Women Conquer Everglades Fishing at the “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” University Oct. 13-14

Women from both coasts of Florida as well as other states joined together to learn how to fish the 10,000 Islands at the “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” Everglades University Oct. 13-14 at Port of the Islands Everglades Resort. Mary Trice came to celebrate her birthday and share fishing fun with her daughter, Angel Boyle, West Palm Beach, FL. Fay Mallory, Venice FL had fishing on her bucket list. Suzi Gates came from Ormond Beach, FL to learn how to choose lures, an activity she described as ‘frustrating.’


For this event, held in conjunction with support from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, thirty lucky ladies experienced an exciting weekend of education, hands-on fishing activities, habitat conservation and networking – Everglades style! With picture-perfect fall weather, with only a couple brief rain showers, the ladies had a chance to capture the essence of this unique and beautiful place.


Saturday, Oct. 13 started with classroom presentations on back country/inshore, offshore, bottom, fly and newly-added kayak fishing, followed by lunch and hands-on fishing skills. Named speakers were Heather Sneed /FWC and Captains Kevin Merritt, Jon Fetter, Will Geraghty, Roan Zumfelde, Rick Karnes and Ocean Kayak Staffer Jean McElroy. The curriculum also included marine conservation, hook removal and release techniques. Skills such as conservation, knot tying, kayak fishing, spin and net casting, gaffing grapefruits, hook choices, artificial lure selection/ usage, boat handling, fish fighting techniques and more were available for hands-on practice. Events concluded with the Cabot Cheese networking party and silent auction. Winning first place in the Master Chef Potluck Contest was Terrine of Salmon by Annie Di Piero, Naples, FL. See her recipe on our website!


Huge snook were spotted just in the marina!


On Sunday, Oct. 14, participants embarked on their chosen Fishing Adventure from boats or kayaks, followed by fish filleting. Known for its incredible variety of fish, the 10,000 Islands held true to its reputation. Women had a chance to catch or release flounder, redfish, snapper, ladyfish, snook, tarpon, jacks, sheepshead and even a 6-foot bull shark. Several women had their “first-ever” catching experience for certain species.


Featured on national network television and more, the University series is also supported by major partners Mercury Outboards, Ranger Boats, Silver Airways, Fishhound.com, Minn Kota, Humminbird and Magic Tilt Trailers. Those and other supporters are recognized on www.ladiesletsgofishing.com.


The mission of LLGF is to increase the numbers of responsible anglers. According to a recent report by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, “For the first time in several years, fishing has gained more participants than it lost – largely due to women taking up the sport.” Women ages 16 and up were invited.


Upcoming LLGF universities include Florida Keys/Nov. 9-11, 2012, South Florida/April 12-14, 2013, Treasure Coast/May 10-12, 2013 and others to be announced. Contact: Phone: (954) 475-9068; info@ladiesletsgofishing.com; www.ladiesletsgofishing.com, www.facebook.com/ladiesletsgofishing.


Special thanks to our volunteers, sponsors and donors for making this cool event possible!


Everglades University Fishing Report – Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012

Fishing conditions were nice in the morning, with winds picking up in the afternoon. Fish were caught aboard every boat.


“Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” Ranger: Maria De Los Angeles, Miami, FL caught a keeper redfish on the first cast of the day. She followed up by catching and/or releasing six ladyfish, four speckled trout, a stingray and ended the day with the spectacular release of a six-foot bull shark. She fought the bull shark for more than a half hour. Techniques she used included casting artificial baits, using a popping cork with artificial shrimp and working with live bait.


Double R’s Fishing: The bite was red hot with 80-90 fish being caught including species such as black drum, spotted sea trout, pompano, jack crevalle, a giant ray and even a 40 in. snook  using a knocker rig with shrimp. Laura Ruane, Ft. Myers, FL caught a 24 and 36 in. redfish, stating, “Now I feel accomplished – I did it all myself from start to finish!” Captain Jim taught the ladies how to bite the tail off of the shrimp before rigging. Carol Provost, Miami, FL jumped a 5 ft. tarpon using the new Aerial Combo by Star Rods she won during Saturday’s silent auction.


Island Girls Charters: Pat Fitz, Naples, FL caught three redfish ranging from 16 to 18 in. While honing their casting & jigging skills all the ladies caught snapper and there was even a 24 in. bonnet shark released.


Worlybird Charters: Suzanne Gates, Ormond Beach, FL caught her very first redfish during Sunday’s Fishing Adventure. The ladies learned how to cast into the mangroves and how to fish a popping cork during Sunday’s Fishing Adventure. Lurue Lord, Statesboro, GA caught her first snook, redfish & sheepshead, exclaiming, “I caught every species!” Leslie Knudsen, Boca Raton, FL caught her first snook and first trout.


Guided Kayak Fishing/Kayak Fishing The Everglades: Ladies caught a mixed bag of redfish, flounder, jack crevalle, mangrove snappers and spotted sea trout. Mary Trice, West Palm Beach, FL caught an impressive 26 in. redfish pitching into the mangroves. Ocean Kayak Pro Staffer & Saturday’s Kayak fishing instructor Jean McElroy, Tequesta, FL also landed a keeper redfish. The ladies learned techniques including casting into mangroves and fishing soft plastics. While retrieving a lure from the mangroves, Barb Evans, Marco Island, FL sang, ‘Oops, I did it again!”


Comments from Participants:

“Great place to learn, have fun and make new friends!” – M. Trice, West Palm Beach, FL

“Jam-packed with something for every fisherperson – impressed with the amount of information covered, combined with hands-on demos, very good!” – M. Giddens, Labelle, FL

“I felt so comfortable – no questions were considered dumb!” – F. Mallory, Venice, FL

“Great hands-on experience in an easy setting!” – D. Cuerbo, Naples, FL

“Enormous boost in confidence and fishing knowledge!” – B. Elvi, Miami, FL

“Loved the female-friendly camaraderie!” – C. Provost, Miami, FL

“Now I feel accomplished – I did it all myself from start to finish!” – L. Ruane

“Want to fish without needing men!” – J. Hogan, Naples, FL

“So grateful for this program and the new friendships!” – B. Mautner, Pembroke Pines, FL

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