Humans of SWFL

Women, You Can Fish Too

Most people may consider fishing to be dominated by men. However, there’s a high percentage of women and children, taking up the sport. It turns out a 2016 Special Report on Fishing found that female anglers started to string rods as early as the age of six.

an·gler

ˈaNGɡlər/

noun
plural noun: anglers

a person who fishes with a rod and line.

Take Southwest Florida resident Deborah Hanson for example. Deborah has been fishing ever since she was a little girl and she holds the sport near and dear to her heart. “I 2started fishing with my grandfather when I was about four. He really got me hooked on fishing,” Deborah shared with HelloSWFL during a short hike through Pine Lake Preserves.

Deborah grew up in the Midwest and spent her summers fishing at her grandparent’s lake house located on the upper peninsula of Michigan. She said her grandfather never focused on gender stereotypes. “When I was a little girl he just took me fishing. He never thought ‘well Debbie should be inside playing with her Barbies instead of fishing with me.’”

And because of those fond memories, the idea of fishing being a man’s sport never crossed Deborah’s mind. “I’m just a girl who loves to fish and wants to help educate and empower more women to get out and do the same.”

Void on the Water

When Deborah relocated to Southwest Florida in 1999, she was excited to learn she had access to saltwater and freshwater fishing. But during her time out on the water, she realized something was missing. Deborah noticed women weren’t sticking to the sport and she wonders why.

The Outdoor Industry report revealed several reasons why anglers decided to give up on fishing. Most participants said they either didn’t have enough time, they were bored or it was just too expensive.


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Cost of Fishing

But Deborah said fishing is quite affordable.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida residents can purchase a saltwater fishing license for $17, which is good for an entire year. If residents prefer to have the best of both worlds of holding a saltwater and freshwater combo license the cost is only $48 for the year .

As for equipment, Deborah said an investment of about $40 should take care of almost everything in a beginner’s fishing kit.

Educating Women

To help women become more involved in the sport of fishing, Deborah created the blog SheFishes2.com . There, women can learn everything about fishing from how to rig their lines, the type of bait to use, and where to get the best bite. She also hosts quarterly fly-fishing and freshwater fishing seminars for women. “I love doing it and getting more people involved in the sport.”

If you’re a woman who is new to fishing and ready to give up on the sport, we’d love to hear your reasons why. Send your Swifle story to info@HelloSWFL.com .

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