.
“At every tournament, there are women cheering for me, even if they don’t know me,” Bradley said. “I believe these are women who would like to compete and I know some of them are motivated after seeing me do it. A couple of them have thanked me and said that they decided to start fishing tournaments because of me.”
The one-day event runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday out of Leesylvania Park.