Adventurer and Fisherwoman
How did you become a fisherwoman? When did you start?
I started learning to fish while very young. My parents didn’t have a baby sitter so I HAD to tag along. Once they put a fishing pole in my hand, I was “hooked! When most girls were playing with Barbies, I was with them fishing the northern waters of Canada for muskie, walley, northern and bass. I fished as often as I could. When I was finally able to paddle a canoe by myself, you could be sure I could be found on the water. What a better way to spend the days?
I became a kayak-fishing guide by trade because of my passion for fishing. I love sight fishing for saltwater inshore species like redfish, black drum, snook, flounder and sea trout. The only way to do this is to stand and see the fish from a better angle than sitting by using the most stable kayaks designed for this purpose, Native Watercraft boats. When you see a school of 100’s of redfish that look like a copper carpet, you lose your breath and your heart starts to pound. And when you get one of your clients to hookup on one of these bull redfish, there is nothing more thrilling than seeing them taking what us Floridian’s call a “Florida Sleigh ride”.
The weather controls the amount of days I am out fishing. When fishing from a kayak, one needs to extra cautions on windy and rainy days. I never like to put my clients or myself in any danger so I try to follow weather reports closely. Last year, I fished 275 days, not all with clients. I target my favorite species, redfish, snook, sea trout, flounder, and “the big ugly”, black drum.
There are so many I would love to share bit this one springs to mind. I had decided to fish around the Sebastian Inlet flats a few years, looking for the bull reds that like to go through the inlet and run along a drop off during the tide changes in search of their dinners. They were there the day before so I adjusted for the one hour difference in tide change and launched one hour later the next day. I made ready by anchoring, rigging up with a 12 Fathom Buzz Tail lure on a 1/8 oz Joe Jig and started looking for any signs of their presence. As predicted, the reds were pushing and made a charge for a big mullet school. I cast into the school and hooked up on what I thought to be my biggest redfish to date. I was almost spooled! I lifted the anchor up and let the fish take me on what felt like a 20 minute sleigh ride out to the middle of the Indian River Lagoon. Then it turned back to where we started the fight. All of a sudden, there was no fight. As I reeled in what felt like a log turned out to be a chomped in half redfish with a bloody trail right behind it. A huge bull shark ate my bull red. I netted up the half eaten mess and put it in my kayak, paddled over to the shallows and photographed what once was a 50 plus inch redfish, now down to 32 inches. The bite pattern on the fish’s remains was well larger than my thigh. It makes a person think twice if they decide to wade fish in the shallows. I guess it was not my time to catch my prized bull red.
Offshore saltwater fishing in a kayak! I want to get out there and land some of the species that many have been landing from offshore boats like kingfish, cobia, sea bass, and maybe even a marlin! I see many men landing these gorgeous fish so I want to get out there and give it a try!
Ironically, I love the thrill of the catch but I also love the Zen part of fishing and what it can teach about life. I think most women would agree that fishing touches, calms and can even heal the human soul. Even if you don’t land a fish, just being in the outdoors, getting up close and personal with nature can be very relaxing and calming. It takes you away from the hustle and bustle of busy lives. It also teaches us lessons in persistence and tenacity. You’re not always going to get what you want, in fishing or in life.
When fishing the grass flats, you must approach with the utmost quiet and if you can see the fish, they probably saw or heard you way before you did.
An assortment of soft plastic lures and hard baits all in one little tackle box, leader, hooks, scissors, knife, lens wipes, sunscreen, chapstick, first aid kit.
It’s not about the fish, it’s about catching the thrill.
Sure!! Crab Stuffed Flounder
This is really for flounder but you can use almost any white fish in place. This recipe is for two people.
3 tablespoons butter, divided