WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Babbs in the Woods: Getting a little ‘hot’ under the collar about fishing photos

No, thank you. I don’t want to join the group “Chicks Who Know How to Handle A Fishing Rod Are Hot.” Oh, and don’t forget, it’s also for “the guys who like to watch.” Please don’t ask me again.

I don’t need to run around proclaiming “I’m hot!” because I hunt, fish or shoot a bow or gun – alongside legions of men and women who promote the traditions of hunting, shooting, archery and fishing by a) doing those things already and b) recruiting new members.

While we’re on the subject of hot fishing, when is the mainstream outdoor industry going to realize that the way to promote fishing among women does not mean using bikini clad models ice fishing, bass fishing or wearing bikini tops and waders in a stream? For years, I’ve watched as mainstream magazines and regional outdoor magazines buy and publish photos of women in bikinis holding fish, and frankly it borders on soft porn.

So, a few years ago I asked a well-known outdoor photographer and freelance writer why he felt the need to contact local modeling agencies and get women out on the boat with him to pose with fish. To which he became incensed and his answer went like this: “I have never paid a woman to fish with me or to take her photo with a fish. These girls just do it to enhance their portfolios!”

I’m not saying there’s not a market for that type of photography: beautiful women and beautiful fish.

I’m saying don’t come bemoaning the fact that you can’t get women and girls interested in fishing when that’s what they see in the popular fishing magazines. And by the way, for you guys out there who love this type of photography? When was the last time you took your wife, daughter, sister, female friend, or mom fishing?

~Barbara Baird

The right idea! See the little girl with the big fish? Wow ... this will speak to the right hearts and minds about females and fishing. This is a photo from the School of Outdoor Sports organization.

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.


The Conversation

  • Brenda Potts says: April 29, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Thanks for saying some of what I was thinking about this topic. I just spent the weekend turkey hunting and fishing with three little girls ages 8 through 12. They had so much fun. They wore camo and hunting boots and big smiles the entire weekend. I sure hope I can shelter them from this ridiculous societal pressure to “look hot” because nothing kills the fun any faster than a subliminal message that your self worth should be measured in inches instead of by character.

  • Stacey Huston says: April 29, 2010 at 9:57 am

    You know I stand beside you whole heartedly on this one Barb.. Have had this discussion many times.. one guy on twitter follows a girl who “plays the bimbo with a fishing rod” part quite well.. and during a discussion about her he tried to convince me that he only follows and tries to support her because she loves fishing.. and he asked me.. has anyone tried to tell her that she is coming across wrong to women…. Yes, we have and she does not care, she likes the attention, and it isn’t “fishing” she is selling.. .. and I countered with.. would you like your daughter to use her as a role model? His quick reply was well of course not~!.. then it REALLY isn’t about the fishing then is it…
    The people who enjoy the “soft porn” do not want to be called on it.. when asked 90 % will make an excuse,
    I was recently told to stop being a prude, …?? and later that night as I tuned in to watch the Victoria secret special on TV.. I realized.. I am not a prude.. I am not jealous.. Those Victoria secret models are gorgeous and flawless.. but they are selling lingerie.. that is made clear, they aren’t telling young girls interested in the hunting or fishing that you have to show your tata’s to be accepted in the outdoor industry..

  • Brenda Valentine says: April 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Thank You for speaking up on this issue. I totally agree…

  • Jennifer Metzker says: April 29, 2010 at 5:18 am

    I agree totally !!!!!! Way too many girls in bikinis that have NEVER even used a fishing pole! Good article !!

  • Tammy Ballew says: April 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    What I look for in a photo of someone with their fish or game is the facial expression and the pride that shines through their eyes. Now, that’s beautiful!

  • Bill Bowers says: April 28, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Well said, Barb!

  • Nancy Jo Adams says: April 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Awesome! Well preached/said! I think I have to agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for the read.

    Nancy Jo

  • Gretchen Steele says: April 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    You tell ’em Babs!! I just cringe when I see those images.. and refuse to shoot any along that vein. The closet I came to that was “trash the dress” wedding shoot when the bride pretty much wrecked the dress in a fishing environment LOL

    I think as more and more women learn to speak up, and tell advertisers etc that they do not like this type of campaign we’ll see more women in real fishing situations. Also as more of us take our places at the table of outdoor photographers and writers.

    Well, at least I hope so!!!!

  • shannon eschette says: April 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    i love this one… i look like crap in all my fishing pics. The trend indicates the worse i look in the picture, the more productive the trip. TP, hat, sunscreen and bug spray. That’s what’s in my bag.