On the hook with Rachel S. Altamirano

Discover the joy of fishing, from first catches to favorite techniques, in this heartfelt introduction to the sport.

Introduction to Fishing

Before I met my husband, the only fishing experience I had was as a kid, and that was with live bait. I had only gone out a couple of times on my dad’s boat. It took me a whole season to catch my first largemouth bass.

Then one day my husband—then boyfriend—took me to a spot his friend told him about. We went out on a boat, and I finally caught a largemouth. It was the best feeling ever! I could hardly believe I had a fish at the end of my line! I ended that day with two bass; my husband got skunked.

As thrilled as I was about that, I also couldn’t help but feel bad for my husband; it was his birthday. However, he wasn’t too bummed out about it because I had finally caught my first bass!

The more my husband and I went fishing, the more I fell in love with it. You can say I got hooked!

Experiences and Challenges

Luckily, I haven’t experienced anything negative myself. What I do see is that men seem to dominate the fishing community, at least in this and past generations. I find it hard to find other women in my area to fish with. I ask my lady friends if they like to fish, but so far no luck.

When I think about myself going out to fish, I do admit that I have a fear of people judging me. I feel so new to this sport, but I am eager to learn more about it. Anything I can do to get some big ones!

On the positive side, my husband loves fishing as much as I do. We love it so much that we went out to Clearlake for our marriage anniversary. It was a great experience. I caught my PB, weighing in at 5.5 lbs! Huge shoutout to our bass guide, Carl Keller, who took us to the best spots and taught us so much!

Representation and Visibility

This is a tough question to answer. The reason being that I see way more men fish. As a result, I see them getting better representation in the fishing community. Having said that, I do believe there could be more representation for women.

It almost feels like if I want to see more women in the fishing community, I have to find a women-specific outlet. I think that if women got more representation, it would draw more women to the sport. Whether it’s media, events, or leadership in the fishing community, I feel women could get more representation.

I recently started building a community on social media. Looking at their feed gives me joy, and I’m happy the feeling is mutual! I have had positive interactions with people in the comments section of my profile and theirs.

Favorite Fishing Style

I love to throw crankbaits! I like the feeling I get when swimming them. You can feel as the bait moves, then you get hit, and you know you have a fish on because of the sudden weight and pull!

Advice for Aspiring Female Anglers

If you’re passionate about it, go for it! Try to get as much experience and knowledge from seasoned anglers as you can. It doesn’t hurt to ask questions. Make sure you do your research too because some people may give you false tips. Remember, when searching for answers, hearing the same advice over and over again is advice you can count on.

Lastly, fish and have fun, but be responsible too! If you want to keep fish around, do your part in keeping their environment clean. Don’t forget to respect other anglers’ space, and you’ll be fine.

You can follow Rachel on Instagram: @raychieee__