Texas angler Stephanie Hemphill-Pellerin recently finished her fourth season on the professional bass circuit, competing in the National Professional Fishing League (NPFL) in tournaments all around the country. We caught up with her to discuss her career.
How long have you been a professional angler?
For four years now, but it’s my second time as a pro, because I took several years off to raise kids.
Are you a Texas native?
Yes, I was raised fishing the Sam Rayburn Reservoir [about a two-hour drive northeast of Houston], and that’s always been my home waters.
Did you grow up fishing?
I’ve literally been fishing since before I could walk. My Mom put a crib on our pontoon boat and took me out when I was a baby. My Dad says I caught my first bass on a Barbie rod and reel when I was two.
How many tournaments do you fish a year?
Between 10 and 20, depending on my sponsorship. This year I expect to fish around 20 tournaments.
Who are your main sponsors?
My main sponsor is joefromtexas.com and also Rayburn Resorts. My boat’s wrap will be joefromtexas.com.
What kind of boat do you fish?
This year I’ll be running a Phoenix 921 with a 250 hp Mercury outboard on the transom.
Do you fish for anything but bass?
I like to fish for redfish and flounder. I really like to catch reds from a kayak and be pulled around for a bit.
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Do you like to do anything else on the water?
If I’m on the water, I’m fishing. Whenever I see water, I need to be working it and getting better. When I’m not fishing, I really love to golf.
What’s the main difference between fishing and golf?
With fishing, you’re trying to catch something that has a brain and decides when and where it wants to eat. With golf, the ball has no say in how you do.
What’s it like being the only woman fishing on the NPFL?
If I get any attention, I want it to be because I’m working really hard and fishing really well. That’s all that matters.