It’s time for the girls to get the catch

By: Fiona Leung, March 27, 2011 | 0 COMMENTS

Fishing can reduce social distances and encourage friendship and sportsmanship. In a world of fishing, barriers of language, cultures and racial differences are broken down, as the language of angling is universal across all cultures.

Traditionally, women are rarely seen in sport fishing activities as the sport requires certain inborn masculine traits such as love for nature, nimble fingers, patience, endurance, ability to learn fast, to withstand harsh sea and weather conditions, an adventurous spirit, determination and the power to dream. Of course, having the ability ‘to think’ like a fish is even better. It would be ideal to know what a fish is looking for in a jig and you would be able to flick the rod to entice a fish bite.

Yet, I always felt that times are changing. Just like how some traditionally masculine sports are become more and more popular amongst females, such as soccer and golf, why is it not possible for ladies to pick up fishing as a sport?

“Give the lady a fish, she cooks that for you. Teach the lady to fish, she becomes your best friend.”

That’s what I always tell my friends, when I suggest that they bring a girl along for their fishing trips.

How I started out

My love for fishing can be considered accidental, for it would have never occurred to me that I would pick up fishing as a sport. In 2000, I first joined a group of eight avid anglers to go Pulau Aur for a 5-day offshore and jetty fishing expedition. Only another lady angler was on the trip with me. Unarmed with any fishing gear or tackle, my generous fishing buddies would pass me their “weapons” and “ammunition”: spinning reels, bait-casting reels, different types of rods, different kinds of lures…That proved to be my most unforgettable trip, for I got to try so many types of fishing techniques and equipment at once.

I distinctively remember that my first catch was a small grouper. Then, I started to reel up all sorts of fish, including the obscure ones that can’t be eaten. It was then that I started to love deep-sea fishing, because I could enjoy the feeling of drifting on a boat and hunting for good fishing spots. It wasn’t long before I got hooked onto offshore fishing, trying out various fishing techniques, especially light jigging and bottom-fishing. Back then, most of my fishing hours were clocked in offshore fishing, going on about two to three trips in a year, with each trip lasting five days.

There were times when my female (and some male) friends would ask me, “So what’s so fun about fishing? Isn’t it boring to sit there all day?”

I replied, “Well, fishing’s exciting because you never know exactly what would be the next catch and the size of the catch.” Indeed, every fish is a sweet surprise, regardless of the species and size. For me, it does not matter what I catch, as long as I get to hook and reel my catch up.

Is there place for fishing in a lady’s heart?

Well, I’m of the opinion that there is plenty of room to accommodate females in sport fishing. Similar to the rise of women doing golf, I too aspire to build a fishing environment suitable for fisherwomen. Being trained in marketing, I would expect to market the sport geared towards females, and to have product developers looking to making the equipment more suitable for the female build and handling.

Of course, I must say that when it comes to balancing family, work and play, something has to give. Due to family priorities, there was time where I stopped fishing entirely for three years. Yet, true passion never dies. I eventually found time to pick up where I left off with fishing and participated heartily in the activity by casting in local pay ponds. Today, I’m fortunate to be able to work in an environment where I get to interact with many fishing experts, and have more opportunities to go offshore fishing.

To the male anglers out there, may I kindly suggest that the next time you go fishing, why not ask a female friend to come along? I’m sure one day she’ll become your best friend.

Game for more fishing adventures

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