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The battle of the sexes hits the water

Anglerettes versus Fishermen

Anglerettes enjoying the sunset after a successful day on the water.
Anglerettes enjoying the sunset after a successful day on the water.

Dock Totals 10/17 – 10/23: 2,940 anglers aboard 145 trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 1 bigeye tuna, 159 bluefin tuna (up to 240 pounds), 27 bocaccio, 54 bonito, 152 calico bass (70 released), 61 dorado, 1 halibut, 9 lingcod, 96 lobster (49 released), 4 rock crab, 3,187 rockfish, 50 sand bass, 330 sculpin, 169 sheephead, 617 skipjack tuna, 2 swordfish, 581 whitefish, 4,656 yellowfin tuna, and 2,176 yellowtail.

Saltwater: Whether recreational or competitive as a sport, fishing is generally considered a man’s vocation, but in truth there are women out there that can hang with the best anglers in the world. ‘Fishermen’ is a common term used but it is a misnomer I avoid, and with good reason. Like ‘Worker’s Comp’ over ‘Workman’s Comp’ in industry indemnity, ‘angler’ is a more inclusive and accurate term in the realm of fishing. Recently, while perusing a bin full of old photos and slides, I came across several photos of my grandmother and mother during and after fishing trips posing with fish caught along the Baja coast and from San Diego waters.

My maternal grandmother, Bonnie May Malody, a well-published nature-loving poet and contributing editor to the Reader’s Digest, used to love describing how she would out-fish the boys while fishing in her youth in rivers and lakes in Missouri, and later years after moving to San Diego during the war, surf fishing beaches from Torrey Pines down to Halfway House between Tijuana and Ensenada. These stories she would relate to me while bed-ridden in her final years and all other memories had faded into the ether of Alzheimer’s, holding her arthritic hands as though slowly winding a Penn Beachmaster reel while grinning at the memory. Her last lucid memories were of fishing.

Mom grew up an only child and didn’t like fishing so much, mostly because she had the task of cleaning all the fish caught during the family outings. She met my father in her teens, and soon took up fishing with him as it was his favorite pastime. In the mid-1950s, the television show Sea Hunt popularized SCUBA and freediving, and dad caught the diving bug. Soon, he and my mother were cutting neoprene from patterns and gluing together their own wetsuits. Before my brother and I came along and spoiled the fun with our needy infancy, they would dive and hunt yellowtail often, mostly swimming out from La Jolla to 80 feet or so along the outer kelp beds to find their targets. Once out of diapers, my brother and I both were naturally indoctrinated into the angling realm, and much of that ‘brainwashing’ came from mom and grandma.

The maternal side of my family’s love of fishing was not unique; many girls and women grow up with a love of fishing, and currently there are angling clubs and events dedicated to getting women out on the water. Many women factor into the history of sportfishing in Southern California. The Day at the Docks, a vastly popular event held at sportfishing landings every year, was the brainchild of San Diego’s Catherine Miller in the 1970s when she was just 19 years old. As the daughter of one of the founders of H&M landing, she came up with the idea to help promote sportfishing and make it more inclusive to all.

Going way back to the turn of the previous century, Pauline Barrett and her noted catches out of Catalina Island around when the once all-male Tuna Club of Avalon was founded comes to mind when thinking about women in sportfishing. Pauline briefly held the world record from 1901 to 1903 for largest black seabass caught by rod and reel weighing over 400 pounds, but, as a woman and even though her husband A.W. Barrett was the second president of the club, she could not be a member.

As reported in the San Francisco Call on July 29, 1901: “Woman breaks record for big fish capture. Mrs. A. W. Barrett lands a specimen that weighs over four hundred pounds. The world's record for big fish taken under club considerations with rod and reel was smashed at Catalina Island Saturday by Mrs. A. W. Barrett, wife of the president of the Tuna Club. Her catch was a 416-pound Jew fish(sic), measuring seven feet in length and five feet and eight inches in circumference, and was brought to gaff in three hours and five minutes.”

Today, women are a small percentage of those fishing offshore recreationally but are still well represented in the southern California sportfishing scene. This past week, the Anglerettes Fishing Club went on one of their many annual women’s only fishing trips and returned to the dock with loads of skipjack, yellowtail, and yellowfin tuna. Anglerette trips sell out regularly and they post counts that would make any seasoned angler proud. Their most popular outing, the Battle of the Sexes Tournament, is coming up this Friday, October 29. Two boats, the Voyager and the Pride out of Seaforth Landing, are chartered for the tournament that pits the ladies against the gentlemen on a full day trip targeting tuna, dorado, and yellowtail. They, along with the opposing male team, will be tailgating prior to departer in the Seaforth Landing parking lot ‘just so everyone can get their smack talk in’. The Anglerettes also have their own fishing-related clothing line at https://www.facebook.com/Anglerettesfishingclothing/ for those who would like to show support or are interested in lady angler bling.

As the counts show, the fishing is still phenomenal between the seasonal blows. So regardless of gender, this is the time to get out there and get ‘em!

Fish Plants: None scheduled

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Anglerettes enjoying the sunset after a successful day on the water.
Anglerettes enjoying the sunset after a successful day on the water.

Dock Totals 10/17 – 10/23: 2,940 anglers aboard 145 trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 1 bigeye tuna, 159 bluefin tuna (up to 240 pounds), 27 bocaccio, 54 bonito, 152 calico bass (70 released), 61 dorado, 1 halibut, 9 lingcod, 96 lobster (49 released), 4 rock crab, 3,187 rockfish, 50 sand bass, 330 sculpin, 169 sheephead, 617 skipjack tuna, 2 swordfish, 581 whitefish, 4,656 yellowfin tuna, and 2,176 yellowtail.

Saltwater: Whether recreational or competitive as a sport, fishing is generally considered a man’s vocation, but in truth there are women out there that can hang with the best anglers in the world. ‘Fishermen’ is a common term used but it is a misnomer I avoid, and with good reason. Like ‘Worker’s Comp’ over ‘Workman’s Comp’ in industry indemnity, ‘angler’ is a more inclusive and accurate term in the realm of fishing. Recently, while perusing a bin full of old photos and slides, I came across several photos of my grandmother and mother during and after fishing trips posing with fish caught along the Baja coast and from San Diego waters.

My maternal grandmother, Bonnie May Malody, a well-published nature-loving poet and contributing editor to the Reader’s Digest, used to love describing how she would out-fish the boys while fishing in her youth in rivers and lakes in Missouri, and later years after moving to San Diego during the war, surf fishing beaches from Torrey Pines down to Halfway House between Tijuana and Ensenada. These stories she would relate to me while bed-ridden in her final years and all other memories had faded into the ether of Alzheimer’s, holding her arthritic hands as though slowly winding a Penn Beachmaster reel while grinning at the memory. Her last lucid memories were of fishing.

Mom grew up an only child and didn’t like fishing so much, mostly because she had the task of cleaning all the fish caught during the family outings. She met my father in her teens, and soon took up fishing with him as it was his favorite pastime. In the mid-1950s, the television show Sea Hunt popularized SCUBA and freediving, and dad caught the diving bug. Soon, he and my mother were cutting neoprene from patterns and gluing together their own wetsuits. Before my brother and I came along and spoiled the fun with our needy infancy, they would dive and hunt yellowtail often, mostly swimming out from La Jolla to 80 feet or so along the outer kelp beds to find their targets. Once out of diapers, my brother and I both were naturally indoctrinated into the angling realm, and much of that ‘brainwashing’ came from mom and grandma.

The maternal side of my family’s love of fishing was not unique; many girls and women grow up with a love of fishing, and currently there are angling clubs and events dedicated to getting women out on the water. Many women factor into the history of sportfishing in Southern California. The Day at the Docks, a vastly popular event held at sportfishing landings every year, was the brainchild of San Diego’s Catherine Miller in the 1970s when she was just 19 years old. As the daughter of one of the founders of H&M landing, she came up with the idea to help promote sportfishing and make it more inclusive to all.

Going way back to the turn of the previous century, Pauline Barrett and her noted catches out of Catalina Island around when the once all-male Tuna Club of Avalon was founded comes to mind when thinking about women in sportfishing. Pauline briefly held the world record from 1901 to 1903 for largest black seabass caught by rod and reel weighing over 400 pounds, but, as a woman and even though her husband A.W. Barrett was the second president of the club, she could not be a member.

As reported in the San Francisco Call on July 29, 1901: “Woman breaks record for big fish capture. Mrs. A. W. Barrett lands a specimen that weighs over four hundred pounds. The world's record for big fish taken under club considerations with rod and reel was smashed at Catalina Island Saturday by Mrs. A. W. Barrett, wife of the president of the Tuna Club. Her catch was a 416-pound Jew fish(sic), measuring seven feet in length and five feet and eight inches in circumference, and was brought to gaff in three hours and five minutes.”

Today, women are a small percentage of those fishing offshore recreationally but are still well represented in the southern California sportfishing scene. This past week, the Anglerettes Fishing Club went on one of their many annual women’s only fishing trips and returned to the dock with loads of skipjack, yellowtail, and yellowfin tuna. Anglerette trips sell out regularly and they post counts that would make any seasoned angler proud. Their most popular outing, the Battle of the Sexes Tournament, is coming up this Friday, October 29. Two boats, the Voyager and the Pride out of Seaforth Landing, are chartered for the tournament that pits the ladies against the gentlemen on a full day trip targeting tuna, dorado, and yellowtail. They, along with the opposing male team, will be tailgating prior to departer in the Seaforth Landing parking lot ‘just so everyone can get their smack talk in’. The Anglerettes also have their own fishing-related clothing line at https://www.facebook.com/Anglerettesfishingclothing/ for those who would like to show support or are interested in lady angler bling.

As the counts show, the fishing is still phenomenal between the seasonal blows. So regardless of gender, this is the time to get out there and get ‘em!

Fish Plants: None scheduled

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