SHE WHO FISHES: Ladies, embrace your inner fisherman.

PHOTO: Christina Weber.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ometimes we get so focused on being pretty; when we should be focused on being pretty kind, pretty nontraditional, pretty inspiring and pretty dang good fisherman. These next 700 words are meant to inspire you to be yourself, to embrace the fisherman you are or the fisherman you’re aspiring to be.

The fish don’t care what you look like or how you dress. We, as a whole, need to get over the bikini thing because that’s the culture we have in Florida, that’s the culture that has surrounded us since the dawn of time. Let it go, because culture doesn’t disappear. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it until someone blames someone else’s success because of it. At that point you just sound silly. In order for you to be successful in fishing and fight the social media fight we must be confident in our abilities to go fishing, with less focus on what we don’t have. Don’t find yourself submitting to something that isn’t you, because you think you’ll gain the upper hand. When we have confidence in our style, technique and passion nothing can stop you.

You have fish to catch, tournaments to win and stories to write. Those are the things that’ll open the doors to the right success.

Finding the Right Success

What brought you here? Was it tournaments, was it the thrill of catching, was it our undeniable fisheries that you can’t help but want to be a part of? Whatever it is, it’s yours to own. You have to be the one to wake up and choose to get on the water before everyone else, it’s you who decides how powerful your skills are. If it was easy, then everyone would do it and ladies since when have we ever wanted easy? Embrace that being accepted into this sport is difficult. It’s so much more rewarding when the world isn’t handed to you. Remember you can say no. I’m proud to say no; if it doesn’t fit my brand then I don’t need to be a part of it. I’m protective of what I’ve built and associating myself with the wrong person or company will take me backwards.

I’m not here to tell you right from wrong and I’m definitely not trying to be all “yay girl power!” I’m just trying to help you handle what social media has done to our sport and learn that it’s about fishing. It’s a hard battle to fight and it’s even harder when people constantly shove it in your face. My strategy is, head down and grind it out. I might have to take the longest path, but it’s who I am and when you stay true to yourself how could you possibly be unhappy?

Gaining Respect

Power to the people! Let the folks at home decide if they want to watch your story. Forcing yourself to be what you think the world wants will take you nowhere. Being what the world needs, which is yourself, will take you everywhere and draws all the right attractions. My biggest mantra has been this – learning that when you respect yourself people will too.

Being able to walk into a room and know those who know you won’t even second guess your abilities. Those who don’t, well, they don’t know you personally so you can’t take it personally when they’re wrong. You know what you’re capable of so who else really needs to know that? Don’t forget, confidence is silent, insecurities are loud. Let your work speak for itself, show us who you want us to see. People see a fisherman when they look at me, because that’s who I am, it’s natural, I have confidence.

Positive Difference

Fishing is a sport on breaking rules. As fisherman, we’re constantly searching for that one thing that’s different, that one thing that doesn’t look like the rest. If we’re hunters of difference, then why are we so negative when someone is different? No two fishermen are the same and I sure as heck love that there’s still something in the world I can capitalize on being different.

Between all the madness at the end of the day we’re all here to go fishing.