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Team member Mary Croft of Bedford, Virginia is currently leading the Non-Boater Division in points for the Toyota Women's Bassmaster Tour Co-Angler of the Year race.She has made the Top 6 cut at both of the previous events held at Gadsden, Alabama and Lewisville, Texas.She is the only non-boater to make the Top 6 cut at each event.
congratulate Mary on her 8th place finish.
For the past 13 years, Mary Croft of Bedford, VA has been setting the stage for a career change, fishing career that is. The 39-year-old angler has been competing against male anglers in the Region 5 VA BASS Federation since 1993. Serving as Vice-President of the Big Island Bassmasters club during that time, she has managed to qualify for 9 VA State Team tournaments, one East Coast Region Fall Classic, and one VA State Mr. Bass Championship tournament. When BASS announced the Women's Tour at the Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh, PA in July 2005, Mary was happy to see that female anglers were finally getting the recognition they deserved. She didn't really think much more about it until the premier tour event was announced for October 2005. As time drew near, she didn't want to miss out on "history in the making". Mary sent in her entry fee, went to Lewisville, Texas and walked across the stage with an 8 th place finish in the non-boater division. Fishing with all female anglers was a new experience for Mary. She wasn't sure what to expect, but found it to be a more relaxed atmosphere in some instances. Most women who compete against male anglers constantly have to prove their fishing skills and their dedication to the sport. Mary was impressed by the competitive skills and boat handling abilities of most of the women at the premier event. While many women fish and were taught to fish by a family member or husband or boyfriend, Mary taught herself to fish at the age of 11 while living in Florida. She had moved there with her mother and two siblings after her parents divorced. The canal behind their house was full of alligators, but she learned to dodge them long enough to catch Snook and Bass. She said she started fishing out of boredom and it was an escape for her. Mary made another career change and went to truck driving school. She drove over the road for several years and was never home to fish. That got old after a while so she quit driving and started building houses with her Dad back in Bedford. That is when she became involved with the bass club and the VA Federation. The male club members accepted her membership with some reservation, but she was able to prove to them her capabilities as an angler and her character as an equal on the water and off by helping with club activities. She enjoys volunteering for Casting Kid events and Take a Kid Fishing events in her area. That is due in part to the fact that she also became a mother 7 years ago. Her daughter Taylor loves to go fishing in her Mom's bass boat and going fast on the lake. When Taylor fishes she doesn't want to use a live worm and bopper. She has to have the same lure tied on as Mom. Taylor finished 2nd in her age group at her very first Casting Kid's competition in 2004. Taylor keeps Mary focused in her goals to teach other children the joys of fishing and to mentor them so that they discover at an early age they have the abilities to set goals and live their dreams as she is doing. Mary chose to leave Big Island Bassmasters after the premier tournament in Lewisville so she could concentrate solely on the 2006 WBT Tour. She is looking forward to fishing with the new friends she has made and being part of WBT organization. Her goal is to fish hard and do her best, learn the lakes as a non-boater the first year and go pro in 2007. Mary has the positive attitude and skills necessary to get the job done and that is exactly what she intends to do.
Other team members who competed were co-angler Mary Croft of Bedford, VA, co-angler Renee Brisendine of Eden, NC and pro-angler Kitsy Cunningham of Eufaula, OK. Bassinator team member and co-angler Mary Croft is currently in 2nd place in points after 3 events.
Other team members who competed were co-angler Mary Croft of Bedford, VA, co-angler Renee Brisendine of Eden, NC and pro-angler Kitsy Cunningham of Eufaula, OK.
Bassinator team member and co-angler Mary Croft is currently in 2 nd place in points after 3 events.
Other team members who competed were co-angler Mary Croft of Bedford, VA, co-angler Renee Brisendine of Eden, NC and pro-angler Kitsy Cunningham of Eufaula, OK. Bassinator team member and co-angler Mary Croft is currently in 2 nd place in points after 3 events.