Ladies Catch Keys Fishing Skills at LLGF Keys University Nov. 9-11, 2012

Ladies learn how to fish in the Keys

Nearly fifty women came by boat, air and car to learn from the pros at the award winning “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!®” Keys weekend University, November 9-11 at BPOE Elks, Tavernier, FL.

The women joined the ranks of more than 7,000 University graduates who have attended the University for many reasons. Diane McMahon,Coconut Creek,FLwanted to learn more about boating and inshore fishing. Cindy Campbell,Elkton,FLhad attended before but came to learn additional skills. Belinda Martin came from Turks and Caicos to experience the diverse Keys fishing.

The Award-winning “No-Yelling School of Fishing” Curriculum

Held in conjunction with support from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the University kicked off on Friday, November 9 with a meet-and-greet social featuring networking, fundraisers and an incredible Master Chef Appetizer Contest, sponsored by Cabot Cheese Cooperative. Out of more than ten delicious entries, the victor was Windie Wilson, Delray Beach, FLfor Spicy Tuna on Daikon Slices, a dish also winning the recipe contest.Wilson also presented appealing hand rolls.

Saturday’s events began with classroom presentations on offshore, bottom, inshore and fly fishing, followed by Pollo Tropical lunch and hands-on fishing skills until 4:30 pm. Named speakers were Heather Sneed/FWC and Captains Lee Lavery, Bob Jones, Rick Rodriguez andCampWalker. Skills such as releasing, conservation, knot tying, bait rigging, spin and net casting, gaffing grapefruits, boat handling, stand-up fish fighting techniques and more were available for hands-on practice. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) educated University participants on the importance of marine conservation by showing the habits that can be developed so each person can make a difference, no matter where they fish. Women learned safe hook removal, release techniques and more.

Events concluded with a silent auction, followed by a networking party with food and fun hosted by artist Pasta Pantaleo at his Signature Gallery,Islamorada,FL.

On Sunday, November 11, ladies embarked on a Fishing Adventure out ofWhaleHarbor,Islamorada,FLfollowed by a fish fillet demonstration. An incredible variety of fish were caught and/or released, including saifish, mutton snapper, yellowtail, dolphin, grouper, mackerel, redfish and more. On Friday was a Bonus Fishing Day with two sportfishing boats reporting snapper, grouper, mackerel and dolphin.

Featured on national network television and more, the University series is held in conjunction with the FWC through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, with major partners such as Mercury Outboards, Ranger Boats, Silver Airways,, MinnKota, Humminbird and Magic Tilt Trailers. Other partners are on the website at The fundraisers helped support the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. Host Hotel was Breezy Palms Resort in Islamorada.

2013 dates include: April 12-14/SouthFlorida, May 10-13/Treasure Coast and Nov. 15-17/Keys. Contact: phone: (954) 475-9068;; and

Fishing Report – Islamorada, FL. Nov. 11, 2012 3/4 day

Sporty seas did not stop the ladies from hooking into sailfish and bringing in a wide variety of species. Weather was sunny for most of the day.

New Blue Chip Too/Capt. Skip Bradeen: With a mix of women fromSt. Augustine and Turks and Caicos, Capt. Bradeen shared a variety of fishing styles, from kite fishing, trolling, bottom fishing and catching bait. The women reported learning about outriggers and netting fish, returning with tasty yellowtail snapper and dolphin. They also released blue runners and houndfish.

Caribsea/Capt. Kenny Spaulding: Returning with several yellowtail snapper, mackerel and a 10 lb. mutton snapper, the women learned catching bait and freelining for yellowtails. They also released an amberjack and a seagull hooked by accident. Agnes Mical,Port St.Lucie,FL was recognized for catching the most fish.

Sea Horse/Capt. Rick Rodriguez: The highlight of this mixed couples boat was an 8-foot sailfish released by Trish and Bruce Reid, Orlando, FL. Due to recent surgery, Trish had to ask her husband, Bruce, to finish the job. During a half-hour battle, the sail made several awe-inspiring tail dances before it was revived and released. Describing it as a ‘once in a lifetime experience,’ Trish was excited to fight their first-ever sailfish. The ladies also caught bonito, barracuda up to 3.5 ft., yellowtail snapper and more. Fishing offshore for her first time, Judy Whitgreave, Manning, SC was fighting a trophy-sized mutton snapper until a shark bit off everything but the head. They learned about outriggers, downriggers, cast netting, rigging ballyhoo and trolling.

Fiesta/Capt. Dirrk Reich: Anna Brockway,Estero,FL released a 22-inch grouper. Lurue Lord,Statesboro,GA hooked into a sailfish on the kites, a spectacular show for the other ladies. Joan Palmariello-Leavitt,Winter Springs,FL caught a 12 lb. bar jack. Betty Jo Rape,Jensen Beach,FL released a 4-foot houndfish. All ladies caught yellowtail snapper.

Captain Michael: Women on the party boat out of Robbies caught and released jack crevalle up to 10 lbs., amberjacks, grouper, yellowtail snapper, a shark, some permit, mangrove snapper, grunts and enjoyed the trip. Even though the seas were a bit rough, they were troopers!

Capt. Bob Jones: Ila Marquitez, PortRichey,FL released a large, 6 lb. bonnethead shark, her first-ever saltwater fish. Other fish caught included Spanish mackerel, ladyfish, mangrove snapper, catfish, puffer fish, trout and jacks.

Scales2Tales/Capt. Chris Hanson: Making the trek to Cape Sable and Flamingo, the women caught or released more than forty fish, including red drum, mangrove snapper, ladyfish, sheepshead and more. They learned the Three P’s: Patience, Presentation and Placement as well as how to use different types of tackle and lures.

Comments from Participants:

“Excited to learn catch and release strategies!” – T. Fernandez

“Great for beginners and existing fisherpeoples! – D. Rhames,

“Awesome weekend! Made new friends, learned new skills and loved the parties!” – T. Reid

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