It's time to focus a bit on some of the lady anglers in the sport, and Mel Isaacs is a great place to start. Not only is Mel a fierce competitor, but she has been instrumental in growing the sport of kayak bass fishing in the state of Missouri. Mel is the secretary of Kayak Anglers of Missouri, a brand new Missouri based kayak club that is on fire, attracting over 50 anglers at their very first event!!
When and why did you start kayak bass fishing competitively?
I have always loved canoeing and floating. Hubby and I have fished from canoe for years on our local rivers. Bought my first kayak and was invited by a couple of friends to try tournament fishing and because I was female I declined at first not knowing how a female tournament angler would be accepted. But, then I thought long and hard and decided to go for it! My first tournament was on Table Rock lake and was the only and first female angler in club. All the guys were so awesome and a great inspiration.
What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of in the sport?
Being the first female kayak tournament angler in Missouri was big enough however I actually qualified my first year for the KBF NC on Kentucky Lake. While Kentucky Lake was tough and a huge challenge, just being there and not being skunked was Amazing!!
What are some of the companies that you are sponsored by or pro staff for?
What is your biggest fish to date and what did you catch it on?
My biggest fish to date is 6.2 pounds while testing a SheAngler Custom “Finesse jig” totally took me by surprise.
What are your biggest challenges either during tournaments or leading up to a tournament?
I would say my biggest challenge is nerves. I claim myself to be a Great angler and have no issues outside of the tournament field, but when I hit the water tournament day for some reason, I get nervous. I get the jitters, start over thinking and at times almost panic. Not sure why, but I come from a fishing family and they have all fished on the tournament side and are well known for their skills. I think my nerves stem from wanting to not disappoint them. They tell me all the time I am THEIR hero because just to be a female taking the initiative to go out there and fish with the boys and support the sport is HUGE to them.
Sleep in the car, arrive the morning of the tournament, or grab a hotel?
Camp or sometimes hotel
One piece of equipment that you wouldn’t consider fishing a tournament without?
My PFD!! Safety First always always always.
We all have preconceived notions of what we were getting into before that very first tournament. Have there been any surprises along the way for you? If so, what were they?
Being accepted by the guys and how women would perceive a female angler amongst the men folk. I worried about this a lot! But, I have made some of the most amazing friendships and the fellas have been so amazing. I don’t worry any longer
Who is one person you would love to kayak bass fish with?
If I had to pick one person, it would be my Lord!! Some may find that bizarre however He is who created our beautiful outdoors and to be able to be in a kayak bass fishing with Him chatting about how He created the waters, the trees and the bass and all the beauty that surrounds us and the peacefulness we experience when we are out in nature, all I can saw is WOW!!
What would be one piece of advice that you would give to someone considering entering the sport?
GO FOR IT!! Doesn’t matter if you are male or female just DO IT!! You will be blessed beyond measure, you will experience nature like you never have and make wonderful friendships that will last!