Women and Fishing -- Not
Just A Man's Sport
E. A. Edwards
More and more women are
learning to enjoy fishing each and every day. And, why not? Fishing is a sport
that doesn't require exceptional strength, stamina or height – quite the
contrary, fishing is a sport of agility, finesse and patience, skills many women
already possess. So why don't more women fish?
requires knowledge of various types of fishing gear, tackle, and an
understanding of the quarry. Fish have a variety of feeding habits, behavioral
patterns, etc. and these characteristics influence how to go about fishing for
learned how to fish when they were boys from fathers and grandfathers. Even if
this training was lacking, it's no big deal for a guy to hang out with other
guys who enjoy fishing and learn the ropes from them.
For a woman, though, the
process is apt to be somewhat more difficult. In my family of all girls, we
learned the thrill of fishing as children from our father. Fortunately for us,
our dad was an "equal-opportunity" fisherman...and he was a very patient man.
We learned to bait our
own hooks, remove fish from the line, and clean the fish as well. We were
rewarded with many an enjoyable Sunday on the lake competing for top family
fishing honors of who caught the most and the biggest fish.
For women who weren't
brought up fishing as I was, all is certainly not lost. Although learning from a
boyfriend or spouse is not out of the question, a significant other may not be
the best place to get your first fishing pointers.
Your honey may not have
the patience that you will need to learn proper fishing technique and he may be
a bit condescending as well...not exactly conducive to an enjoyable learning
Try instead local
women's fishing clubs. Check online for groups in your area that are
specifically organized by and for women. Many groups are primarily centered on
fly-fishing but not all are.
Also see if your
community college or local university offers any fishing courses. Often fishing
classes are offered in the adult education, physical education or recreation
Of course, you can also
start at your local library, checking out books on fishing and learning a few
basic techniques that way.
Your local fishing
outfitter or marina may have more information as well and would also be a good
place for information and to network with other fishing women.
option is to go online and search for websites catering to women and the
outdoors or, more specifically, women and fishing. One such website is
Founded by Betty Bauman
of Ft. Lauderdale, FL in 1997, LLGF "promotes networking among women anglers and
emphasizes mentorship between novice and experienced members."
Other groups, both
national and state, promote fishing for women. There are seminars, fishing
adventures and special fishing events scheduled year-round in many areas of the
country, which are organized especially for women anglers.
Yet another reason
fishing is a great hobby for women is because beginning your fishing experiences
need not be prohibitively expensive. Especially when compared to other hobbies,
start-up costs for spin or bait-casting fishing equipment are not tremendously
high. Generally speaking, $200 or less can buy more than enough basic quality
fishing gear for a beginner to get started. To start up a fly-fishing hobby will
cost a bit more, as the gear tends to be more expensive.
This, of course, doesn't
include a boat! But, many fishing locations can be reached without a boat.
Again, do your research to find areas accessible by car.
More women should
consider fishing for an enjoyable and challenging hobby. Learning the basics of
fishing is easy but perfecting those angling skills can take many hours of
sometimes peaceful and sometimes extremely exciting time at the other end of a
E. A. Edwards is a
free-lance writer with a variety of professional and personal interests.