The more I dig into the history of our sport, the more I come across stories of the many women who pursued life on the professional bass tournament trail in one form or another. Today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo is just one such example. In this case, a 1992 The Times article on Lillian Christ, a bassin’ “grandma” according to the write-up.
Lillian Christ was a “mother of two and grandmother of six” at 62 years of age when interviewed for the story in 1992. She was also the oldest regular competitor on the Lady Bass tour at the time. She was both a hunter and fisherman, as well as an accomplished taxidermist.
She entered her first national Bass’N Gal event on Toledo Bend in the 1970s, and qualified for their Classic three times, in 1979 and again in 1986 and 1987.
The first story I found on her was in 1976, when she garnered press for finishing first in the Louisiana Lady Lunkers bass tournament on Toledo Bend. That was the same reservoir some 16 years later where 74 women, including Lillian, had gathered on the 186,000-acre border lake for the Lady Bass Lucky Strike Texas Invitational. Janice Cheek ended up winning that event, along with a fully equipped fishing rig valued at $20,000. Lillian had commented, “I just want to do good.”
She summed up the story stating, “A bunch of these girls I just love. They can’t believe I’m still doing this. When the storms blow or it freezes or gets hot, I say sometimes that I’m going to quit. But as soon as the next tournament comes around, I’m ready to go.”
Lillian passed away at the age of 72 in 2001.