Original Caption: LEADER - Ann Thomasson leads the Bass'n Gal tourney with 11.45 pounds. She is introduced by Bob Ferris at the weigh-in. June 1990, Richmond Times-Dispatch, no photo credit

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo is another by request and features pioneering women’s tournament angler, Ann Thomasson.  The photo, from June 1990, featured Thomasson, the day-one leader of the Virginia Invitational Abu Garcia-Bass’N Gal tournament on the James River.  She had 11.45 pounds of bass while second place was held down by Joy Scott with 8.19 pounds.  A total of 132 women from 24 states were entered in the contest.

The day-one news reported that Thomasson had no trouble reaching her limit. “I caught them all on plastic worms,” she said, “and I kept catching bass all day.  I just turned the smaller ones back and kept the big ones.”

Joy Scott eventually took the win, moving up from 2nd place, weighing 17.02 pounds.  Scott won a $20,500 Ranger bass boat.  Ann could only manage 3 bass and fell to second, cashing a check for $2,000.  Penny Berryman took third.

At the time, Thomasson had fished the Bass’N Gal circuit every year of its 14-year existence.  But she was also a pioneer in another sense, buying and operating Ann’s Tackle Shop in Jasper, Texas, back in 1986.  The store is still open today, some 35 years later, and Thomasson, now in her mid-eighties, can still be found roaming the aisles of the shop.

I was able to find a lot of stories on Ann from over the years, like the time she fell out of the boat at West Point Lake back in a 1980 event, or her second place finish to Vojai Reed at the Dri Rind-Bass’n Gal Indiana Invitational fishing tournament at Patoka Lake in 1988.

But she has also had her share of big wins and successes over the years.  For example, she won the Women Bass Anglers’ tournament on Toledo Bend in 1982,the took the Lady Bass Classic title in 1988 on the Ouachita River.  She followed that up with another win in the 13th Humminbird/Bass’N Gal Classic Championship on the Hudson River in 1989 ($22,000 in money and prizes – fully rigged boat and ring), the only woman at the time to have won both major titles.

These are likely just some of the many stories and experiences for this historical figure in the history of our sport.