Thirty-five aspiring anglers came from Florida as well as other states to learn from the pros at the award winning “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!®” Keys University, October 7-9 at the Elks Lodge, Tavernier, FL. Participants came to learn about fishing and practice their skills on the water, catching 183 fish and releasing 185 for a total of 368 fish from seven boats in the Fishing Fever Tournament.
Winners of the LLGF Fishing Fever tournament were:
- Top Offshore: Holly Smith, Key Largo, FL 12 lb. Bonita on Sea Horse with Capt. Rick Rodriguez
- Second Place Offshore: Lyn Gremonprez, Tavernier, FL 8.3 lb. Mutton Snapper on Plantation Boat Mart
- Top Inshore: Pat Kucera, Clearwater FL 45 inch barracuda released on Capt. Eric Scoble’s Blackwater Charters
- Second Place Inshore: Julie Duncan, Pinecrest, FL 35 inch snook release on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales
- Top Inshore Release: Cheryl Craig, Key West, FL for 5 tarpon releases on Capt. Chris Hanson’s Scales 2 Tales
The University kicked off on Friday with a meet-and-greet.
Saturday’s events began with classroom presentations on fishing basics by Capt. Lee Lavery, offshore fishing by Capt. Jeanne Towne, and inshore fishing by Capts. Ron Galeota and Scott Ray, followed by lunch and hands-on fishing skills until 4 pm. Skills such as releasing, conservation, knot tying, bait rigging, spin casting, net casting, gaffing grapefruits and more were available for hands-on practice.
Saturday events concluded with a silent auction, followed by a networking party hosted by Seaside Glassworks, Islamorada, FL.
On Friday and Sunday, offshore or inshore, participants embarked on a fishing adventure out of Whale Harbor Marina, Islamorada, FL and other locations, followed by a fish fillet demonstration. Fish caught and/or released included yellowtail snapper, red snapper, bonita, tarpon, snook, redfish, mangrove snapper, barracuda, sharks and more.
Betty Bauman, Founder of Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing commented, “This event was designed for beginners who can win a prize in our Fishing Fever tournament, even if it was their first fish ever caught or released.”
Featured on national network television and more, the series is supported by major partners including Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation, Take Me Fishing, Vamos a Pescar, Mercury, Magic Tilt trailers, Shearwater Boats, Power-Pole, Penn, TACO Metals, Lowrance, Fish Florida and Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Largest Annual Sponsors are Freedom Boat Club, ICOM, CCA Florida STAR, Bob’s Machine Shop, AFTCO, Costa, Smith Optics, Frogg Toggs, Hubbards Marina, Star Brite and Future Angler Foundation. Local sponsors were Plantation Boat Mart Platinum sponsor, Island Arms & Indoor Range, Fidelity Real Estate Group, Seaside Glass Works and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
Fishing Report: “Caught” can either be landed or released. Seas were 2-4 ft. 183 fish were caught, 185 were released for a total of 368 fish.
Friday Oct. 7 Full Day Fishing – Offshore:
Sea Horse/Capt. Rick Rodriguez: Holly Smith, Key Largo, FL clinched First Place Offshore with a 12 lb. Bonita on Sea Horse with Capt. Rick Rodriguez. Annette Krey, Ruskin, FL caught a 6 lb. king mackerel that held Second Place Offshore until she was beat by the red snapper caught on Plantation Boat Mart. A 30 inch cobia was released by Judith Meyers, Ellicott City, MD. The ladies caught 48 yellowtail snapper, many in the 2.6 lb. range, some up to 3 lbs. 50 fish were caught and 5 were released.
Friday Full Day Fishing – Inshore:
Capt. Chris Hanson/Scales to Tales: Ladies released 30 snook, nine tarpon, three jacks, a redfish, five lemon sharks, two or which were 4 ft. long. One mangrove snapper was kept and a total of 48 fish were released. Julie Duncan, Pinecrest, FL won Second Place Inshore with her 35 inch snook release. Cheryl Craig, Key West, FL won Top Inshore Release for releasing five tarpon. Capt. Melissa Sinasac, Islamorada, FL released her first-ever tarpon, snook and shark all in one day, plus the largest fish she ever caught! 48 fish were released and a mangrove snapper was kept.
Capt. Eric Scoble/Blackwater Charters: Ladies released two 20-21 inch snook, two 15 inch trout, one 19.5 inch trout, 3 sharks, 4 jacks and 15 catfish. A total of 24 fish were released.
Sunday Oct. 9, ¾ day fishing – Offshore:
Sea Horse/Capt. Rick Rodriguez: Ladies caught 23 yellowtail snapper up to 3 lbs. For all it was their first yellowtail snapper ever. Two rainbow runners were kept. They released two bonita and ten blue runners. With 25 fish kept and 20 fish released the total was 45 fish. Fishing off Davis reef in 75. ft. of water, there was a bite almost every minute.
Caribsea/Capt. Casey Spaulding: Participants limited on yellowtail snapper with 60, some up to 3 lbs. Janet Steiner, St. Augustine, FL released a 6.85 lb. bonita, the third heaviest offshore fish caught in the tournament. With 60 fish kept and 35 fish including 30 yellowtail snapper, two blue runners, a shark and a midnight parrot fish released, their total was 95 fish.
Plantation Boat Mart: Lyn Gremonprez, Tavernier, FL snatched Second Place Offshore with her 8.3 lb. Mutton Snapper on Plantation Boat Mart. The ladies also caught 45 yellowtail snapper up to 2 lb. 10 oz, one black grouper and four bonita. With 48 kept, 16 released, their total was 64 fish.
Sunday Oct. 9, ¾ day fishing – Inshore:
Capt. Chris Hanson/Scales to Tales: Ladies released 14 snook up to 25 inches, two barracuda up to 33 inches and two jack crevalle for a total of 18 fish released.
Capt. Eric Scoble/Blackwater Charters: Pat Kucera, St. Augustine, FL released a 45 inch barracuda, clinching Top Place Inshore. The ladies released three snook up to 24.5 inches, plus jacks and catfish for a total of 18 fish released.
The Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing Foundation (LLGF) is a national charitable 501C3 organization dedicated to attracting women and families to fishing while encouraging conservation and responsible angling. LLGF promotes networking among women anglers and emphasizes mentorships. Founded in 1997 by Betty Bauman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, LLGF has over 9,000 graduates and is the largest organization in the world whose objective is to introduce women to fishing. Both Bauman and the University series – often dubbed “The No-Yelling School of Fishing” – are known nationally in the sport fishing and marine industries. The organization has earned rave reviews from national media including “Inside Edition,” CBS’ “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Nightly News,” “Good Morning America,” “Outdoor Life Network,” USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Southern Living and more.