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Posted By The Bass Hog

October 27, 2022 BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Besting a field of nearly 800 other B.A.S.S. members in the “I Am Bassmaster” cover photo contest, Anastasia Patterson of Sumter, S.C., is living out a calling for competitive angling that started when she was just eight while serving as an ambassador for the sport.

“I have so many Bassmaster magazines I have kept over the years, gotten some signed and even used them to help me learn new techniques,” said Patterson. “I never imagined I’d actually be in one, much less on the cover, and it really motivates me to work hard and fish harder so this hopefully won’t be the last time.”

More than 16 years ago, Patterson declared her desire to be a professional angler while attending the Elite Series Santee Cooper Showdown. Now balancing a career in event planning with tournament fishing, Patterson frequently went hunting or fishing before competing in pageants in middle school and high school. And while focused on breaking into the highest ranks of professional angling, she draws on past hurdles and doubters to help push her to succeed.

“I recognized that there weren’t many people on that stage who looked like me,” said Patterson of that tournament at Santee Cooper. “Not just the color of my skin, but the fact that there were no women.

“I told a guy in high school that I wanted to fish professionally, and he said that a woman would never make it, period. I let that swim around in my head for a while. Then, I decided to use it as fuel.”

After high school, Patterson attended Presbyterian College, where she founded the school’s bass fishing team and competed collegiately for more than three years. Since then, she has continued tournament fishing — notching a second-place finish on the USA Bass side of the 2022 ICAST Cup — and remains heavily involved in the fishing industry.

But Patterson’s ultimate goal remains unchanged: “I want to fish at the Elite level. I’m not worried about being the first woman to achieve this; I’m simply focused on achieving it … I don’t know how to put it into words, but I think the Lord called me to do this at a young age. And I do not have a plan B.”

The “I Am Bassmaster” cover photo contest, which ran from April 1 through August 31, gave B.A.S.S. members the opportunity to demonstrate how they personally embody one of the three basic tenets of the B.A.S.S. shield — passion for fishing, protection of the sport and desire to pass on the tradition.

“‘I Am Bassmaster’ means everything to me honestly,” explained Patterson. “It’s all your hopes and dreams and hard work meaning something, but not only yours, [but] the legacy of those who went before you and those who will go behind you in this sport.

“I Am Bassmaster … but it’s way bigger than me.”

A full listing of the other finalists and all of the stories behind their cover-worthy catches appears in the November/December issue of Bassmaster Magazine.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.Anastasia Patterson


 
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