Wild River Press
Announcing the Landmark New Book Arriving April 2019 Hardcover With 240 Original Color Photos Think you're ready? to Meet the Talented and Passionate Anglers of Fifty Women Who Fish
Adventurers Teachers Pioneers Champions Travelers Conservationists Mentors
Why Women fish | Wild River Press

The Landmark New Book

Fifty Women Who Fish

Why Women Fish | Wild River Press

by Steve Kantner

Foreword by Amy Knowles

Publication April 2019
NOW Accepting Pre-Orders Online

Some are famous anglers. Some are not. Some fish off local piers and beaches. Some fly around the world to wet a line. Some like to wade. Some fish out of kayaks. Some off paddle boards. Some troll from expensive yachts. Some fish with bait, others with flies, others with plugs. Some hold impressive world records and routinely release their out-sized catches. Others fillet their fish and relish cooking and eating them.

Some of the women featured in this book have enjoyed privileged lives. Others come from modest backgrounds. A few have suffered from depression and have found solace and healing in running rivers. Some are natural teachers. Some are fishing guides. All are intelligent. All are adventurous spirits. All love to be on or in the water. You will find their personal stories fascinating.

Although one in four American anglers is a woman, until recently fishing for sport—especially for prized game species—was considered by many a “man’s game.” In this sweeping portrayal of the lives and passions of 50 extraordinary female sport fishers, Steve Kantner puts to rest that myth forever. As these diverse and vivid portraits show, women are not only highly accomplished on the water, they are increasingly active in efforts to protect and restore the aquatic ecosystems and wild populations of fish on which the entire sport depends.

Kantner spent two full years interviewing devout female anglers far and wide, from the Florida Keys to Alaska, for this groundbreaking new book. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



Keep your fly in the water
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched people practice their false casting instead of fishing. Get your fly back in the water as quickly as possible. You’ll catch more fish and be less tired at the end of the day. I’ve never seen a fish take a fly in the air.”



Go fish!
“You can’t catch if you’re sitting on the couch. You don’t need the most expensive gear or to know where you’re going. Watch and read your local fishing reports; just get outside and give it a shot. Even if you don’t catch a thing, watch how it makes you feel. There is something meditative about casting a line.”



Rob the bank
“Even in a large river, most fish hold on the inside, sometimes in even shallower water than in a smaller river. They don’t want to hold or travel in the heavy mid flow. Wade shallow and always swing your fly in as tight to the bank as possible. Often a shorter cast will cover good water more effectively than a long one.”



Go subtle
“When fishing largemouth bass in areas that get lots of pressure, try downsizing both your hook and line. This allows for a more natural- looking presentation when fishing with plastics—especially worms.”



Try shorter grips
“Because many of us are shorter—or have shorter arms and legs—than the average male angler, tackle dimensions should address this difference. With offshore trolling rods, it pays to have a customized butt and fore grip to make pumping and reeling more efficient.”



Consider your next life
“Dad has always told me that if I don’t treat fish with respect I will come back in my next life as bait. Always show respect for this beautiful planet and its incredible fisheries.”



Do the stingray shuffle
“When wading saltwater shallows, make it a practice to shuffle your feet. This ‘kicks up’ unseen crabs and stingrays.”



Don’t miss out
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Determine, for example, how your fly or plug needs to be stripped or presented. I keep finding out more about how to feed fish. If you don’t ask questions, you’ll miss out on the action.”



Don’t spare the rods
“Be properly prepared before you set out. Piers normally allow patrons a maximum of three rods per customer. For me, it starts with a light spinning rod rigged with six-pound-test monofilament. I use it to cast the appropriate-sized sabiki for catching live bait. Next up is a larger spinning rod for casting lures or live baits to school fish: mackerel, bluefish, etc. The third rod I have at the ready is a heavy, nine or 10-foot conventional casting or spinning rod matched with a reel filled with 30- or 40-pound mono or braid. With this outfit I can fish larger live bait such as thread herrings and pilchards, typically in conjunction with a five-ounce sinker, for more robust quarries such as king mackerel, false albacore, snook and tarpon. This larger rod, if it’s a spinner, is also perfect for tossing heavier lures.”



Whatever to wear?
“I fish in all kinds of weather, so I’m frequently asked about apparel. At one time I’d say that white kept me cooler—which is no longer the case. Now I frequently wear black, regardless of season, because today’s new ‘performance wear’ fabrics wick perspiration—and the heat that goes with it—away from my skin. And, in so doing, they allow it to breathe, which keeps me a lot cooler.”



Wade stealthily, then cast
“Wade first, fish second. Make sure you are stable in the water or on the bank before you start fishing. No wading and casting simultaneously! It will make for sloppy fishing and spooked trout.”



Floating with kids
“It’s never too early or late to introduce your kids to swimming, fishing and floating rivers or playing in the ocean. Here are a few necessities for a float trip with kids: 1) Invest in an ergonomically-designed carrier for kids newborn to age one and a half. 2) Pack an art kit with watercolors, color pencils, coloring book, journal, mad libs. 3) Pack lots of snacks.”



Perfect for sweaty nights
“I never fish without my soft-sided cooler filled with one or two freezer packs, bottles of water or Gatorade, energy bars to take up the slack, and my moist towelettes. Even crew members on the drift boat ask for towelettes. They’re cool and refreshing—perfect for sweaty nights when I get home too late for a shower—say, after a successful yellowtail trip.”



No jerking the leader
“Releasing: Always inform your mate that you want to release your billfish with the leader cut close to the hook—no jerking the leader to break it off. If you want a picture, please do not take the fish out of the water! Have the mate grab the bill and hold the fish close to the boat for a photo op. Removing a fish from the water is very dangerous for any billfish.”



Relish the experience
“Women often have different priorities when it comes to fishing. Where men like to compare their releases or body counts, women simply relish the experience, or focus on learning new skills. The genders are very different in every way, so just remember: There’s no ‘right’ way to enjoy this sport.”



Avoid the ice cubes
“This goes for everyone: If you travel to third-world countries as we did, drink beer or bottled water exclusively. That includes avoiding ice cubes and not using anything but bottled water when brushing your teeth. And don’t forget to shut your mouth while taking a shower.”

From the Foreword

I think many of the women featured in Fifty Women Who Fish were made to feel their place in the fishing world was not a given—it had to be earned. However, as Steve Kantner makes clear, that particular glass ceiling has been resoundingly shattered, reduced to the millions of grains of sand from which it was molded.

I feel a kinship with each of the women in this book. I count many of them as my friends. They, too, have followed their passion, whether on a shoestring budget or blessed with unlimited funds. They have distinguished themselves as research scientists and environmentalists, tirelessly searching for ways to sustain fisheries and protect habitats; as guides and boat captains; as champion casters and able teachers; as record holders and innovative tackle designers; as lodge owners and at the oars of a drift boat; or simply as quiet pursuers of a sport that takes them out of doors and far away from the din and pressures of everyday life.

As for the author, well, he’s chatty, wonderfully quirky, and always ready with a laugh or another story. Steve knows his stuff. He does justice to these women’s narratives and their legacies. I have thoroughly enjoyed being associated with this project and I’m delighted, as this important book nears publication, to call him “friend,” even though we’ve yet to meet!

Amy Knowles
Islamorada, Florida

Wild River Press Presents