Skip to comments.Parker Poised to be First Female Elite Series Pro
Posted on 09/21/2011 2:08:54 PM PDT by girlangler
Janet Parker has a clear shot at becoming the first woman to compete in the Bassmaster Elite Series.
From Little Elm, Texas, Parker said if she qualifies she won't hesitate to commit for the 2012 Elite Series season.
"I am on top of the world," she said. "I can't tell you how excited I am to have this chance."
Parker took a big step toward the Elite Series on Sept. 10 with a 10th-place finish on the Arkansas River in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open division. The high finish jumped her from sixth to second place in the points standings. If she can stay in the Top 5 through the end of the season, she'll be among the Open invitees for the 2012 Elite Series.
To be Elite, she figures she needs a 50th-place or better finish in the one remaining tournament on the 2011 Central Open schedule, the Oct. 20-22 event on Table Rock Lake out of Branson, Mo.
"If I can get that eligibility, I want to fish the Elites. I want to make history as the first female," she said.
Parker has 536 points to the Central Open leader's 567 points. (The No. 1 position is held by another Elite Series hopeful, Chris Zaldain, a pro who makes a long drive from California to compete in the Central Opens.) Parker is 33 points ahead of the No. 5 angler.
A former Bassmaster Women's Tour (WBT) pro, Parker joined the 2010 Opens when the women's tour disbanded after the 2009 season. She had competed in all four seasons of the women's tour's existence, garnering a win on the Ouachita River in 2009 and qualifying for the championship.
"After the WBT, I decided that the Opens would tell me if I am ready to fish at the Elite level. With the last three tournaments in the Opens, I've had strong finishes, and I've been competing against Elite guys who have opted to fish the Opens too. I've got a lot to learn ... but I'm never going to improve if I don't continue to challenge myself."
"If I don't make it, I'll look on it as a sign that I wasn't ready, and I'll be happy with that too - but I'm really hoping that I'm ready."
Parker said that between her fishing career, sponsor and charity appearances, and a job with a company that organizes corporate fishing events, she's on the road 42 to 48 weeks a year, so a hectic Elite Series schedule would not be a lifestyle change. She has been running a wrapped rig for years sponsored by Aaron's, the rent-to-own retailer, so a wrap isn't an obstacle. She said she realizes that being under a microscope as the first Elite Series woman pro could be a heavy demand on her time.
"I'll just have to learn how to say 'no,'" she said. "I realize none of it will be easy - it's going to be grueling and exhausting - but it's something I want to do."
Parker isn't the only woman faring well in the 2011 Central Open season. Lisa Sternard of Clarksville, Tenn., was in 19th place in points after the Arkansas River event. Sternard, also a successful women's tour competitor, would have to make up some ground at Table Rock to get an Elite Series invitation; her standing at 434 points is 69 ticks away from the current fifth-place holder's 503 points.
About B.A.S.S. For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
Obviously, the fishing is the “talent” part of the pageant. Is there a swimsuit competition as well?
It’s nice to see a woman who actually qualifies for a slot. It would be something if she made it to the Classic on her talents and not have it handed to her like Kim Bain-Moore or Pam Martin-Wells.
Hope you all will pray and root for my friend Janet. She is an exceptionally good person, and the hardest worker you’ll find. Nobody deserves this more.
Go Janet. Please ping your angler friends.
So I guess I don’t get it. Why would their be both men’s and women’s organizations in the first place? Is there really some gender difference? To me, the sport is all about skill. Not belittling that skill, just curious.
That’s what she is doing — making it to the top on her own hard work and talent. She’s been competing against some of the top male anglers since the Women’s BASS Trail disbanded. She is a great angler, and VERY focused on her goal.
Thanks for your support and comments.
OMG — Where can I get that bumper sticker. I want it . . .
You are right, it’s about skill. It also takes a grueling schedule on the road constantly, and complete focus and concentration on the goal.
I am a recreational angler, couldn’t do the competition.
As you know, GA, I don't flash my fish tattoo very often, but this is the perfect thread for it...*SMILE*
That is outstanding!!!!! Good for her.
Also good to see you on here again, Girlangler
"Grandma, I did it". Did what? "I gutted a fish today. I cut it open and pulled out the guts."
Grandma was soooooo proud!
Loved fishing all my life. Thanks Dad!!
T-shirt is here - don’t know about a bumper sticker...
Will do! How exciting!
Not guilty! !!
Grinning. You flasher.
Good to talk to you. Janet has never forgotten the help your friend gave her there.
I think they stay in touch.
I’ve been a fan of pro bass fishing since before Rayo Breckinridge won the 1973 Classic. I haven’t fished regional level or state level tournament in many years.
B.A.S.S. Invitationals had co-ed tournaments in the mid-90s but the ladies didn’t do to well. I think the highest finish was Vojai Reed.
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