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Texas Lady Anglers

Texas City Sun
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Copyright 2004 Texas City Sun

A fishing league of their own

By Brandon Williams
Texas City Sun

Published September 02, 2004

Patricia Drake did a bad, bad thing. For that, her friends are grateful.

On a flight sometime last year, Drake, an avid fisher, saw a story about a Florida organization called Ladies, Let's Go Fishing, a group designed for women to learn and hone their fishing skills without the stress of having significant others critique their every move. Inspired by the article, she (gasp!) tore the story out of the magazine and encouraged her friend, Patti Polensky, to make the trip to see the organization firsthand.

The "misdeed" put the wheels in motion for Drake and Polensky to create the Texas Lady Anglers Association, which will host its first annual tournament beginning tonight and will run through Saturday. Based on the feedback the organization has received, the tourney appears to be well on its way toward exceeding the expectations Drake, who is President of the TLAA, imagined.

"It's well beyond what we thought," she said. "We thought we would draw about 20 - 30 women, but it looks like we could have close to 100, though we want to try to keep it to around 50."

The Anglers are geared toward women, but welcome participation from men as well. Its prime goal is to give area ladies a platform for them to come together as a group and to learn and share fishing experiences from each other. Women of all skill ranges are welcome to join.

Drake and Polensky have shared many a fishing experience; Polensky narrowly missed out on a possible state record when a redfish she caught in the Galveston jetties became the unfortunate meal of a roaming shark. The redfish was estimated to be at least 65 inches and had a head weighing 21 pounds.

"That was disappointing, to say the least." Drake said of her friend's near-miss.

With 35 members already entered and at least another 20 expected to attend tonight's seminar from Capt. Steve Coffee, the organization will hit its mark. Coffee will open the tourney, which will start at Leo's Mexican Restaurant beginning at 8 p.m., with a seminar on trout fishing techniques for the Galveston Bay. Other facets the Anglers will focus on include choosing lures and will also give the women a chance to learn how to properly maneuver a boat trailer.

In Coffee, the Anglers have one of the most experienced fishing guides in the area. He has taught professional seminars for almost a decade, having displayed his knowledge to numerous fishers throughout the Gulf Coast region.

More than two dozen businesses have put their support behind the group, including Academy and Oshman's. Drake hopes that the success of this weekend's events will lead not only to the Anglers hosting tourneys for years to come, but also allowing the organization to plan fishing junkets throughout the coastal area. TLAA also hopes to be a part of next year's Tackle Time as well, a door Drake would like to walk through.

"We'd certainly love to be a part of it," she said. "The interest this organization has put together would surprise them."

Drake's love for fishing was birthed through her father, who took her out with him as a young girl growing up near Moses Lake. After moving away, her interest returned five years ago, where she revived her passion for the sport, one that has been carried to her two young daughters.

"I love taking them out," she said. "Everyone who sees us fishing (at the pier) thinks it's great that I'm taking them out and sharing something we all enjoy."

The fishing portion of the tournament will be Saturday, with the event capped off by a dinner and awards ceremony later in the evening.

For more information on the tournament and the Texas Lady Anglers, contact them at www.texasladyanglers.com.

Brandon Williams in the sports editor for the Texas City Sun. He can be reached at (409) 945-3441, ext. 41 or emailed at brandon.williams@texascitysun.com.

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