Women are Making a Big Splash in the Bass Fishing World

Over the last few years, several women have proved to be great anglers in the bass fishing world, especially when catching smallmouth and largemouth bass.

At this time, women don’t compete against other men but rather join the Lady Bass Anglers Association and sign up for one or more of their tournaments.

Today, thousands of high school and college young women are competing on their predominantly male school teams.

Today, we will focus on three professional bass anglers and share how you or someone you know (i.e., wife, daughter, or girlfriend) can start their angler journey.


Michelle Jalaba


She began tournament fishing in 2014 after a local angler approached her in a tackle shop and convinced her to give tournament fishing a try. She showed up with no idea what she was doing aside from knowing she could fish for 9 hours straight from a boat instead of the bank.

Michelle, a Michigander, has now competed in eight professional tournaments and continues to fish local events. She is currently an MLF Tour co-angler.

“The reality is you are out there to catch bass; you aren’t competing for face to face with another man. So I zoom in and focus. I’m an observer, a researcher, and a learner,” Michelle says when it comes to being a better angler.


Christie Bradley


Christie started her career in 2005 and has competed in 46 tournaments. She is an extremely dedicated angler by fishing from daylight to dark and spending non-water time on her tackle.

“You can quickly ruin your reputation and damage your brand on how you conduct yourself off the water. Also, it puts me at a disadvantage without a network of competitors to compare notes, like the men have,” Christie tells women, newcomers, into the sport.


Melinda Hays Makes History

Melinda Hays of Hot Springs, Arkansas, became the first woman in MLF history to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League Regional Championship. She has competed in 53 tournaments.

Hays grew up in a fishing family as the daughter of two bass pros, her mom and dad. She’s the fourth female angler in MLF history to qualify for or compete in the All-American.

“Bass fishing is for anyone. You can go to these tournaments, and you’ll have so much fun, so enjoy fishing the day and meeting new people,” says Melinda.

How to Get Started in the Bass Fishing World


The pros recommend the following five steps:


  1. First, join a local bass club.
  2. If your family has connections in the fishing world, form relationships with other anglers.
  3. Sign up for tournaments as a co-angler.
  4. Seek out and learn from other women anglers.
  5. Regarding equipment, go to a local Bass Pro Shop, Cabela’s, or something along this line, and head straight to the reel counter. Ask for advice as most of the associates are experienced anglers.


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