They said she'd never make it in a 'man's world'

Ann Thomasson-Wilson celebrated 35 years in business at Ann's Tackle Shop, 4198 N. Wheeler St., Jasper, on Aug. 6.

Ann Thomasson-Wilson celebrated 35 years in business at Ann’s Tackle Shop, 4198 N. Wheeler St., Jasper, on Aug. 6.

Courtesy photo

Ann Thomasson-Wilson, the owner of Ann’s Tackle Shop on U.S. 96 north located beside Premier Boating Center, celebrated her business’ 35th anniversary on Aug. 6.

Thomasson-Wilson, 83, turned what she loved doing into a business that she loved sharing with untold numbers of people heading to Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Toledo Bend Reservoir to cast a hook in the water.

Thomasson-Wilson was a pioneer in the professional fishing ranks as the sport began to take shape in the early 1970s.

In 1988 and 1989, she reached the pinnacle as she won the title of Woman’s World Bass Champion.

The two trophies are still on the back counter of her tackle shop, and she takes great pride in her accomplishments.

In 1986, she bought a struggling bait and tackle shop and the rest is history.

The shop has been in three different locations, but it has been at its current location since December 2003.

When she started the tackle shop, she once overheard some discouraging words.

“She will never make it in a man’s world!”

She not only made it, she has made it work for 35 years and show no signs of stopping.

Thomasson-Wilson loves to tell stories about the people who have come in and out of the shop over all these years.

“I get calls from people all over the county that tell me that they were in the shop,” she said

“A parent or grandparent brought them in, and they want to tell me that they are passing on the love fishing on to their own children.”

She calls all the kids who come in the shop “Honey.” There are too many to remember, but they still come in as adults and ask, “Do you remember me?” Ann said.

“It makes it all worthwhile when someone brings a child into the shop, and they tell me that they are passing along the tradition of coming to Ann’s.”

Thomasson-Wilson felt honored to have her picture hanging on the wall at the MVP Restaurant alongside other sports legends from Jasper and the surrounding area.

“I don’t work many afternoons anymore and I leave the shop early. Sometimes I take a nap and sometimes I just go fishing!” she said.