Women and Fishing -- Not Just A Mans Sport
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?
Successful fishing 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 them.
Traditionally, men 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 experience.
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 departments.
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.
Another 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 www.ladiesletsgofishing.com.
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 line.
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