The best anglers in the fishing community are women who inspire and empower other women to be on the water by setting a powerful example. Let’s give our lucky fishing hats to a group of women who are not so much about being famous anglers as they are about consistently demonstrating that they are not waiting for respect but simply catching up with it. Those seven top female anglers have been making waves in the fishing community and social media for good damn reason.
Ashley Rae is a year-round angler from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Although she did not grow up in a fishing family, it was a friend of the family who introduced her to the sport at the age of 5. Today Ashley shares her passion for fishing by writing articles and blogs for various publications and websites internationally. She has hosted television series on the World Fishing Network and travels to various trade shows to present seminars. To educate and inspire other female anglers, Ashley hosts female fishing events on the ice and during the open water season. She is also active on social media and loves hanging out with other anglers from all over the world.
Captain Alissa Vinoski
Alissa can pinpoint the exact moment when her passion for fishing was sparked. She was just 4 years old when her father taught her how to catch mud minnows from a roadside ditch in Beaufort, SC. From that moment on, she was addicted. These days, she is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain serving as a part-time leader on a 2014 beavertail strike in Tampa Bay and the surrounding waters. Her patient demeanor enables her to effectively teach beginners the techniques of throwing a fly rod, catching bait, or working a bait, and how natural factors affect fish and their movement. Always on the lookout for new fishing adventures, she looks forward to fishing for a lifetime.
Cindy “Sid” Nguyen
Cindy has been fishing the Texas coast since childhood, mostly off the beaches, piers and jetties in Galveston, TX with her family. During the summer months, they travel to Seadrift, TX to fish off the rigs with our family and friends. In Texas, she can often be found on her kayak chasing redfish, trout, and flounder. Her best days in life have been on the water, every time she hears someone say, “I wish my kid loves fishing, but they are bored.” She tells them: “You have to let them catch!” – It was Croaker and Pinfish that Cindy became addicted to at a young age. While her passion is light fishing on land, she indulges in any opportunity to hunt offshore species. Her goal in fishing is to harness her passion for the sport and promote the lifestyle and fishing gear for women as much as possible.
Samantha Gay is an elementary school teacher in Snow Hill, NC who is an inspirational example to female bass anglers across the country. Her family played a huge role in promoting her love for the outdoors, but it was her grandmother who introduced her to fishing. She started bass fishing in 2014, around the time she joined the social media world. For two years she fished large groups of young people at risk by a local family pond. This experience inspired her to set up a youth fishing organization, the Fishers of Kids Anglers Academy. She recently applied for 501c3 status for the program in order to offer this type of experience to many more youth in the community.
Rosemary J. White
While her first and foremost job title is mother of Ethan James White and Daryn Andrew White, Rosemary White is also an experienced freshwater and saltwater angler for over 20 years. She has graced the cover of many fisheries publications in the state of Florida and is currently the world record holder, IGFA member and IWFA member. Originally from Toronto, Rosemary credits her father for promoting her love for the outdoors. When she was less than a year old, her family began camping in areas such as the port of Goderich on the shores of Lake Huron. These childhood experiences helped instill a strong and respectful love for the water that she carries with her to this day.
Dee Kaminski grew up in Chicago during the summer months and spent her winters in Ontario, Canada. Her passion for fishing began at a young age. When most young girls played with dolls and tea sets, their parents taught her how to fish for pikeperch, pike, musk, and bass in Canada’s freshwater. When friends brought her to the east coast of Florida, she tried saltwater fishing. She quickly fell in love with the fishing opportunities offered by the salt and brackish water. It wasn’t long before Dee’s reputation became so widespread among her kayak fishing friends that she was constantly being asked requests from fishing guides. Sharing their expertise and skills with others became a natural next step in their fishing success story.
Kesley Gallagher has been fly fishing since she was ten. She joins the ranks of other famous anglers who have traveled to places like Labrador for trophy brook trout, the Bahamas and Hawaii for bonefish, Louisiana for trophy redfish, Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan for permit, and Costa Rica for trophy tarpon. Kesley currently holds 8 IGFA records in flight and enjoys competing in tournaments such as the Ladies Tarpon Fly Tournament in Islamorada, FL, where she won the first day of competition in 2017. She is a strong example in serving as a product ambassador for Rio Fly Lines and Fish Pond. She has also lectured at local fly fishing clubs in Southern California on female fly fishing and shallow fishing. She will co-host her first trip to Cuba in June 2019 to get more women fishing.
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Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has been featured in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.