Veteran Tennessee pro angler Jenny Nevans fished hard during the four Lady Bass Anglers Association (LBAA) qualifying tournaments. She earned her berth to the 2012 Lady Bass Classic on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville October 11-13. However, the story of Nevans does not end with just qualifying as this story would take a turn of kindness that would involve a fellow competitor.
“Later that night (Friday at the conclusion of the LBAA Neely Henry ProAm) I was thinking about how difficult it was going to be for me to get to practice because of a pressing family commitment, along with lots of other things” Nevans of Dayton, Tennessee said. “I was thinking about how I don’t even have a boat to fish out of, because I sold my Legend earlier this year — even though I had planned to borrow my partner’s boat.”
“When I saw that Karen was 13th on the list, my heart sank,” Nevans continued, “she has been a great friend for many years and with all her hard work and accomplishments it did not seem fair that she couldn’t go to the classic.”
“I did not fish all year to give away my spot and I didn’t really want to,” she added, “but I knew in my heart I should give Karen my spot. I knew God was calling me to be a joyous giver. Sometimes we can’t understand why God puts us on the path we are on, we just have to have faith He knows best.”
Veteran pro angler Karen Elkins from Hamilton, Ontario had also fished hard all year and knew that at Neely Henry, as does it everywhere else that every fish counts.
“I watched Cheryl Bowden take the trophy on Neely Henry and secure her place among the “Top 12” Lady Anglers in the US. I knew I had missed the cut,” Elkins said. “I turned and left without knowing the final standings for the year. I left before they drew the wildcard berth” for the Classic.”
That night upon arriving at home tired and beaten Elkins logged into Facebook. “ There it was, the red flag notification that I had a message. It was from Jenny Nevans. It was three words and ten digits long, “Call me ASAP”.
Elkins punched in the 10-digits and Nevans answered. “She told me that I finished in 13th place for the season and I didn’t believe her.”
Nevans’ next words would blow Elkins out of the water. “She asked if I would fish in her place at the Classic because I would be the next in line. I still didn’t believe her,” Elkins recounted. “Surely, she was mistaken. I told her to go ask Secret (Secret York, LBAA co-founder) if what she was saying was true. I knew there must be some mix-up in the points. I did not finish in 13th. Nor, I couldn’t understand why anyone would give up a birth at the Classic.”
Elkins finally said that if this was so, she would accept the following morning (Saturday) at the Neely Henry Charity Tournament.
On Saturday morning she walked up to Nevans who told Elkins to go see Secret. “I can’t remember what I said to Jenny. I’m sure I said, thank you after I asked one last time if she wanted to change her mind. She was strong in her choice to step down and I was strong enough to accept the challenge,” Elkins remembered.
Both anglers will be present at the 2012 Lady Bass Classic, however, only Elkins will be competing, but Nevans will be there to get the competition underway with another fabulous rendition of our National Anthem.
Nevans is sponsored by Legend Boats and Yamamoto Custom Baits and Elkins is sponsored by Reel Grip, Bo’s Jigs, Greg’s Custom Rods, Time’s Up, Survivors in Action, JJ’s Magic, and State Apparel.
Here are the 13 qualifiers from the LBAA”s Pro Angler Division. Kim Bain-Moore/Pelham, AL, Pam Martin-Wells/Bainbridge, GA, Pam Ridgle/Murchison. TX, Lynda Gessner/Foristell, MO, Monica Altman/Angier, NC, Martha Goodfellow/Simpsonville, SC, Cheryl Bowden/Fort Worth, TX, Debbie Warner/Murray, KY, Robbie Hartline/Foristell, MO, Teri Cindric/Hermitage, TN, Secret York/Benton, KY, Karen Elkins/Oxford, AL, Cheryl Lalumandier /Harvester, MO.
Here are the 13 qualifiers from the LBAA’s Co-angler Division. Kim Giddens/Alpine, AL, Vicki Henderson/Ashdown, AR, Diana Uebelhack, Mt. Vernon, IN, Bonnie Ward/Snohomish, WA, Diane Smith/Fayetteville, GA, Cassie Hall/Alabaster, AL, Denise Sustaita /Etole, TX, Brenda Reeves/Weatherford, TX, Judy Skibinski/Alba, TX, Marsha Reifsteck, Woodville, WI, Brandi Frasier/Hanson, KY, Renee Key-Johnston/Beaumont, TX, Shannon Wood/Martinsburg, WV.
These 26 anglers will also be trying to win the Legend Big Bass award in their respective divisions.
The 2012 LBAA Lady Bass Classic will be held on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville October 11-13 and each day’s competition will run from `safe light’ until 3 PM CST. All launches and weigh-ins will take place at the Bucky Howe Ramp. The ramp is located in the Bucky Howe Park on Route 1 in Guntersville just down from the Val Monte Resort.
Image courtesy Lady Bass Anglers Asociation