Among the stories coming out of the Miami International Boat Show, which wrapped up yesterday, is the announcement that the popular “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” University returns to the Florida Gulf Coast on March 21-22.
Hosted by the long-standing nonprofit Ladies Let's Go Fishing Foundation, the event offers classroom instruction, hands-on saltwater inshore fishing, conservation techniques, networking opportunities and optional guided-boat fishing. The seminar weekend will be based at Bass Pro Shops at Gulf Coast Town Center in Fort Myers.
The immersive educational fishing experience begins Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The morning sessions are slated to begin with presentations by captains Jon Fetter, Debbie Hanson and Rob Fussnecker on inshore/backcountry fishing, equipment usage and conservation. Then it’s hands-on action in the afternoon with how to release fish; removing the hook for conservation; knot tying; lure usage; fly, spin and net casting; and fish-fighting techniques. On Sunday, participants can opt to fish with a captain/coach from flats charters or a group boat.
The Ladies Let's Go Fishing Foundation was launched more than two decades ago and is still led by founder Betty Bauman, who was on hand at the Miami show. Bauman’s programs now account for 9,000-plus graduates from around the country, the largest organization of its kind.
It was founded as a program for women to learn fishing in a non-threatening atmosphere and was appropriately dubbed the “No-Yelling School of Fishing.” Now the organization is more widely known for attracting women and families to fishing while encouraging conservation and responsible angling.
Not surprising, Bauman and Ladies Let's Go Fishing have earned great reviews from major media outlets, including Inside Edition, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, ABC’s Good Morning America, Outdoor Life Network, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.
Many dealers likely have customers who could benefit from learning to or becoming more proficient at fishing. Here’s a chance to encourage them by letting them know about this fishing school opportunity coming up next month. After all, it’s a chance to learn fishing in a unique way — from pros in a comfortable setting, with one-on-one time and hands-on practice with instructors.
The Ladies Let's Go Fishing Foundation is supported by major partners, including the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Mercury, Magic Tilt trailers, Penn Tackle, Scout Boats, Seven Seas Yacht Sales, Power-Pole and Fish Florida. Other sponsors include Freedom Boat Club, Sunrise Resort and Marina, Future Angler Foundation, CCA Florida STAR, TACO Marine, Seaguar and the Big Rock Sports Foundation.
The registration fee for the upcoming sessions in Fort Myers is $79 (early bird) and $89 (regular). There is a $44 fee for teens accompanying mothers, and it includes instruction, use of equipment, gifts and door prizes. No equipment or experience is necessary. Sunday fishing is an additional charge.