Fishing, it’s not just for men!
There are some fantastic campaigns getting more girls and women involved in sport. In particular, women who are passionate about fishing are gaining greater visibility. Leading the way is ThisGirlCan, in partnership with the Angling Trust. Their new campaign is all about how fishing can help women gain strength, de-stress, and get confidence from a new hobby.
It seems that women have been fishing for just as long as men have. This dates back to ‘pioneer’ days, when a bite on the line meant families wouldn’t go hungry!
Left – Image taken in Laramie, Wyoming – Wyomingsteakhouse.com
Right – Image taken in Underwood, Minnesota – Minnesota Historical Society
However, now fishing is seen as a recreational activity, the idea that it’s more of a ‘boys club’ prevails. This can definitely undermine women’s confidence in pursuing fishing. But, the winds of change are making waves. Social media is shining a light on women anglers. For instance, check out these 14 female anglers you should be following on Instagram. Online communities with prominent influencers are connecting more and more women anglers.
One fantastic influencer is Stacie Blount from Derby. Stacie is better known on Twitter as Fishing Mum. Her fishing trips with her son Logan are growing in popularity since October 2016. She says on Twitter that ‘if I can fish, anyone can.’ We had the pleasure of interviewing Stacie recently. She told us all about how she got into fishing, her views on women in fishing, and her hopes for the future.
As a child Stacie was definitely not hooked. “My stepdad and my grandad would go fishing. When they came home they stank, and I hated it!” Her mind started to change however, when she became a single mum to Logan. Logan started fishing at about 2 or 3, according to Stacie. From watching by the bank, to holding the line, it was clear that Logan had found his favourite pastime. After splitting up with Logan’s dad, who would take their son fishing, Stacie thought, “why am I not taking him?”
According to Stacie, she got off to a bit of a tricky start. "I’d go into a tackle shop, and the choice felt overwhelming. I’d feel daft asking for help." She says that being a woman didn’t help matters. “All the men in there would know each other by name. I’d feel put off as a woman by these kinds of cliques.’
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just in the tackle shop that Stacie faced problems. In spite of her growing frequency on the bank, she had troubles being taken seriously. She says that “a lot of men see a Mum with a kid on the bank and think she doesn’t know what she’s doing.”
Proud anglers Stacie and Logan!
Nevertheless, Stacie persisted. As a single mum, she found fishing to be a fantastic outlet, as well as a great way to bond with Logan. She began documenting their time fishing on her website Fishing Mum. Her efforts didn’t go unnoticed. She now has nearly 3,000 followers on Twitter, and says that she receives up to 30 supportive messages a day.
Stacie is truly appreciative of the support her and Logan have had. She is intent on proving that fishing is something for everyone. Recently, she conducted a poll on Twitter about new anglers. 95% of respondents (out of 168) saying they’d be more than happy to give time to novice anglers on the bank. Stacie wants to move away from stereotypes of women in fishing. She believes the best way to counter this is to put a “real” face to the movement. She says, “I want to inspire other women. I work. I’m a single mum. I’m real. That’s what it’s going to take to get more women involved in fishing.”
It is clear she takes a lot of pride in being a role model, and that is something truly worthy of recognition. We hope you join us in our support for Stacie and Logan, as well as all the other women passionate about fishing.