Dressed to the Nines


Every tournament angler, whether he’s just fished one local derby for fifty bucks or has true aspirations of making a living at it, has envisioned the trip to the Bassmaster Classic stage and has picked out his walk-up music.

If you tell me you haven’t at least thought about it, you’re lying. 

You might go back and forth on what that music might be, but you’ve spent time driving or on the crapper or when you should have been working running a list of songs through your head.

At least you have some control over that. I mean, making the Classic is near-impossible for many of us, but if we were to go to the big dance picking your music is the least of your worries.

The ones I feel bad for are the pros’ wives.

Before you call me a sexist pig, hear me out. While there have been a few female Classic competitors, we’ve yet to have one contend for the title, and we’ve yet to have one qualify for the Elite Series, so at this point it’s basically all dudes. As far as I know, all of them are either single or married to women, so “wives” is the applicable term here.

The poor wives have to stay on the bank, or at the hotel, and watch BASSTrakk or try to put the event out of their mind. If their husband is in contention going into the last day, or the last hours, they have to make a choice – How am I going to dress?

This is not as inconsequential as you might think. If your husband or boyfriend wins, the cameras are going to focus on you at some point. You want to be wearing something flattering. It shouldn’t be too revealing, too era-specific or too fashion forward, lest you want to be the woman on the historical tapes wearing leg warmers or a beret. At the same time, you shouldn’t look like you’ve tried too hard. If you’re dolled up in a prom dress, heavy makeup or Chanel couture, not only are you likely to be ridiculed by some of your peers but you’re potentially going to jinx your husband. That would be my biggest fear as a contender’s spouse – that I’d get a special outfit, perhaps fly in on Day Four of a tournament (paying same-day rates) to get there, and then watch him fall short of the title, compounding the pain.

To date, as far as I can recall all of the BASS wives have done an admirable job of striking a solid balance. Most recently, Jennie DeFoe managed to look composed, beautiful,, fashionable and is if she hadn’t tried too hard. That’s the only reason I’m glad that no woman has yet contended for a Classic title – most of us guys would likely show up in a “Get-R-Done” t-shirt,  some form of camo, or a hat that looked like it had been through the spin cycle (or possibly all three). We’re not ready to handle that kind of responsibility.