1. How did you get introduced to fishing?
I was not raised with a fishing rod in my hand, the closest that I ever got to the sport was when I was 9 years old. I was running around playing when we were up at Washago Beach and all of a sudden I felt a quick and painful pulling at my right hand. I had not seen this young boy casting his fishing rod at the shoreline and as he tossed his line towards the water he actually had managed to catch me instead. His hook was stuck into my knuckle on my middle finger and it became embedded. With the hook in the bone, it now had to be cut out. Not one of my happiest memories in my life and I still have the scar to prove it.
I guess that is one of the reasons that I had never fished before 1999 and it actually took getting back into the dating scene after a divorce that I met an avid fisherman who introduced me into at least going out and trying to fish. You can say he got me hooked. (Yes, and unfortunately as a sideline… He got me hooked,,,line..married..sunk..and … divorced…. But at least I still LOVE Fishing! So something great did come out of it. :D )
2. You were CEO/Founder of Fishergirl for several years. Why do you think it’s important for girls (of all ages) to fish?
Fishing is not just about age or sex. My granddaughter started to fish with me as soon as I could get her to hold a fishing rod, by the time she was three I was calling her the fish whisperer. The beauty of fishing is at any age young or old it can be enjoyed. It is not about catching fish but the time that you get to go and experience the outdoors. It has to do with the actual adventure that it offers and the challenge of you against what might be below the surface. Fishing allows us the opportunity to escape if even briefly the daily distractions and stresses in our lives. Opening up a door to the outside is like opening up endless subjects to discuss.
I have said many times that as much as it is about sitting on a shoreline or in a boat with a fishing rod in your hand, it is much more about the conversations that you get to have and memories that you are able to make that really make that day the reason you are able to share it with the person you are with. When you have the opportunity to go out on your own and fish and clear your head of the stress and rejuvenate there is not a better place to retreat too.
Fishing gives Girls Power! When you watch younger girls catch fish you realize that they recognize that they too can also be Fishers... no different than what a boy can do… However, I beg to disagree, since I believe that females are the better fishers due to our patience, and so many times I watch the girls out fish the boys. Fishing also encourages children to learn how to makes decisions and work together. When we teach children how to fish we also are encouraging them to learn responsibility and finding compassion and understanding for nature at the same time.
3. Is the sport of fishing growing for females?
Absolutely, move over Bubba. When I started FisherGirl there was not one single company in the marketplace that was recognizing that girls were fishing. I was actually told there was no need! However I laughed and said that maybe they just didn’t really see what they were missing and how many females were actually out there in front of them participating in it already. Today there are almost 17 Million female licensed anglers in the U.S. alone. Taking into account all of the recreational anglers that do not feel the need to get a license the marketplace this is huge. Not bad for the fact that they felt that we did not really exist.
Women are now fishing even professionally in tournaments schedules everywhere. In 2006 the first Women’s’ Bassmasters Tour was started with 200 women in the field. I was fortunate enough to be one of those women and had the opportunity to fish the season across the U.S. Today women are participating in all forms of fishing tournaments from bass fishing, red fish, and striper, sailfish, and billfish nothings stopping them from participating. It only shows how far we actually have come.
4. Tell us about Women Fishing?
WomenFishing.com and GirlsFish.com both have a mission to teach our children to respect and preserve our waterways for future generations so that they too will be able to enjoy the experience. Our second goal is to educate and inspire families to get back out to the outdoors. When I left FisherGirl after both of my parents became ill with cancer, I knew that somehow I would reconnect again to the fishing industry. After they both passed away, I decided to follow my dream and vision and I started Womenfishing. Now I have the opportunity to share with others the information about fishing and all of the benefits that it has through the website offering the information free to anyone that visits.
My goal is to encourage and inspire others to take the chance and explore the outdoors. I hope to share some of my experiences, whether they are good bad or just plain funny, fishing has given it all to me. I know that I have never had so many amazing times in my life than the ones that I have had sitting with a fishing rod in my hand. I am Passionate about making a difference one fishing rod at a time.
Girlsfish.com came about when I recognized the need to approach the younger viewer and the site is just starting the development stage and growing daily. Our goal is to make it a more interactive site for the viewer to share their experiences.
5. What is your favorite fishing experience/tale?
This one is a true story. One day we were long line trolling and my line was at least 150 feet behind the boat. In front of us we witnessed a beautiful site, a beaver about 50 lbs. that smacked his tail onto the water and then came back and did it again. Instantly I commented “Oh no what about my lure” and was told, “Silly Girl! Beavers don’t eat Fish!” I was so relieved and we continued on trolling through the narrows. Within 30 seconds, Bam! My rod almost bent in half. My heart was racing as the line started zipping off the spool. I was so excited and knew I had a big one on. I continually fought and reeled, every time I thought that I was winning the line would start to zing and more would be zipping off the spool almost as fast as I was reeling. We cut the motor to the boat and I was standing having the fight of my life with this monster. He was pulling us all over the small bay; the boat was not in our control it was now being captained by my catch. For over twenty minutes I was not giving up, this was my biggest and toughest catch to date and there was no way I was going to let it win. All of a sudden my line went slack and my heart went still, “OH NO!” I couldn’t have lost it, I had my line tight. I tried reeling in again and then I see it… Standing on Shore! Yes, the Beaver! He had my lure attached to his foot and was shaking it off. I had caught myself a 50+ lb. beaver!
We went back to the cottage and shared our story with everyone as they all laughed we me… and at me. We decided to go and fish from the road it was still early. While sitting there we were using minnows. About 5 minutes into fishing I noticed a loon coming our way and made a comment about it. However, I was told… “Silly Girl! The Loon will not bother your MINNOW! Really? Wrong! Seconds later, it took my minnow, it came up out of the water with it in its mouth, hook and line and it started down the lake… I had to cut my line and let it go! Yes it was quite the day. I caught a Beaver and a Loon and no fish. One lost $10.00 lure and one minnow. When everyone heard what happened they asked if I wanted to surrender my fishing license and maybe go to hunting instead.
I love Bass fishing in the summertime and Walleye in the Spring-time and fall.
There is a difference with Sportfishing in saltwater. When I was down in Puerto Vallarta we were fishing about 30 miles out when all of a sudden my line caught a fish, it wasn’t long before I knew there was no way I could try and bring it in. I had caught a 650 lb. sail fish. I was so excited although for all of 1 minute I was behind the reel as fear had it, I did not want to be part of the bait so I took it for the team and gave up my rod. Actually I was really glad that I did just that because it took the 4 men in the boat another 45 minutes to bring it to the boat. One of the guys decided he wanted to keep it and paid $2500 to have it shipped home.
The most memorable freshwater fish definitely is only one fish that had to count in order for me to be paid a check in Lake Norman for the Women’s Bassmasters in 2006 and that one I will never forget. I was told it actually was called a mean mouth bass because it left its teeth marks on my thumb, either way I didn’t care I called it “bring momma the money bass”. That tournament allowed me to have the bragging rights of Canadian Female Angler with the Best record to fish on the Bassmasters Tour and that still remains today.
Be patient, enjoy the moments, don’t fish to catch fish but to catch the experiences. I love fishing with a bag of gummy worms (Kids candy) there cheap and fish love them, plus if your kids get bored they can eat the bait. Fish PINK! Fish LOVE PINK! Really.
The trip that I absolutely loved and have very fond memories would have to be a fly-in that I did in Juneau Alaska. We had a float plane take us to the mouth of a riverbed and from their walked up stream with our guide. It was the most amazing trip of my life with salmon so thick that after 4 hours my arms were so tired I didn’t know if I would be able to pick up my fishing rod.
I make this all and actually it’s a request usually from family and friends if I have caught walleye.
Walleye (Pickerel) on the BBQ
This is one of the easiest and quickest recipes.
Filets - Butter
Lemon - Can Diced Tomatoes
Montreal Steak Spice (or similar)
Serve with Rice or Potato
Take the filet and place on a good size piece of foil (you will need enough to make it into a tent)
Butter the filet on the up side and cover with
Approx. 3 tbsp. of diced tomatoes and chopped onion.
Sprinkle over Steak Spice and squeeze fresh lemon
Over the filet.
Make the foil into a tent folding all sides together; continue the above for additional filets.
Preheat BBQ for 10 minutes and then place on medium heat for approx. 4 minutes and then turn over for an additional 4 minutes.
Dinner is ready to serve over rice