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WBT Angler Profile: Patti Campbell

2/5/2008

Hometown: Waxahachie, Texas

Age: 46

Web site: www.patticampbellfishing.com

Occupation: Supervisor, Windows Distributed Systems; First American Real Estate Information Services

High School: Lancaster High School

College: University of Texas, Arlington

Degree: Associates of Arts

How Long Bass Fishing: Since I could hold a pole — but professionally for two years.

How Started Bass Fishing: My dad was an avid bass fisherman. I can only remember two vacations where we were not at a lake in Texas camping and fishing. I was the tomboy of three girls, and my dad instilled in me the passion of bass fishing. I met my husband, and he was an avid bass angler also. I have learned so much from him. He is my mentor, my biggest fan and my best friend.

Career Dream: To win WBT Angler of the Year and the WBT Championship

Career Highlight: 3rd place in my first professional tournament at Lake Lewisville in 2006; 2nd place at my second professional tournament at Lake Norman in 2006

Favorite Bass Water: Lake Amistad, Texas

Big Bass: 8.9-pound largemouth from Lake Richland Chambers, Texas, on a Texas rigged black and blue lizard

Favorite Fishing Technique or Style: Soft plastics are my favorite. I love to Carolina rig and use shaky heads.

Sponsors: Maui Jim Sunglasses; Seaguar Fluorocarbon Line; GLoomis Rods; Crawclicker

In 2006 I received a phone call from Kathy Magers telling me that the Women's Bassmaster tour was coming to Texas to fish Lake Lewisville. She said, "You need to fish this. You would do great and have the time of your life." Well, she was right. I signed up originally as a non boater, but after some coaxing from my husband to go as a boater, I agreed.

Talk about nervous! I had never competed by myself in a tournament in my life. My husband was out of town fishing a tournament at Lake Sam Rayburn with a borrowed boat since he let me use ours for my tournament. I remember going to bed at about 10:30 the night before and waking up at midnight and not being able to sleep because I was afraid I would oversleep and be late. My stomach was in knots. I was nervous. I arrived at the lake to meet my non boater, Billie Jaynes, who was just as nervous as I was. As soon as we launched that morning, a calm came over me. The time had come, and I had to get busy.

I had a great day with a limit. I phoned my husband who was on the way home from Sam Rayburn. He was going crazy with excitement when I told him how I had done. I got home that night and my husband was so supportive. He said, "Go get your shower and put your clothes in the washer." He sat out in the boat and made sure everything was ready to go for me the next day.

The second day of competition, I followed up with four fish which put me in the top six for the final day. I couldn't believe it! Here I was, in the top six in my first tournament. I called my family, and they were so excited for me. My husband was beaming. I think he was more excited than me.

I managed only two fish on the third day, but one of them won me big bass of the day. Weigh in was so overwhelming for me. We were driven into the convention center in our sponsor boats and got to weigh in on the Bassmaster stage ahead of the Elites. My entire family was there — my husband, mom, two sisters, four nieces, my nephew and two sisters-in-law and three brothers-in-laws. But the one person that I remember seeing in the audience was my 88-year-old grandmother there in her wheelchair. I almost burst into tears it was so overwhelming to see my family there supporting me.

I can say without a doubt that I have never looked back. I am hooked! I want to thank Kathy Magers for calling me, my husband for traveling with me and supporting me and my family who are always there wishing me luck. I also want to thank BASS and ESPN. What a great organization! Without you my dream — our dreams — would not have been possible. I have met so many great people and have solidified many friendships through this Tour. It is so much fun, and I love the competition.

I look forward to many years of the same.