Stuart, Florida

“I wanted to learn what my husband knows,” said Delores Belanger, Ocala, FL, one of forty women who learned fishing from the pros at the Treasure Coast “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!”® seminar, May 20-22, Stuart, FL. Held at Pirates Cove Resort & Marina and hosted by Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the program brought women who came to learn the sport for a variety of reasons. Marlene Schinto, Palm City, FL had just moved from the North and wanted to know about Florida-style fishing techniques. Amy Petri, Palm Beach Gardens, FL came to meet new friends who like to fish. Wendy Albino, Palm City, FL wanted to learn fishing in a non-stressful environment.
Held in celebration of National Safe Boating Week, the LLGF seminar kicked off with the Harbor Financial Services Welcome Reception Friday evening, May 20 from 6-8 pm. The St. Lucie River Power Squadron greeted the group and shared safe boating tips. Other sponsors and donors were recognized.
The classroom portion began at 8:00 am on Saturday, where fishing techniques were taught at beginner and intermediate/advanced levels in the morning. Fishing topics were Rod and Reel Basics/Capt. George Mittler, Inshore/Capt. Marcia Foosaner, Offshore-Bottom/Capt. Peter Wright and Fly Fishing/Capt. Jim Anson. The legendary instructors offered incredible experience. After lunch, the women participated in several “hands-on” fishing stations, such as conservation techniques, spin casting, net casting, landing and releasing, trailer backing, fly casting, knot tying, gaffing grapefruits, boat handling and reeling against pressure.
On Sunday, May 22, participants practiced their newly learned skills from inshore, offshore and group boats. They returned with smiles and stories of catching or releasing mahi, king mackerel, snook, trigger fish and more. Two ladies who became friends at a prior seminar, Donna Carlson, Jupiter, FL and Karen Cox, Brandon, MS had a chance to go fishing together after not seeing each other for seven years.
Featured on national network television and more, the LLGF series is held in conjunction with the FWC through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, with major partners such as Ranger, Mercury Outboards, Gulfstream Int’l Airlines, Minn Kota, Humminbird and Magic Tilt Trailers. Annual sponsors are West Marine, BoatU.S. ANGLER, Harbor Financial Services, Bob’s Machine Shop, Power Pole, Hook & Tackle, Eagle Claw, Tigress Outriggers and Treasure Cay Hotel Resort & Marina, Abaco, Bahamas. Local sponsors were Pirates Cove Resort & Marina,
Faz Jewelry Creations Inc., Stingray Tackle and Treasure Coast Harley-Davidson. Several local charter captains, including anglers from Florida Sportsman Magazine as well as DOA Lures worked one-on-one for fishing skills with the ladies.
The final 2011 event is in Islamorada, FL Nov. 11-13. Registration is $115 until Oct. 28 and $145 thereafter. Registration includes instruction, use of equipment, hands-on training, networking reception and fundraisers, meals, goody bags and more. No equipment or experience is necessary. Contact: phone (954) 475-9068; email; website

Treasure Coast Fishing Report, 5/22/2011. Fishing out of Stuart, the ladies were treated to calm seas and clear skies.

My Other Honey/Capt. Peter Morello: Fishing in 650 ft. of water, the boat trolled skirted ballyhoo. Jo Ann Tunnesen, Miami, FL caught a 28″ mahi. Agnes Mical, Port St. Lucie, FL had a nice 24″ dolphin but was chagrinned to lose it at the boat. Heather Duncan, Miami, FL caught a 24″ blackfin tuna. Anita Reyes, Stuart, FL caught a 30″ dolphin. The ladies learned the perfection loop knot and techniques for trolling at different speeds.

Sea Psych/Capt. George Mittler: Every woman caught fish. Wendy Albino, Palm City, FL caught a king mackerel, her first fish ever. Christine Schiller, Jupiter, FL caught a king mackerel and Lurue Lord, Statesboro, GA caught a bonita. The ladies had a chance to practice gaffing and experienced watching porpoise bite at the king mackerel they were reeling in.

Captain Chaos/Capt. Jonathan Earhart: Debbie Newhouse, Port St. Lucie, FL released two 6 lb. snook. June Phillips, Stuart, FL released two 7 lb. snook. They learned live bait techniques and returned with smiles.

Reel Grumpy: There was no grumpiness in Reel Grumpy, a beautiful 60′ Viking. The ladies were the mates, a valuable learning experience for practicing how to get weed off the line, deploy lures for trolling, undo a bird’s nest and use outriggers. Even though they trolled ‘all the way to Idaho’, there was only one bite, lost at the hookup. The experience was wonderful and the ladies had a blast.

Safari One: Marie Malanczyn, Jensen Beach, FL, Betty Moore, Sunrise, FL and Melissa McIntyre, West Melbourne, FL caught 3-4 lb. trigger fish. The girls also caught the bait for the others. Moore also caught a “chocolate chip” porgie.

Comments from Participants:
“What a great opportunity for ladies to learn from professionals instead of husbands!” – Delores Belanger
“Great experience, amazingly fun and more than I expected!” – Rebecca Monnig
“Can’t wait to attend next year!” Melissa Meisenburg
“I want to learn more so I can understand my “fisher-man!” – Kathryn Cox

More photos are on Facebook, search Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing, choose “Education” OR Follow this link SEE MORE PHOTOS

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