Thirty-five aspiring anglers came from Florida as well as other states to learn from the pros at the award winning “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!®” Keys University, October 7-9 at the Elks Lodge, Tavernier, FL. Participants came to learn about fishing and practice their skills on the water, catching 183 fish and releasing 185 for a total of 368 fish from seven boats in the Fishing Fever Tournament.
Winners of the LLGF Fishing Fever Tournament were:
Top Offshore: Holly Smith, Key Largo, FL 12 lb. bonito on Sea Horse with Capt. Rick Rodriguez
Second Place Offshore: Lyn Gremonprez, Tavernier, FL 8.3 lb. mutton snapper on Plantation Boat Mart
Top Inshore: Pat Kucera, Clearwater FL 45 inch barracuda released on Capt. Eric Scoble’s Blackwater Charters
Second Place Inshore: Julie Duncan, Pinecrest, FL 35 inch snook release on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales
Top Inshore Release: Cheryl Craig, Key West, FL for five tarpon releases on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales
The University kicked off on Friday with a meet-and-greet for the anglers.
Saturday’s events began with classroom presentations on fishing basics by Capt. Lee Lavery, offshore fishing by Capt. Jeanne Towne, Conservation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and inshore fishing by Capts. Ron Galeota and Scott Ray, followed by lunch and hands-on fishing skills until 4 pm. Skills such as releasing, conservation, knot tying, bait rigging, spin casting, net casting, gaffing grapefruits and more were available for hands-on practice.
Saturday events concluded with a silent auction, followed by a networking party hosted by Seaside Glassworks, Islamorada, FL.
On Friday and Sunday, offshore or inshore, anglers embarked on a fishing adventure out of Whale Harbor Marina, Islamorada, FL and other locations, followed by a fish fillet demonstration. Fish caught and/or released included yellowtail snapper, mutton snapper, bonito, tarpon, snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, barracuda, sharks and more.
Betty Bauman, Founder of Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing commented, “This event was designed for beginners who can win a prize in our Fishing Fever tournament, even if it was their first fish ever caught or released.”
Featured on national network television and more, the series is supported by major partners including Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation, Take Me Fishing, Vamos a Pescar, Mercury, Magic Tilt trailers, Shearwater Boats, Power-Pole, Penn, TACO Metals, Lowrance, Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Fish Florida. Largest Annual Sponsors are Freedom Boat Club, ICOM, CCA Florida STAR, Bob’s Machine Shop, AFTCO, Costa, Smith Optics, Frogg Toggs, Hubbards Marina, Star Brite and Future Angler Foundation. Local sponsors were Plantation Boat Mart and Marina Platinum sponsor, Island Arms & Indoor Range, Fidelity Real Estate Group, Seaside Glass Works and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
About “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!”
The Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing Foundation (LLGF) is a national charitable 501C3 organization dedicated to attracting women and families to fishing while encouraging conservation and responsible angling. LLGF promotes networking among women anglers and emphasizes mentorships. Founded in 1997 by Betty Bauman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, LLGF has over 9,000 graduates and is the largest organization in the world whose objective is to introduce women to fishing. Both Bauman and the University series – often dubbed “The No-Yelling School of Fishing” – are known nationally in the sport fishing and marine industries. The organization has earned rave reviews from national media including “Inside Edition,” CBS’ “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Nightly News,” “Good Morning America,” “Outdoor Life Network,” USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Southern Living and more.