Friday, January 29, 2016

Like Mother ... Like Daughter

If you are old enough you might remember the old Andy Griffith show opener with Andy walking his son with a fishing pole to their favorite fishing spot. Many of us may have had an experience like that, with a father or grandfather introducing a you to this sport at a young age. Fathers and sons fishing together is literally an American pastime. But what about mothers and daughters? During the 2015 season I had the pleasure of meeting Caroline and Christa Hibbs. A mother/daughter fishing team that made a splash on The Razoryak Tournament Trail (RTT) in their first season of competitive kayak fishing.

Caroline and Christa Hibbs gearing up for the State Championship
Caroline and Christa mainly competed on the Ft Smith/River Valley RTT series hosted by the Western Arkansas Kayak Anglers. This was their first year on the RTT, but there were no rookie jitters. Christa pulled off multiple 2nd place finishes and took big bass honors at the Arkansas Kayak Fishing State Championship. Caroline pushed the top ten several times, also qualifying for the state championship. Both ladies represented the RTT at the Tournament of Champions on legendary Lake Fork and went toe to toe with some of the best anglers in the country.

Christa took big bass and top female angler honors at the 2015 State Championship
After a long season they were nice enough to share a little bit of their experience and answer a few questions about their mother/daughter dynamic duo:

How long have you been kayak fishing and who introduced you to the sport?

Caroline: I have been kayak fishing for 1 year now. My daughter got me into it.

Who was your fishing mentor?

Caroline: My father was my fishing mentor. We fished every chance we had and he taught me everything I know.

When did you introduce Christa to fishing?

Caroline: I introduced Christa to fishing as soon as she was old enough to hold a fishing pole. She was 3 years old and her first fish was a catfish.

Having a mother/daughter duo show up at a tournament is pretty unique, what is the strangest question you guys have been asked?

Caroline and Christa: We were jokingly asked, "Are you really fishing in the tournament?"

What drew you to the tournament scene?

Caroline: The opportunity to fish with folks that love the great outdoors and the friendly competition.

Christa: The chance to meet others that love this sport as much as I do, to get to fish with my mom, and to spend time with my friends that were already on the tournament scene.

Competitive fishing used to be seen male dominated sport, have either of you run into that barrier at any point?

Caroline: No I haven't really ran into that barrier at all. Everyone in the RTT have been really respectful, kind , and considerate.

Christa: I haven't ran into that barrier at all. Everyone I've met out on the trails have been welcoming and supportive to compete against a female angler.

At what age did you catch your first bass?

Christa: I was 6 years old when I caught my first one.

I'm guessing Christa's 1st bass didn't rival this giant that she caught to take big bass honors at the State Championship
What are your tournament fishing goals for 2016 and beyond?

Christa: My tournament fishing goals for 2016 are to place within the top 5 of my trail and to represent Arkansas and the RTT at the Tournament of Champions.

What do you enjoy the most about kayak fishing?

Caroline and Christa:  We both enjoy kayak fishing because it lets us be able to spend time together doing something that we love.

Caroline grinding out a cold, windy RTT event 
The RTT is full of wonderful people, but Caroline and Christa are right up there as two of the friendliest and nicest anglers you will ever meet. I hope you get a chance to fish with them this season, you will make a couple new friends, and might just learn a thing or two! Good luck to everyone that is about to kick off their tournament season, against these two ladies you are going to need it...

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