Women & Fishing


Historically, fishing has been regarded as a manly pastime, but recently the tides are changing — now one in three anglers is a female! Currently, up to 14 million American women throw a hook or two in the water. The lady anglers are discovering that beside the many lifetime benefits such as stress reduction, increased confidence and elevated mood, fishing is just plain fun!

Several female-oriented organizations have recognized the trend and are helping women to fully appreciate the sport, not only for their own benefit, but also for a healthy future on our waterways.

Find Your Best Self on the Water

RBFF | Courtesy of Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation

Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to boost participation in this field thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. Take Me Fishing brand has increased awareness about the benefits of water-oriented activities with interactive state-by-state fishing information on its website.

RBFF has put extensive effort and resources into researching consumer trends as well as the motivations and barriers to the sport. The data show that despite record levels of “fisherwomen,” the activity is still not overly welcoming to women: 43% of female anglers do not feel respected by the fishing community while one in four think that widespread negative stereotypes undercut their ability to fish. Interesting that data reveal that more moms than dads take their kids fishing!

The RBFF’s newest campaign, “Find Your Best Self on the Water,” aims to spread awareness among diverse new audiences and motivate women, youth, and people of color to discover the life-changing benefits of fishing and boating. Created by a women-led team, their series of ads depicts female anglers of various ages experiencing the joys of fishing and boating first-hand. The website has excellent how-to segments for beginners.

Research highlights that fishing promotes wellness, fosters a bond with family and friends, and forges a deep connection with nature that many Americans seek. It is also beneficial to the fishing industry to nurture a new generation of enthusiasts and guarantee a healthy future for our waterways.

Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!

LLGF, I. Sun Eric Scoble | Courtesy of Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!

Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! (LLGF) is a national organization dedicated to attracting more women to sportfishing while promoting conservation through responsible angling. Founder Betty Bauman, a marketing and PR professional who once held positions in some of the industry’s largest boat companies, is committed to enabling and empowering women to enter fishing with the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy the sport with family and friends. As Betty says, “Women need a helping hand to simplify that which seems complicated.”

Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! University does exactly that through a series of weekends that provide hands-on training and experience for participants. With more than 9,000 graduates of women from their teens to their 90s, the “No Yelling!” school of fishing has become a raging success.

The weekends encompass all the elements of a hands-on angling experience from where to find fish and how to catch them to specific terminology. Also included are a wide variety of exercises depending on the locale: casting, knot tying, boat maneuvering, landing and releasing, net casting, gaffing, trailer backing, electronics usage, and more. They even teach participants how to fillet their catch. Venues vary by location, facility and styles of local fishing such as bluewater or bottom fishing, flats or inshore fishing, and fly fishing. Space is limited to an average of 100 women (and a few invited men).  

Wine, Women & Fishing (WWF)

Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Foundation (CBWCF) strives to make higher education a reality for all through fund-raising events and partnerships with organizations such as the Access College Foundation. Their vision is to create a brighter future for the next generation in South Hampton Roads by inspiring generosity and support from the community. Over the past 30 years, CBWCF has raised and distributed $14 million for charity. Their November Grand Auction is the largest and most successful wine auction on the eastern seaboard.

An increasingly popular CBWCF annual event is Wine, Women & Fishing (WWF), a catch and release tournament and silent online auction that has raised more than $1 million for breast cancer research at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Open to women of all levels of fishing expertise, WWF emphasizes having a great time while raising awareness and seeking a cure for breast cancer.

The 22nd annual WWF event is scheduled for August 18, 2024, at Southside Marina, Virginia Beach, VA. Catch it if you can!

Related Articles
No items found.

Want to Stay In the Loop?

Stay up to date with the latest articles, news and all things boating with a FREE subscription to Marinalife Magazine!

Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Marinalife articles