The first black woman to compete in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open says she is ready for the challenge.
Sabrina Thompson decided to enter when the Women's Bassmaster tournament closed last year because of a lack of participation.
"To be apart of that is, to me, is just being here," she said. "If I don't win anything, I'm here, you know, and that's the big thing. I'm opening doors for other women to say, 'I can do that, too. If she's out there, I can get out there, too.'"
Thompson said she learned to fish late in life because her children wanted to fish. But since then, she has fished in various tournaments for the past 30 years.
She said she hopes her exposure will help other minority fisherman, who are often overlooked by sponsors and vendors.
"There are a lot of African-Americans out here fishing," she said.
But Thompson said vendors don't recognize black fishers as demographic because they don't know the anglers are out there.
Thompson also said she has received numerous e-mails and calls from girls and women who are encouraged by her success and want to learn how to fish.
"I think what it is, not a lot of African-American females will get out there and compete," she said. "There are some out there. I'm here to tell them, 'You can. You can compete.'"
The tournament begins Thursday on Lake Lewisville. The winner receives $100,000 in cash and prizes
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