From Tutu’s and Tiara’s to Boats, Bass and Bling. It’s just a fishing girl thing
The Central High School fishing duo of Victoria “Bug” Lemmler and Emma “Lou” Simon have known one another since daycare. They started Pre-K together, and studio danced together as young toddlers. That’s how the lifelong friendship began.
As time went on, Emma switched gears and hung up her ballet shoes to take on playing softball, as Victoria continued to dance. Through the years, each one would fish here and there but the pink barbie fishing rods would more than likely end up lost, or in the water rather than catching a fish. Fishing was never the highlight for these two.
In May of 2016, these two ladies were completing their 7th grade year. When they decided to tag along with their families to watch their two older brothers, Central High School Bass Fishing Team alumni Ethan Simon and Scott Lemmler weigh in at Toledo Bend for the Louisiana High School State Championship. The two girls saw one another and hung out all day. A fire ignited that day when they saw that the Central High School team had 3 female anglers competing.
That day: Team BugaLou came alive...
The girls joined Jr. Southwest Bassmasters out of Denham Springs La. run by Jim and Cindy Breaux. The Breaux’s have paved the way for young anglers to become successful by learning techniques, enjoying the great outdoors in the world of fishing, and competing against some of the best junior anglers in the state. During their time in juniors, the girls fished monthly club tournaments, attended monthly meetings, and were even given the opportunity to fish a Bassmaster open on Lake Guntersville, AL.
Victoria "Bug" Lemmler and Emma "Lou" Simon
September 2021, Volume 129
Continue Reading Below.
Continue Reading Below.
As the girls 8th grade year came to an end, they waited for the day the high school seniors at Central finished their last day of school. They knew they had officially become freshmen. and could put on their new Central High School fishing shirts. That day, they became the newest members of the Central High Fishing Team.
As the girls started their freshman year of school, you could see the excitement in their faces knowing they were now another female duo on the fishing team, as well as joining their brothers fishing for the same school. Both girls watched how competitive their brothers were, but it never became a competition for them, at least not yet.
Their freshman year when they fished the first BASS Open on Toledo Bend, the girls were asked by BASS to take over their Instagram page for the day. That was the day; 9:00 snack break came to life. Moms, Jamee Lemmler and Melissa Simon pack special requested snacks for the girls mandatory 9:00 snack break. It doesn’t matter if they are fishing an inter club tournament, state qualifier, BASS Open, or the State Championship. No matter what’s going down, even in the middle of catching lots of fish, they put the rods down to have their 9:00 snack break.
This is something their captains have had to get accustomed to. From catching fish, to completely shutting down to eat a snack puts their captains in a state of shock. No need to argue or fuss when it comes to the importance of the snack break. This dynamic duo isn’t gonna’ miss it.
Dad Captains, Philip Lemmler and Joey Simon, along with grandfather, Lane Thomas say, there is never a dull moment in the boat with these two. It’s just entertainment.
Pawpaw Lane has even learned how to catch fish while dancing to the music.
The girls would say, “You can do it Pawpaw. It’s all in the knees”.
Honestly, the girls just wanted to have fun whether they caught fish or not. They have slept in the boat during inter club tournaments, laid down and fished out the boat not even looking where the bait went, and decided in mid tournament they were too hot and jumped in the water to swim. Many times, they wouldn’t even realize they had a fish on the line because they were too busy dancing, singing, and just enjoying their day.
They would often share one set of air pods so they could listen to their music together. When one has a fish on the line, their captain has had to yell to get their attention and point, as the line would pass the boat swimming away. If they see a family of turtles, that’s 20 minutes with no lines in the water watching the turtles.
Their dad and grandfather captains have said, taking the girls fishing compared to the guys is something you must mentally prepare for. The girls even kiss every fish they catch. They say its good luck and every fish needs love.
As their freshman season came to an end, the girls had a fun year. They walked across the Bassmaster stage for the first time in Smith Lake, AL with 2 fish, they learned a lot, and you never really saw defeat in them when they didn’t catch a fish. No matter how big the tournament, they remained the same with how they reacted. That is the trait of a champion. This is a trait that many seasoned anglers could use.
Continue Reading Below.
Before Team BugLou it was just Emma Simon and Victoria Lemmler. Sure, there was tutus and tiaras and occasionally a barbie pole fishing. These days the girls are giving the boys a run for their money on the water as team BugaLou on the Central High School Bass Fishing Team.
Going into the girl’s sophomore year, you could quickly see how much they matured. They were more comfortable running the trolling motor, getting their rods and baits ready for a tournament, and even loading and unloading the boat. It was at this time, the duo realized how competitive they could be in a primarily male dominate sport.
They started getting more attention as the fun duo started to shine. It was just refreshing to see a boat always come off the water fish or no fish in hand, with smiles on their faces. Their smiles and antics gained the attention of photographers at the tournaments and their faces starting to be plastered all over social media. Simultaneously they were rising in the state leaderboard.
These two simply do what every parent wants their kids to do, JUST HAVE FUN AND ENJOY IT. Word spread about this duo and team BugaLou had started to make a name for themselves. They were two females in high school, on a fishing team, having a blast AND catching fish.
This past school year, the duo double qualified for the state championship placing them in the top 10% of two state qualifiers, stole the show at the Bayou Segnette state qualifier tournament by winning biggest bass with a weight of 5.11lbs, brought in their very first 5 fish limit as a duo during a state qualifier, finished the interclub school year placing 3rd in points and have now become pro-staff members for Shongaloo Outdoors.
Their relaxed demeaner and calm attitude propelled them to the top rankings in what turned out to be Louisiana High School BASS Nation’s toughest division for the 2021 season. They finished just one spot and a few points out of BASS High School National Championship qualification. Their performance for the 2021 season earned them a top 10 in overall points competition of the year. Not too shabby for a couple of young ladies mastering balance on and off the water. Maybe their early days of dance prepared them for their later days of fishing. Whatever the case may be, it’s working.
Take notice young men out there… You could learn a few things from these two about smiling, fishing stress free, and making fun a major priority, which in turn will increase success on the water. As the state director for La. High School BASS Nation, Tommy Abbott says, when you’re having fun fishing, you’re fishing to the best of your ability.
Y’all keep an eye out for Team BugaLou because you’re sure to see them in the coming 2022 high school fishing season that starts September 11th on Toledo Bend out of Cypress Bend Park.
If you would like to follow along in the girl’s journey, be sure to like Team Bugalou, Shongaloo Outdoors and Central High School Bass Fishing Team on Facebook.
You are sure to always see something interesting.