Carolyn Poole has been fishing our area waterways all her life. Growing up fishing for bream along the Shoal and Choctawhatchee rivers, Poole has always enjoyed being outdoors with her family, who center their get-togethers along the rivers and creeks.
After marrying her true love in 1985 Poole continued the sporting life. Her husband, John Wayne was an avid fisherman and hunter. Together they would spend entire weekends enjoying the outdoors from Friday evening to late Sunday night.
“I use to get to work early on Monday mornings, just to have time to paint my fingernails,” Poole chuckled. “We were so busy enjoying the outdoors I hardly had time for anything else.”
After retiring from a 32-year career with Eglin Federal Credit Union, Carolyn and her husband continued to enjoy the sporting life. Hunting on a 5,000-acre parcel near Darlington, and recreational bass fishing on Lake Talquin, Suwanee, and Apalachicola rivers … life was good. However, she soon wondered what else she could do to enjoy her new retirement.
“There was something else I wanted to do with my life, then I read an article about ladies pro fishing in a 2001 copy of ‘North American Sportswoman’ and that was it,” she said.
A second career soon arose. Carolyn joined the Woman’s Bass Fishing Association, and entered her first tournament on Lake Wimico. She went on to compete in WBT pro angler tours, WBFA co angler tours, and numerous other tournaments.
When her husband passed in 2007, Poole stopped competing professionally, only fishing a few of her brother Carson Sweeney’s tournaments along Black Creek. That is until this year, when she reignited her pro status and joined the Women’s Pro Bass Tour (LBAA). The tour included tournaments in Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas. The top 12 anglers of the four tourneys received an invitation to compete in the Lady Bass Classic in Alabama, where Poole reeled in 8th place.
“You can do anything you want to. You are never too young or too old,” Poole said with a grin.
Carolyn Poole currently lives on a lake in New Hope with her three beloved dachshunds and a beautiful view. At 71, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Congratulations Carolyn Poole, we are looking forward to seeing what you do next.
Side note: For the past three years, Carolyn Poole has graciously volunteered her talents to helping teach kids fishing at the Walton Outdoors’ Explore The Outdoors Festival. We are fortunate to have such a great lady involved in getting kids engaged in the sport of fishing.