Original Caption: Casting along the rocky shore of Lake Wylie, Betty Haire practices her sport. Catching bass, she notes , is more than dropping a line in the water. Her biggest single catch was an 11-pound, 14-ounce bass hooked while fishing for fun in Florida about five years ago. The Charlotte Observer, June 1991, photo credit: Gary O'Brien/Staff.

Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo recognizes another great lady bass angler, Betty Haire.  Betty, a native of Yadkinville, NC, lived most of her life in the Charlotte area.  Her favorite lake was Santee-Cooper Reservoir, and she and husband Odell would make numerous trips down there, developing a reputation for catching big bass, including a couple dozen double digit fish from the lake.

Then, in 1980, she fished her first women’s professional event, and success on tour followed.  She qualified for at least 13 Bass’n Gal Classics, winning the 1986 (Kentucky Lake) and 1989 (Hudson River) events, along with a pair of Invitationals.  She also secured a win at the Lady Bass Classic on Lake Dardanelle in 1989, as well as a total of six bass boats and “more second places than I care to remember,” she recalled in one news story.  She also held the all-time Bass’n Gal 2-day weight record of 47.2 lbs, caught at Lake Talquin.

By the early 1990s, her career winnings totaled more than $150,000, along with holding down half a dozen sponsorships; Mercury Outboards, Astro Boats, Bagley Bait, Bagley Silver Thread line, GNB batteries and Abu Garcia rods/reels.

In 1994, a story in The Herald mentioned the pair acquired a motor home and hit the road while Betty fished the women’s tour events all over the country.  “It’s been fun fishing and travelling.  There’s usually campgrounds wherever we go, and that beats motels all to pieces,” she stated.

“It’s enjoyable. We’ve got friends all over the United States we wouldn’t have if we weren’t doing this.”

This was also around the time of women trying to get involved on the Bassmaster’s national circuit, but Betty wasn’t interested.  “I have no desire to compete with men.  I love fishing the women’s circuit.  I have no quarrel with the women who want to do that.  Good luck to them.  I hope they do well.  I’m hoping eventually women’s fishing will get the same money as men’s fishing,” she said.

Betty lost her fishing teacher and husband, Odell, in 2002, and the fishing world lost Betty in July 2013 at the age of 73.

For more on the lady anglers on bass fishing click here.