The Benefits of Fishing Travel

When I met my husband Pete over 20 years ago, I’d never fished before. I was from the Chicago suburbs and had a happy life doing other things. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to try it, and I’d certainly never heard of professional bass fishing. When he told me that he liked to fish, I said, “off a bridge with a bobber?”

There’s certainly nothing wrong with watching a bobber, but in the last two decades I’ve been fortunate to gain access to a sport I now love and to travel the world doing it. And I have to give myself credit for it all. While Pete is the Bassmaster writer, I’m the one who got us started on travel.

For his 40th birthday, well over a decade ago, I surprised him with a trip to Lake El Salto, our first fishing trip out of the country together. We’ve now been back about 20 times. We’ve also been to the Amazon, to Africa, to various countries in Central America and all over the US. I may never love tackle and tournament trivia like Pete does, but I feel like travel has allowed me to gain a different appreciation of fishing, and a different kind of passion.

What really makes me happy about it is that as someone who came to fishing late in life, I know that there are lots of people out there who don’t have any way to get involved. Had we not started dating, I’d probably have some other hobby. This is especially true for women. Even if female would-be anglers have someone to introduce them to the sport, it can be intimidating to be in a mostly male environment.

That’s why I’ve loved hosting women’s trips. We’ve taken a bunch of female anglers to El Salto over the years and they usually have a better time and catch bigger fish, too. I’ve also gone with my female angler friends of all skill levels to places like St. Clair, Kentucky Lake, schooled by Crispin Powley and Table Rock, where we fished with former Elite pro Chad Morgenthaler. The best way to learn is with a patient and understanding pressure in a place where the fish are biting so I try to go to the best places at the best times.

We’ve also made great friends from all over the place by traveling with other couples. We had one couple who’d never been out of the country who joined us for tuna fishing in Panama. Since then they’ve been back multiple times, joined us in Alaska, and they’re headed to Guatemala with us for sailfish in November. I know Pete is sometimes happy to fish alone, but our travels are also about the food, the local culture and the people. I’ve seen so many amazing things from a boat, and that makes it my happy place.

Even if you’re already a female bass angler, I encourage you to get out and fish for other species. It’ll open your eyes and make you better with bass, too. Everything I’ve caught – from tigerfish to peacock bass to halibut to roosterfish – is a thrill.

I know that everyone has different budgets and risk tolerance, so if the only fishing you can do is in your backyard, I say great. Take that to the fullest. But if you’ve ever dreamed of watching the sun rise over the Amazon, or of fishing for salmon in Alaska with bears traipsing back and forth (you need to be careful, but it’s not as scary as you’d think), get out there and do it! Life is too short to sit at home, and fishing is a great way to see new things and to challenge yourself.

My latest challenge has been writing. I was born with a learning disability and it is hard for me. But as part of my commitment to giving back, I’ve started blogging with Pete at our own site – – with a particular emphasis on gear and experiences for women. It’s another thing that I’d never thought I would do that fishing made clear I could.

If you don’t know how to get started, shoot me an email at I’d love to hear about your travels or to have you join me on a trip. I promise, it’ll become an addiction!