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Georgia's Laura Gober Goes for the Top Title in Women's Bass Fishing
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Georgia's Laura Gober Goes for the Top Title in Women's Bass Fishing


Laura Gober womens bassmaster tour

Georgia's Laura Gober is in third place in the WBT Angler of the Year standings.

Laura Gober of Pendergrass, Ga., has improved so much on the Academy Sports + Outdoors Women's Bassmaster Tour she's in contention this season for the sport's highest honor, Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year.

With just one regular-season tournament remaining, Gober is in third place in the AOY standings. She is 43 points behind fellow Georgian and points-race leader Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, and just 34 points behind Juanita Robinson of Highlands, Texas.

"I feel pretty good about my points standing," said Gober, who in 2007 won a WBT tournament on the Red River in Louisiana. "I like looking up, knowing what I need to do: Get in front of Juanita and Pam. I wouldn't be unhappy if I was leading in points, but I think I'd be feeling a lot more pressure."

The angler who captures the AOY title will win a Toyota Tundra and an entry in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 19-21 on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Ala.

The 2009 WBT Angler of the Year will become just the second woman to compete in the Classic, taking a place in angling history beside Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., who as 2008 WBT AOY was the first woman to compete in a Classic.

Does Gober believe she can win the AOY title? She's confident, not cocky, about that.

"I'm trying not to look at the big picture, I'm trying to take it one tournament at a time, concentrating on keeping in the top five," she said.

That means she's focusing on the Sept. 10-12 tournament on Old Hickory Lake out of Hendersonville, Tenn. After that event, the top 20 in points will qualify for the Academy Sports + Outdoors WBT Championship, set for Oct. 16-18 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. - the same venue at which Gober took her WBT win.

Qualifying for the Red River championship is not necessarily heavy on her mind. "Where I am now in points, I'm virtually locked into the championship, even if I fall hard at Old Hickory," she said.

"I'm concentrating on Old Hickory, how I can win it," she said. "Last year I did pretty good there - I finished seventh - so I feel confident going into it."

She said she's planning a scouting trip to the Tennessee fishery, and has begun to formulate a game plan.

"I know current will play a big part," she said. "When they pull current there, ledge fishing is a big deal. That really does not play to my strengths because I'm not a big ledge fisherman. But the river fishing and the flipping will. If I can get on some fish with that technique, I think I'll do really well."

Again, Gober is confident, not cocky. She has worked for her recent success, and her track record in the standings proves her efforts are paying off. She finished 34th in points in 2006, the circuit's inaugural year. She was 19th in 2007. In 2008, she hit 14th. Her position in third place now comes from top-12 finishes in all three events so far this season.

"Every year I've been gaining experience and the confidence I need to go out and compete against the other anglers. Every chance I have, I spend my time fishing," she said.

"And going to the different river systems and lakes has helped me learn how to adjust to different conditions. Now I always ask myself, 'What did I do wrong at the last tournament? What can I do differently in the next tournament?'

"I love fishing, I love the challenge I put on myself to get out there. I've always been athletic, and like the individual sports - I ran cross-country and track. I like being able to say I accomplished my goal, and that I did it on my own."

Wednesday 08 July 2009 - 11:45:02

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