Original Caption: Professional bass angler Randy Fite, of Montgomery, Texas, gave 3-year-old Michael Walker, son of Shirley and James Walker of Abilene, a personal tour of the 40-foot fish tank at the Outdoor Sports Show at the Abilene Civic Center Saturday. The outdoor show, with live fishing seminars by Fite at noon and 4 p.m., continues through 6 p.m. today. Feb. 1991, Abilene Reporter-News, photo credit: Jerry O'Bryant

Today’s historical photo, Fite on Women Anglers, dates to 1991, and features then 37-year-old Randy Fite, who was in town to give bass fishing seminars at the Abilene Sport Show.  According to the write-up, Fite had qualified for 6 BASS Masters Classics at the time, and had been on the BASS tour for 14 years.  He was recognized in the article for his deep water electronics prowess, but it was the comments on the recent “furor caused by BASS first allowing, then barring again, women in their contests” in the story that caught my attention.

When asked by the writer about it, Randy responded, “I’m a bachelor, so maybe I see this a little different, but the women I know who fish professionally are just as able and competitive as the men on the pro tour.  It is three times harder for a woman to make it on the pro fishing circuit, so you know they are dedicated.”

He went on to say, “As far as spending the day in a boat with someone’s wife, I might get into trouble for something I’d do after the tournament was over, but during tournament hours catching fish is all that’s on my mind,” he said with a grin.  “I would much rather spend the day fishing with Linda England or Chris Houston (both professional female anglers) than an isolated male angler or two I won’t name.”