Matlacha 2015 Wrapup Report

“Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!”  
Ft. Myers/Matlacha University March 14-15
Fishing & Fun under the Sun!
Dawn Otani proudly holds her fish at Ft. Myers/Matlacha LLGF University.

We had a full class from ages 13 to 80 at the LLGF event last weekend, coming from as far as Alaska, California and Canada to learn fishing at the waterfront Matlacha Community Center. What a diverse and interesting group!


The event began on Saturday, with classroom presentations by Betty Bauman/Conservation, Snook Cowboy Craig Timbes/Inshore fishing and Capt. Rick Karnes/Artificial Lures. The curriculum included hands-on skill practice such as hook removal/release techniques, knot tying, kayak fishing, fly casting, spin casting, net casting, artificial lure selection/usage, reel maintenance and backing with Magic Tilt Trailers. A mid-day break, hosted by Harbor Financial Services, featured Cabot Cheese. The event concluded with a silent auction and raffle followed by networking at the Blue Dog Bar & Grill. The auction is still up on the home page but soon we will be listing a few items still up for grabs.

On Sunday, participants chose fishing from boats or kayaks, catching or releasing snapper, ladyfish, snook, pompano, flounder and more. CBS WINK TV provided live coverage.

Why did they come? For many reasons! After moving from Alaska to Orlando, FL, Kathy Vascik came to gather Florida-specific fishing techniques. Jill Macaulay, St. James City, FL wanted

Wink Interviews LLGF ladiesCLICK THE PHOTO to see the news cast!

to learn how to catch supper.

The new directive for LLGF brought teens and family participation. Celeste LaVergne, Boca Raton, FL attended with her husband and two teenagers. Christy DeBartolo, Marathon, FL bought the registration as a gift for her daughter from St. Louis, MO so they could experience fishing as a family.

Our First Time for Ladies Choice!
While the primary focus remains on women, we have responded to requests to welcome males and teens so the family can learn fishing together.  This year, we have opened the registration to guests of the ladies.

Thanks to our Major partners Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Mercury Outboards, Ranger Boats, Minn Kota, Humminbird, Fish Florida and Magic Tilt Trailers. Those and MANY other valuable supporters are recognized on We very much appreciate our speakers and volunteers! Click here to see their photos!

The 2015 schedule includes South Florida/Dania Beach April 17-19, Treasure Coast/Stuart May 29-31 and Keys Nov. 13-15. International events are being planned, with the first event in Bimini, Bahamas Sept. 11-13. Contact: LLGF, phone 954-475-9068, fax 954-474-7299, email:, website:, Facebook:


Who Caught What on Sunday, March 15, 2015


Women experienced a picture-perfect fishing day with sunny skies and calm water. Every boat had fish action. Ladies chose from guided kayak fishing, pontoon/deck boat or inshore/flats boat fishing. “Caught” could signify either landing or releasing.

Pontoon Boat: Tami Endress, North Ft. Myers, FL caught a flounder. The ladies released small snapper, sheepshead, lost a large trout and broke off an unidentified huge fish.

Capt. Mike Wilson: Lucy Debartolo, St. Louis, MO caught her very first trout measuring 18.5 inches. Jodi Girouard, Yalaha, FL caught a trout and Christy Debartolo, Marathon, FL released a puffer fish. They learned different casting techniques for grass fishing versus mangrove fishing and real bait versus artificial bait. They learned to put shrimp and pin fish on the hook, tie knots and especially enjoyed practicing net casting for pilchards. “I got much better at spin casting!” said Girouard.

Captain Jack’s Fishing Tours: Using live shrimp and artificial lures, the women released a large pompano, mangrove snappers, trout, sheepshead and a stingray. They enjoyed Capt. Jack’s nature tour as well. They learned a new way of hooking shrimp with a twist and techniques to get their lures out of mangroves. The slogan was: “Next year, it’s Capt. Jack or nothing!”

Capt. Rob Locke: Pat Barlow, Cape Coral, FL caught a large 26 inch trout and Colette Dennehy, Ft. Lauderdale, FL released a 15 inch trout. They released jack crevalle, three snook and 2 trout. They learned to hook pilchards in the nose.

Capt. Ed Schanen: The ladies released several sea trout using live bait and artificial lures.

Gulf Coast Kayaks: The men and women enjoyed seeing dolphin, turtles, birds and jumping fish. Using live shrimp, Jason Heupel, Los Angeles, CA caught a jack crevalle. Cindy Weber, Ft. Myers, FL caught 2 catfish.

Capt. Greg Stamper/Snook Stamp Charters: Using topwater lures, live bait and cut bait near Sanibel Island, the ladies caught a 25 inch sea trout weighing nearly 6 lbs. as well as ladyfish, lane snapper and a triple tail. They practiced putting shrimp on circle hooks.

Major Sponsors

Annual Sponsors

See Our Website for ALL the contributors, including donors and Patron Sponsors!

 Click HERE to see many more photos or click the photo gallery of !