On any given day now in the South Louisiana waters, you will not only see women fishing with their significant others, but launching their own boats. Gone are the days of men keeping the joys of fishing all to themselves, and somewhere, along the way us women “caught” on.
Fishing was shared with me as a young child. My brother would take me out fishing winter, spring, summer & fall. And ladies, when your older brother is teaching you to fish, you best bet you will be able to tie on your tackle, bait your hook, reel it in, and put that fish in the ice chest.
Respect Is Earned
After meeting my now husband, it was not more than an hour into the first date that I asked the obvious question, the one that would determine if there would even be a second date, “do you fish?”. Let’s just say, he gave the right answer and we said, “I do” on the shore of the blue gulf waters. I quickly became his favorite fishing partner.
Today, my husband will tell anyone that will listen he would rather fish with me any day than a grouchy old man. I did have to prove myself worthy though right from the start. See ladies, respect on the water, is earned. It is in no way cute to a serious angler to have a lady on the boat who needs everything done for her. Show a man you can not only handle yourself, but be some help to him with the boat, bait & catch, and trust me, he will be bragging to all his friends in no time.
Times A Changin’
I know most of my female friend’s fish also. You know how the saying goes, “birds of a feather, flock together”. I wanted to see if the cast net of female anglers was even larger than I had thought. I also have noticed that us fishing chicks are doing more at the launch, and with the boat. So yesterday, I decided to interview a few of the ladies through Social Media, to see if my hunch was right.
I decided my research would begin with asking the ladies out there, six simple questions:
- Do you prefer freshwater or saltwater fishing?
- Are you capable of pulling, trailering & operating a boat?
- If so, what size boat do you run?
- Do you tie on your own tack, bait your hook, and remove your fish?
- Do you clean the days catch?
- I even asked the ladies about their wardrobe. You know we are flooded with young hot chicks in bikinis fishing all over the internet, but, we choose what we wear just same as the men do, how dang hot or cold it is that day?
My inbox began to ding immediately, I knew these ladies were just waiting to be asked. Gals as young as teens sharing fish tales of fishing beside their high school sweethearts, to the older ladies who are masters of the sport. Though the amount of responsibility each one shared with their guy may differ slightly, one thing was common across the board. These gals fish not just to spend quality time with their significant other, but they truly enjoyed the sport themselves. I would also bet, if they had a crisis and had to get that boat out & onto the trailer, they are all capable. Here are a few of the responses, and each lady was proud to let me use their name:
“I Fish mostly Leesville & Fourchon area, but have fished the Rigolets also. We fresh water fish on occasion also. I can operate the boat. Back the trailer up?….that’s a no! Lol! , I pull it out after Ralph loads it. I can drive any type of fishing boat! And no…. I do not clean fish’. Lol!”
“Leesville, Grand Isle, Slidell, & Laplace. I prefer inshore saltwater fishing and froggin! I usually wear a bathing suit and if I start to burn, I’ll throw on a t-shirt. Yes, 2-prefer inshore saltwater fishing and freshwater frogging. I usually wear a bathing suit and when I’m feeling burnt I’ll put on a t-shirt. I can pull, launch, drive and trailer a boat. Max size 24ft but only because I’ve never had the option for larger.”
“We freshwater fish. We fish at Toledo Bend, but just bought a camp off of Belle River, Lake Verret area. I bait, remove all but the catfish, I help a little from time to time cleaning but most of the time, NO. I can pull the boat and I will put it in the water if there aren’t a lot of boats waiting to get in and out. And, yes, you can use my name.”
Personally, huge props to Samantha C. for even doing a lil froggin. I, like Sam here, will start in my swimsuit in the summer, till my skin begins to burn. Now fellas, for the most part us female anglers are not what you see on the internet to lure you into a website. We dress for comfort and not vanity. With so many options now available in women’s fishing apparel, it’s easy to find what you feel most comfortable in. Camo has come a long way, pretty in pink and with sun protection fabrics.
Remember guys, most of the models on those websites do NOT actually do any fishing, they are models. I’m sure there are some that also fish, but they get paid to model. We most certainly are not all a size two in a string bikini with flawless makeup landing a limit of Speckled Trout.
And Terry C. you have me beat. I have yet to volunteer up my services to clean the fish. That is now on my bucket list! I do agree with Lisa T. there isn’t a boat out there I can’t operate, and another NO to cleaning the fish. I’m guessing that’s because while they are cleaning the fish, we are getting the boat unpacked and the oil heatin up to start cooking.
Land a Fish, Land a Man
I never did trust a man that didn’t fish. There is just something manly, rugged, and pretty sexy about a man who can talk tidal effect, water temperatures and migration. I assure you that our guys aren’t leaving us behind because they don’t want us around, it’s because we never showed an interest. Let’s face it, he’s less likely to get all fired up about antique shopping downtown, but ask a man to take you fishing, and watch his eyes light up. Well, what if you have just never had the opportunity to learn? Ladies, it’s time to take the Mullet by the gills and go for it!
A Good Bit of Advice
If you make that first trip out and want to get asked back again, keep the “gross, yuck, oh that’s slimy” talk to yourself. I use a Grab It Glove and belt with pliers handy for the fish I catch, and I keep a hand towel near when my hands get a little too slimed for my comfort. Let’s not forget, I do have to fix sandwiches eventually, so I don’t feel guilty about wiping my hands off. Me, personally most trips out for me, I’m fishing artificial bait anyway, I like the challenge. I like to be able to work a lure as good if not better than the next guy, or gal. Trust me ladies, let me remind you again how amazing we are, we give birth, to small humans. We touch, smell, and often end up covered in things much worse than earthworms, crickets, and minnows. Reel in a few good fish and you will be jumping to get that bait back out there for the next one.
Knowledge is Everywhere
If you are ready to tag along & want to surprise your guy, pull up a few You Tube Videos, practice with the truck and trailer, tie on some tackle. If you want to get excited about fishing, look into a fishing charter out of Venice LA, that will change your mind.
It is all so much simpler than you can imagine. Educate yourself and then strut your stuff. Ladies, I am not one bit a woman’s lib type of gal, I still like the traditional roles, but I enjoy fishing. I enjoy things even more when I feel educated about any task that I take on. Yes, I grab the Louisiana Sportsman Magazine when it comes in, I’m an avid reader of Marsh Magazine and have found several women’s groups on Social Media that are all about fishing in South Louisiana.
Respect the Sport
I can handle myself, and I do not complain on the days the bite is slow. There is a reason it’s called fishing and not catching. Always have your fishing license up to date, and know the limits per species that you can keep. Be kind and courteous to the fellow boaters, but don’t let the guys push you around either. Some men just cannot accept us out fishing them. I love it when I hear “That chick is going to try and trailer that boat, we will be here all day”, then I glide it on, add a hair flip, smile & prove them wrong.
Those That Fish Together, Stay Together
Personally, I prefer saltwater fishing, and my husband knows, don’t touch my rigs, and never, ever put filament on my reel. I’m a braided line gal. We will both tell you, the time we spend on the water is our time. No phones, no other demands on us, time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and share in a beloved sport.
Coupled with the obvious, that I can toss together a pretty decent mid-day sandwich, and I am pretty sure I will remain his total package. Fish On Ladies, Fish On!
(P.S.: I know more than a few lady anglers that ditched the husband, but kept the boat)