On the hook with Amy Brown

Learn how becoming the first female to win a Florida B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series event marked a significant milestone in my competitive fishing journey.

Introduction to Fishing

I’ll never forget the first fish I caught. It was a little bluegill at the edge of a boat ramp when I was around 4 or 5 years old. I made my parents keep it in our freezer for years. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house, which was on a creek running between two spring-fed lakes, where I would also catch bluegills. I’d say I got hooked on fishing around 8 to 10 years of age. My grandparents had a Winnebago, and we spent many weekends parked along the Banana River in Florida’s Brevard County, bank fishing for saltwater species and searching for clams. Around the same age, my parents occasionally took us crappie fishing on their little boat at local lakes and on the St. Johns River.

My current passion for fishing started during the COVID pandemic. I couldn’t handle being stuck in the house any longer, and living within a couple of miles of three lakes prompted me to start fishing. I purchased an inexpensive rod and reel on Amazon and hit the banks. It didn’t take long for me to become fully addicted. About a year later, I bought my first kayak, a Hobie PA 14 360, and a few months later, I started entering tournaments. Now, I spend a couple of weekends each month competing or just enjoying nature and fishing for fun.

Perceptions and Attitudes

I believe most of my immediate fishing peers view women just as they do male anglers and treat us no differently. A very small percentage will never accept that women can fish well and often beat them! However, thanks to initiatives like BassmastHER, things are heading in a positive direction for female anglers, with many more opportunities opening for sponsorships and marketing. I would like to see more women get the chance to prove their abilities and earn greater corporate support.

I do wish we could encourage more women to join us in the world of kayak tournament fishing. Sometimes it feels like we don’t get the same recognition or kudos as the men, no matter how well we perform in a tournament. However, that’s a rare occurrence. I’ve been blessed with fantastic male teammates on the local kayak trails and have met many great guys who are encouraging, helpful, and inspiring.

Support Systems

Joining the Women’s Fishing Federation provided me with a fantastic network of like-minded women and lifelong friends. Two years ago, I barely knew any women who fished, and now I know ladies all over the world! I am most fortunate to have met my fishing sister, Wendy Biles, who filled a void I didn’t even know existed. Because of her, I have grown not only as an angler but as a person.

Earlier this year, I spoke with Kristine Fischer at a Hobie B.O.S. captain’s meeting. I had been struggling for months and was beating myself up mentally. She took the time to chat with me and helped me completely turn around my mindset, leading to a great tournament season with less stress. There are so many women anglers out there who would do the exact same thing.

Personal Achievements

I have only been kayak fishing for two years, competitively for one and a half years, and I feel I have accomplished many milestones in that time. In February, I won my first kayak tournament, leading the entire day and becoming the first female to win a Florida B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series event. This past season, I grew significantly, achieving several top 10 finishes, qualifying for the Florida Kayak Bass Trail Championship, and most recently, finishing 4th in the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Central Region Angler of the Year standings, which qualified me for the state championship in September.

A couple of months ago, I was honored to join the Pro Staff at The Dugout Bait & Tackle, and I look forward to working with this great group to promote their products and services. Recently, I decided to step completely out of my comfort zone and drive to Lake Murray in South Carolina for a chance to make the USA Kayak Fishing Team (the top six make the team). I finished 16th out of 40 of the best kayak anglers in the country. Currently, there is a small write-up featuring me as the Spotlight Angler for the Women’s Fishing Federation in USA Kayak Fishing magazine.

Advice for Aspiring Female Anglers

Get out there and do what makes you happy! Be yourself and chase your dreams. Join organizations like the Women’s Fishing Federation and connect with like-minded women. You don’t need a boat, kayak, or top-of-the-line gear to start fishing—just a passion for the sport. Don’t be intimidated by naysayers; no one has time for that! Seek out and follow inspiring women anglers on social media. Make a difference! Fishing and being on the water are incredibly therapeutic and rejuvenating.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to my family and friends who have cheered me on and supported my journey over the past couple of years. Their enthusiasm for leaderboard links and encouraging texts mean the world to me. A special shoutout goes to my husband, Robert, who goes above and beyond to keep the house in order on the weekends when I’m away for tournaments. I am also deeply grateful to my sponsor, Danus Utilities, for their unwavering support of my journey. Thank you all for believing in me.

You can follow Amy on Instagram: @amybrownfishing and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/amybrownsworld