A lot has transpired over the years regarding women and professional bass fishing. Once popular circuits like Bass’N Gals and the Women’s Bassmaster Tour (WBT) have vanished, and the trend and talk are of women and men competing side-by-side in today’s existing circuits. In today’s historical news photo, 1959 Texas Bass Queen, we go back to the 4th annual Texas State Bass event, where Elaine Vickers pretty much ran the table. Vickers bested a field of over 300 anglers in what was then the largest bass tournament in the area. It might even be considered the biggest win for a female angler in an open bass tournament to this day.
Fishing in the event with husband Vic, the two won team honors, as well as the husband-and-wife division and ladies’ big bass winner. But the bigger news was Mrs. Vickers taking the individual champion’s crown for the entire event, landing 39.13 pounds of black bass. Local news headlines ran story lines like, “Texas may have bigger and stronger state bass champions in the future, but it is doubtful it’ll ever have a prettier one than Mrs. Elaine Vickers,” and “She may look like a queen, but she talks like a fisherman, and thinks like a black bass and can out-fish most men.”
One article delved into the specifics of her tackle and fishing style, and we share a few excerpts from that story below.
- The topwater plug is her favorite style of bass fishing, but when the bass go deep as they did in the tournament, Elaine believes in going deep with ’em. She caught most of her fish at Lake Belton on a black jig and worm, Extractors (black and yellow) and a Johnson spoon with pork strip. The jig and worm was most effective at Lake Belton, accounting for 60 percent of all the fish caught.
- She uses a 5-foot Ted Williams Model 45L rod, a Shakespeare Sportcast reel, and a 15-pound test Ashaway line with a 20-foot, 20-pound test monofilament leader.
- “You have to keep your bait in the water. The more casts you make, the better chance you have of dragging the lure in front of a hungry or mad bass. If he hits it, you’re lucky.”
Another newspaper report stated, “Elaine Vickers attributes her success in winning the Texas Angling title to using an electric motor while sneaking up on the fish.”
Really interesting story, Thank-You, Jim.
Do you know what type of lure the Extractor was? Searching the web, I found a crankbait called Extractor from about 21 years ago, from a company called Custom Crafted Lures probably in Australia, and what appears to be a large in-line spinner for musky called the Extractor, but it’s doubtful these existed in 1959.
Andy, it was a safety pin type spinner-jig made in Texas, very common in that region at the time, as well as through the 60s and early 70s. Some say as many as 20 different companies in Texas area at the time were building and selling their own versions. Some, like H&H Spinners are still around and popular (hhlure.com).