I am a single mother of two beautiful children and an educator, serving students and their families for over 15 years. I was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina by two wonderful parents who adopted me and raised me as their own. My late father wasn’t a fisherman but he taught me that I can achieve anything that I believe I can do. As a child the only chance I was able to fish was on Summer vacation at a small pond next to the cabin we would rent every year in the mountains of North Carolina. After catching my first Largemouth Bass I was HOOKED for life! I now live and work near beautiful Lake Murray, SC so that I can now fish everyday.
As I grew up I strived to learn every thing I could about bass fishing. I read articles, watched videos, and asked lots of questions every time I was able to go fishing with those with more experience. One of my Ex-boyfriends told me that it was ok to fish for fun but NOT to enter tournaments, and that it was a “Man’s Sport”. This lit a fire in me to challenge myself to compete and learn even more. I am now engaged to a man that completly supports me in my fishing career!
During one of my first tournaments my boater was cathcing more fish than I was in what seemed to be the same exact baits. He finally told me about his secret- JJ’s Magic! He shared it with me and I started to catch them that day. It seemed like once they had the bait dipped in the JJ’s Magic Bass Attractant they wouldn’t let go. They seemed to find that garlic scent irresistable and it came in any color to inhance any soft plastic that I am throwing!
This is just my second full season competing in the FLW T-H Marine BFL series. Last year I competed in the entire S.C. division series and I finished 42nd out of roughly 200 of the best (male) anglers of the state. I wanted to learn as much as could at the end of the 2018 season so that I could do better on my second season. I strived to try and set a path for other lady anglers who might have been thinking about competing. I also am very competitive and goal-oriented so I was determined to be a better angler than the year before.
On the first tournament of the 2019 season on Lake Hartwell, February 16, 2019, I had the goal of weighing my first limit (5 fish) but I exceeded my goal culling several times and winning my first FLW tournament! I set a new goal for the season- to stay Number #1in points for the entire season. This is a very hard goal to have for anyone but especially a Co-Angler who does not have control on where to fish when competing in this style of tournament. Every tournament I fished after that in the season I was able to make the top ten and cash a check, therefore helping me to stay number one in points all season. I was able to reach my goal of the First Lady Angler to recieve Co-angler of the Year for the SC FLW division, and just third in the World as a female in the sport competing in the BFL FLW circuits.
I now live and work near beautiful Lake Murray, SC so that I can continue to teach and now fish everyday. I also have the opportunity to mentor high school anglers and host workshops to teach others, with a focus on women and children. Unfortunantly, a few months ago I was diagnosed with a rare spinal cord disorder called Transverse Myelitis, leaving me with Paralysis from the waiste down. After a 15 day hospital stay and countless tests and medications I was sent home with a walker and a wheelchair and lots of physical therapy. I was not going to let this adveristy stop me from competting in accomplishing my goals in my fishing career and of course I had my Secret Weapon of JJ’s Magic that helped me in every tournament!
Fishing is my happy place, has been since I fished as a child. It is one of those activities that can not only bring you peace and serenity while enjoying nature but also bring you joy, excitement, and challenges since everyday on the water is a new day full of adventure. The fish that I have had the opportunity to “Catch, Kiss, and Release” since my diagnosis have brought me a moment of happiness, gratitude, and for just a few moments I forget the constant pain that I am in! I plan to continue my Fishing Therapy every chance I get!
As I recover for months to years without working in the classroom or able to drive I would like to ask for your help on Go Fund Me or Facebook Fundraising so that I can continue to get the medical treatments I need so that I can take care of my family.