EDITOR’S NOTE: THEIR STORY: Lee Rose Koza Presented by Toyota is part one of a four-part series on women who have created inspiring paths through the world of bass fishing.

Everybody’s fishing story has a beginning. For former Abu Garcia College Fishing angler Lee Rose Koza, it began at Dugout Bait and Tackle, her family’s tackle shop in Marietta, Georgia, where she dipped minnows as a child and rode along with her dad on tackle and bait deliveries throughout the Southeast. Her story continued in high school, where an emotional conversation in the Koza home led to her fishing with her brother as a teammate, and further to Carson-Newman University in Tennessee, where she fished for the Eagle Anglers and earned a degree in Communications Studies.

And then on into life. Koza’s fishing journey includes a profession that she loves: She’s now Program Coordinator for Visit Jefferson County, Tennessee, where her responsibilities include planning bass tournaments and working on community projects around the fisheries in the county.

“Fishing has given me so much in my life,” Koza says. “It’s brought my family together, it gave me an amazing college experience and has given me so many important relationships in my life. I plan bass tournaments as part of my job now! And I can trace it all back to growing up at the Dugout Bait and Tackle in Marietta, Georgia.”