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Women Fishing

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt , Texas 3/13/2014

I ran across an online article about women, equality, and fishing.  It was a bit weird to me.  The writer was energetically supporting women's equality in fishing activities.  It was a male writer, and he was chastising the male world of fishermen for, well to be honest I'm not quite sure what we were being chastised for except to say we are somehow collectively wrong about something that has to do with an insufficient number of women going fishing.

I may be of the generation that didn't typically welcome women into the world of construction work, but I'm no knuckle dragger.  I always made it a point to try and find skilled craftswomen to work on my construction projects, generally with very few results.  There were some and they were on average about as good or bad as the men.  But I had a different upbringing than most.  I spent several of my early formative years in Okinawa where women did the hard labor right alongside the men.  In fact there were more women doing the hard labor than men.  I grew up actually physically seeing how tough women can be. 

But this isn't about the work world which is why I was surprised to be chastised for blocking women from being able to go fishing.  Collectively speaking of course.  There weren't any specifics in the article about how this blocking worked, nor were there any specifics on how to alleviate the problem, or alleged problem.  I'm really at a loss to understand that writer's contentions.  Are men keeping women from going fishing?  I mean, it's not like women have to ask a man for permission, or put in an application. 

I'm not aware of any physical limitations that women have that would keep them from fishing on a naturally equal footing with men.   They have all the attributes necessary for the sport just as we do.  So why would someone go off on a tear about this?  The writer pointed out that women make up 51% of the general population but only 24% of the fishing population, and are therefore under-represented.  As if that's a crime of some kind.  As far as I can tell, as far as I know, the number of women that fish is limited only by the number of women that want to fish.

I was taught to fish by my grandmother and my mother.  My dad didn't fish much and neither did my grandfather.  So again I may have a slightly different perspective than some folks, but not really that much different.  My wife has taken up fishing, and without my having urged it on her.  I taught my daughter to fish and  she was quite interested and totally fearless in the training.  But once she reached about ten years of age the "ick" factor settled in and she has rarely been fishing since - but let me stress that this is simply by her choice.   I taught my son to fish and he still goes fishing frequently.  I've taught my two grand-daughters to fish and they haven't been struck by the "ick" factor yet and maybe they won't be, they still like to fish.  I taught my two grand-sons to fish and one still fishes a lot while the other wouldn't walk across the room to pick up a fishing pole.  So what I've seen is about an even interest from both genders.  At least so far.

But maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe there is something that, collectively, we men are doing to hold women back from fishing.  if that's true then shame on us.  But I don't think it's true.  I will say this, we should put as much effort into trying to get the girls in our families as involved in fishing as we do the boys.  If you're not doing that then you are missing out on a lot of fun and so are the girls.

I'd love to hear everyone else's perspective on this. 

Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
anglerwannabe, CO   3/13/2014 12:46:12 PM
Don't have a good answer for that. However, I helped round up AF folks for the Vets on Ice and to my surprise and delight, the majority of the folks that signed up were women.
Attila64, TX   3/13/2014 1:46:52 PM
I agree with you on this. I do not think we are actively doing anything to prevent women from fishing. My wife occationally likes to go fishing and to be quite honest she is usually better at it than me when she does go. However she doesn't have the drive to go fishing and early in our marriage viewed it as a mistress stealing her time with her husband. Now she silently smiles and encourages me to go knowing where I will be and that I will be happy. Last trip on the lake I took my youngest daughter and introduced her to the world of Jug fishing. She is 21 and I did not expect her to enjoy it but she had a blast and now looks forward to going out again with her old man as our new thing to do together. .
Flyrodn, CO   3/13/2014 3:05:55 PM
I suspect it's more a matter of historical perceptions than any thing else, coupled with Dad takes the sons out, Mom the daughters, in some families. So if Mom doesn't fish, neither will daughter. In my case, my daughter (Lady in Pink) loves to fish even though Mom doesn't, and is looking forward to introducing her daughter (with my assistance of course) to fishing when she's old enough. Right now she gets a bit jealous of hubby for being able to go, while she's at home with Alexandria, but I think this summer we'll work on fixing that issus.
Dave Mauldin, TX   3/13/2014 7:26:00 PM
All I can say is I am doing my part. We have three granddaughters and one grandson. They get equal time on he water. They all love it. We try to make it a pleasurable and reasonably short trip.
sportfisher, CO   3/13/2014 7:33:18 PM
There is a website and face book page called women fish too. All her pro staff and field staff are women. They are out there and I believe its a good thing.
IceFishingFool, CO   3/13/2014 8:35:43 PM
Once heard a Grand Mother offering advise to a Grand Daughter....Never learn how to mow the lawn, or clean the fish !
Catman1979, CO   3/14/2014 7:32:25 AM
My great great grandmother was the family cat fisher "lady" in Iowa, and passed the knowledge to my grandma, and finally dad. So I am lucky enough to be a fourth generation cat angler, and much of my knowledge (if not all) is attributed to those women. One of the skippers of the boat I fished had a daughter around my age. She was deadly, caught the biggest halibut I have ever seen. So, can't really relate with that angle :)
Coyute, CO   3/14/2014 7:48:46 AM
If more anglers were women there would be fewer jerks on the water. Women can also be exceptional anglers because they are more patient than men. They also don't generally carry on like a toddler having a temper tantrum if something goes wrong like some male anglers do. If my wife wants to go fishing fine, if she doesn't fine.
Coyute, CO   3/14/2014 7:49:56 AM
I feel sorry for men that have to ask permission to go fishing. They probably married the wrong gal. :)
123AndYou, CO   3/15/2014 10:50:47 AM
I love this article. As a woman who loves to fish, I can say that fishing is truly a male dominated sport, but that being said, I have noticed more and more women venturing out to fish. I find it very intimidating to go out by myself and fish, but have found it getting easier. It's a bit "dangerous" as a woman to go out by yourself to do anything so I carry a firearm and You'd have to be a woman to understand. My dad taught me to fish. I was raised with 3 brothers and I was the one that caught on to fishing, My one brother does fish, but the other two can care less. My Dad (who has since passed) owns the family record: (10lb Rainbow Trout). My first fish caught solo was when I was 6. My Dad would always let us reel in his fish as we didn't have our own pole and reel. However, this time they had just stocked the lake and I told my brother (5 years old) that I want to catch my own fish. I fetched me a 4 foot branch, asked my dad for some fishing line, hook, sinker and a worm. I tied about 5 ft of line on it, baited it up and did a helicopter swing over my head and flung it into the lake. Luckily where I threw it was where they stocked the lake. 10 minutes later, I felt a fish on my pole, I asked my younger brother, "what should I do I don't have a reel" he said "Run", so I ran up the hill behind me with my fish following about 5 feet behind. I'll never forget that moment and since then have been "hooked". I have noticed that the sport is becoming more and more female friendly and as the Ranger at Aurora Reservoir said, "he's seeing it more often where women are fishing alone" This forum has been so supportive of women fishing and even though it's obviously dominated by the "male fisher", it has been welcoming to me and I tell all my friends about it. It's not as easy as it might seem to show up as a solo female at a like or river, but we're getting use to it. One of my Mentors: April Vokey: I love to fish, my husband doesn't fish, but he supports me and always loves to be in nature with me. I do wish I could find a female that I could fish with during the week as my schedule is flexible... Great Blog! Thanks for that!
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   3/15/2014 5:45:27 PM
Freda, you make a point I hadn't even considered, but I can see why women would hesitate to go it alone. All the more reason for us guys to ask a lady fishing. Sounds like a good idea - everybody reading this, make it a point to ask a lady to go fishing with you. I will.