There's no question that fishing is a blokey pursuit. Hanging out with mates, catching some fish, sharing a yarn and a beer is undeniably a blokey thing to do, but fishing isn't exclusively blokey.
It seems that more and more women and girls are into fishing, and it's not just a passing interest; many are as passionate as the most fishing obsessed guys I know. And if TV ratings are to be believed, then more women have been watching The ITM Fishing Show than men this series, compared to our first series where only 11% of our audience was female. Granted, the accuracy of the ratings is questionable, but there is no doubt that female viewer numbers have increased dramatically, as has feedback from female viewers young and old coming through on Facebook, via email and in person when I'm out and about.
What I've been impressed with from the ladies has been their knowledge of fishing, and the detail that they take from the show. Perhaps where some blokes with a bit of experience may not care too much for the detail while waiting for the next underwater money-shot of a fish smashing a bait or lure, a lot of the female viewers seem to notice the rig that was used and why we used it.
I've seen several instances of lady anglers out-fishing the fellas; often it is luck, but in plenty of cases it's attention to detail, listening to and following direction, while pride and ego seems to affect a fisherman's ears when another guy is offering some advice.
Never was this more clear than when I was working as a deckie. We had a woman who had never caught a single fish join a group of guys on a charter. Each of the guys had caught several marlin, and thus didn't seem to need any of the advice we offered on technique. But starting with a blank canvas, the young lady who listened carefully and applied herself was soon landing marlin much quicker and with less fuss than the fellas; I forget exactly how many marlin she caught on that trip but it was more than ten, and she finished up by far the best angler on the boat.
So discount the fishing skills of the fairer sex at your peril, but also be careful... get your wife or partner hooked on fishing and you may have to share your fishing gear and your sacred blokey fishing time. (There I go, by saying 'wife' I'm presuming it's a bloke reading this... at least I know my wife isn't reading).
We've had a few keen women fisho's join us on some of our recent adventures. I was impressed with all of them for various reasons, and I'm sure you will be too when you check out the upcoming episodes.
Our current series finishes at the end of October, so make sure you tune in to get your ITM Fishing Show fix.
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Episode 23 6th October 2012 - Niue the New Way
Matt and his offsider Mandy are in the anglers' paradise of Niue to try a range of different fishing methods. After checking out the underwater action, Matt introduces the locals to a light tackle technique for mahimahi, and the subsequent action and aerial displays from the feisty mahimahi is impressive. Following a frenetic afternoon of fishing, a chance drop on a deep reef at dusk gives up some big fights and big surprises, and to round off the day - a night dive on the reef edge amongst sharks and sea snakes in search of the elusive painted crayfish. That's a big day!
Episode 24 13th October 2012 - Niue - Meeting the Locals
The tropical adventure continues this week as Matt and the entire team are put through their paces aboard a local commercial wahoo fishing boat, before donning a mask and snorkel for Matt's first attempt at bluewater spearfishing, where he gets up close and personal with mahimahi, yellowfin tuna and a monster wahoo. A hardcase coconut crab mission in the heart of the Niuean rainforest follows; these monstrous crabs are as wacky a creature as you'll ever see!
Episode 25 20th October 2012 - ITM Fishing Comp
Matt reunites his fishing tournament team the Mongrel Pig Dogs to defend their title. This time they are fishing in Mercury Bay - new ground for Matt - and they have a late ring-in to the team, Jake Carney, Matt's apprentice. Snapper, kingfish sharks and tuna all feature as Matt pulls out all the stops in training his keen young apprentice while also trying to win the fishing competition.
Episode 26 27th October 2012 - Heavy Tackle Fishing on the GBR
Back on the Great Barrier Reef, Matt and his sidekicks Jake, Nicky and Danny, are on the hunt for a grander; a one thousand pound black marlin. Yes we've caught granders here before, but this time Matt's got his trusty electric fence reel handline as his tackle of choice.
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