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Women anglers join Bassmaster Opens Tour

January 27, 2010 | 11:15 am

2009 Women's Bassmaster Tour champion Judy Wong.

After the elimination of the Women's Bassmaster Tour earlier this month, two women anglers have signed on to compete in the Bassmasters Opens Tour.

Former WBT champion Judy Wong and WBT Angler of the Year Dianna Clark will be competing in the Central Open circuit, a three-event series that begins April 8 at Lake Amistad in Del Rio, Texas.

Wong, the 2007 and 2009 WBT titlist, said that competing in a field comprosed primarily of men is nothing new to her.

"I used to fish the BASS invitationals and I've also fished other circuits with men as well," Wong said.

"If I were to do well in the Opens, it will bring women even more respect in this sport," Wong said. "I'm not going to say it will be easy. There are a lot of good anglers there. I'll just have to work harder at it."

Clark, 2006 WBT Angler of the Year, said she didn't think twice about entering the Central Open division.

"When they announced there were some spots in the Opens, it struck me as a strong, new challenge I wanted to tackle," Clark said. "I know there are a whole lot of good anglers, a whole lot more competition, but I realized I wanted that."

Clark also has little concern about the other competitors, or that the field is mostly men.

"I don't pay much attention to who the other anglers are, competition is competition," Clark added. "We're competing against fish, not men or women. I'm out to bring in five fish a day, hopefully five big ones."

Both are vying for a spot in next year's Bassmasters Classic, to which the Central Open division top two finishers qualify. Another WBT alum, 2009 Angler of the Year Pam Martin-Wells, will be competing in this year's Classic, which takes place Feb. 19-21 in Birmingham, Ala.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: 2009 Women's Bassmaster Tour champion Judy Wong. Credit: BASS Communications

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