Yes, real chicks fish – and now there’s a New Zealand website dedicated to ladies who love getting out there and putting a line in the water.
The idea was born last summer after I realised there was very little in the way of products or services for women who fish. Our website www.reelchixfish.co.nz was launched in November 2011.
The website is still in its early stages, but thus far it includes a photo gallery of ladies and their fish, information on ladies fishing tournaments nationwide, links to fishing clubs and tackle suppliers, recipes, fishing tips and tricks, and an online store selling stylish ReelChixFish apparel and accessories, such as T-shirts, hats and cooler bags. A monthly email newsletter will be sent out to subscribers, and planning is underway for a species section listing the most common fish species in New Zealand and Pacific waters, detailing their habitats, bait preferences, legal catch sizes and limits. A section for ReelChixFish charters is also planned, so ladies can go out whenever they like without the worry of trying to find a suitable charter operator themselves.
ReelChixFish has been a several-month labour of love conceived on the back of my passion – some would say obsession – for fishing that goes back more than 25 years. I caught my first fish, an eel, as a four-year-old in Wellsford and my first snapper at six off Waiheke Island. I was hooked, and since then I’ve caught countless fish, including an 8kg snapper, a 28kg hapuku and two striped marlin, the biggest weighing just over 109kg five years ago in the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club Ladies Tournament.
A mahimahi is next on my wish list; I’ve even been to Fiji to try and catch one without success, so I’m hoping to head to Vanuatu at some stage if I don’t manage to land one this summer here in New Zealand.
Unfortunately, my husband Brad isn’t into fishing as much as I am, and suffers from severe sea-sickness, so a boat wasn’t exactly on the priority list. Consequently, after relying on friends and family to take me fishing, last year I bought a four-stroke Honda Aquatrax jet-ski, kitting it out for fishing with rod holders, a chilly bin, fish-finder and VHF. It’s the perfect size for me to launch by myself, and I’ve hooked many different species of fish, including skippies, more kahawai than what I’d really care for and, of course, snapper for dinner.
My first tournament on the jet-ski was the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club’s Trailer Boat Tournament earlier this year, where I was the only jet-ski entrant. One of the fishing days coincided with a tsunami warning (a result of the huge earthquake in Japan), so the jet-ski stayed on the trailer and I hitched a ride with my Uncle Owen on his 18ft Stabicraft instead. This saw me catching my second stripie after a two-hour-plus fight with no game chair, gimbal belt or deckie!
Check out the photos of my prize-winning fish, along with other great fish hooked by like-minded ladies, at www.reelchixfish.co.nz.
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