OKEECHOBEE, Fla.–March 2, 1998–Wanda Rucker of Cocoa, Florida,became the first woman in history to win a Red Man Tournament Trail bass tournament. Rucker took first place and earned $4,438, plus 50 CITGO Challenge Points by winning the Red Man Gator Division qualifier held Sunday at Roland Martin’s. Rucker landed a five-bass-limit weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces, to top the field of 342 anglers competing for cash prizes totaling $18,185.
Rucker became the first woman angler to win a Red Man event since Operation Bass began operations in 1979. Operation Bass has conducted more than 2,500 Red Man Tournaments in that time. Prior to Rucker’s win, the best finish for a woman angler was a top-five finish.
Rucker fished the open areas and canal area using Gambler worms on Stren 15-pound-test line.