Barb is an avid fisherwoman year around. She is the founder of WI Women Fish. The organization encourages women fishing through education and organized fishing expeditions. Meet a Wisconsin native who is a REEL Adventure Woman.
How did you get introduced to fishing? I grew up in the UP of Michigan and we Ice Fished when I was a kid. I remember going to the annual Ice Fishing Derby and was thrilled the year I won a prize, even though is was for the smallest fish. I got away from it for many years as I was busy raising my daughter. After she grew up I took it up again, and have been going strong ever since.
What attracts you to fishing? The thing I LOVE about fishing is that the possibility of something really exciting happening, at any moment is always there. When I worked as a Police Officer is was the same feeling. One minute nothing and the next moment something big happens. It’s a rush. It is also the ability to be outdoors. To be outside and a witness to the beauty of the scenery around me, the star lit sky, or sun rises and sun sets, I appreciate the beauty every time.
What is your favorite type of fishing? I used to say Ice Fishing. But since I have been added to the Lund Boat pro staff, I have to say walleye fishing. Both thru the ice and open water. Rivers are especially fun.
How often are you outdoors fishing? I fish 3 – 4 times per week and sometimes more. It is always hard to quit whenever I am out.
What is your best fishing tale? When I think about my best fishing story, I have to say it is usually one where I didn’t catch any fish but some catastrophe happens. There are some funny ones. I love telling stories and the ones that get the most laughs are the ones filled with disaster. My best day of fishing was one day on the Chequamegon Bay, on Lake Superior in Ashand WI. My friend and I went, and during the course of the day we caught 10 different species of fish. The action was fast and furious and it was a day I will always remember. I have a love for that body of water ever since.
Why did you start Wisconsin Women Fish? I got so much enjoyment from my personal fishing excursions. I wanted to share it with as many women as I could. I felt like the joy of fishing was a secret among women, and they had no idea what they were missing. I thought that once they experienced what I did, they would love it and want more.
Tell me about your class Ice Fishing 101? Ice Fishing is hard to go out and try if you don’t have any gear. I thought if I could offer a class and let women try it they would see how fun it is. In the class the Women learn how to use a power auger, set up shacks, set tip ups, tip downs, use a jig pole and we even include some electronics lessons. In 2011 we had a Women take our Ice Fishing class and she loved it. This year, in 2012, she just won the biggest Northern at a fishing derby after she pulled out a 36 ½ inch Pike.
Are more girls (and women) fishing? Do you believe it’s a growing sport for females? I feel that our club is getting more women on the water. It is growing by leaps and bounds. We can offer some additional support for women, like a friend to go out with, getting more comfortable with boating and fishing. We have women in their 70’s whom now tow there boats to a gathering on their own. Before they had support from us they would have never gone alone. It is the support system and fellowship that we create that is really getting more women to get serious into the fishing. And its women from all ages and backgrounds, but they all have a love for fishing. Our Master Angler program gets more women trying for additional species. We have trips to fish for species that people didn’t even know were available in Wisconsin like Salmon and Whitefish. Even though our name is WI Women Fish we have members from 6 states and even had one woman from Florida take our Ice Fishing 101 class.
What’s your best ice fishing bait? That is a tough one. Each lake and type of fishing is different. I tend to like jigging with spoons like the PK Flutter Fish or a Swedish pimple. I am a sucker for buying new baits whenever I hit the bait store. I would rather fish with larger baits like spoons. I find it tough working with those tiny jigs.
We always love a great fish recipe. Do you have one to share?
1-2 lbs leftover fried fish, broken into bite sized pieces.
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 TBSP Canola Oil
1/2 C chopped fresh Cilantro or 1TBSP dry Cilantro
1/2 Tsp Red Pepper or Cayenne pepper
1 Tsp Chili Powder
1TBSP Cumin powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP Lime juice or 1/2 fresh squeezed lime
1/4 Cup Tequilla
*If you don't have the red pepper, chili powder or cumin, you can use your favorite package of Taco Seasoning mix.
Toppings: grated cheddar cheese, tomatoes, avacado, sour cream and either shredded cabbage or other lettuce.
In a frying pan, add oil, onion, peppers and garlic. Saute until tender and somewhat caramelized. Add fish pieces and remaining seasonings and liquid called for. Toss all ingredients and continue to saute for approx. 20 minutes for flavors to meld. Add additional moisture as needed to mixture from becoming too dry. Keep warm until shells are ready.
Shells. You can use soft flour tortillas, hard shells or fry your own from corn shells. (my favorite)
For more information about Wisconsin Women Fish visit: http://wiwomenfish.com