VIP Outdoors brought Fish Like a Girl, a salmon tournament for the ladies of fishing, to Astoria this year. The tournament brought women and girls from all over the Pacific Northwest to compete for a Willie drift boat. August 10-13th the ladies fished hard for their chance at the Willie.
Most of the 88 women that fished in the Tournament knew of each other through social media and finally got a chance to meet in person during this event. It was also a good time for old friends to fish and share a lot of laughs. We all fished with guides that were very brave to have boats full of determined women looking to have an experience of a lifetime and hopefully catch the winning fish.
I was able to fish the last two days of the tournament and had a wonderful time each day. Friday I spent my day with Bill Monroe Jr. and some of the ladies from Wraptor Rods. The day was absolutely wonderful and I really enjoyed making some new friends with the Wraptor Ladies. Bill got us on fish right away and I got my fish about 5 minutes into the troll. My fish was stunning weighing in at 23 pounds. During the trip Bill worked hard to keep us on fish. He also kept us all laughing. His drive, knowledge of the fishery, and sense of humor are what makes him the talented guide he is.
Saturday was the last day of Fish Like a Girl and I was beyond excited to get on the water. I was fishing with Pro Escobedo owner of VIP Outdoors. During last year’s Fish Like a Girl tournament I fished with Pro and had an incredible experience. I knew that this time would be just as much fun and I would be fishing with friends this trip. Collette is a woman that I fished with during the first tournament and she is just a wonderful person to be around. Her kindness, passion for fishing, and strength is inspiring. Vicki is a friend I met while fishing and I adore her. She has a beautiful balance of sweetness and strength that just makes being around her easy. All of the women that were on the VIP Outdoors boat were able to share their love of fishing and created an experience that laughter quickly became contagious.
Pro had a crew of seasoned fisherwomen and kept us on fish. I brought my favorite VIP Outdoors flasher and ran it all day. My rod kept hooking up with fish and I had a blast fighting them. Unfortunately all the fish I hooked up with were Tules, lower river spawning fish, and they were not allowed in the tournament. They are hard fighters and Pro is really good at keeping people where they need to be while fighting a fish. It was nice knowing he would chase a fish down if it was needed. His knowledge of the fishery also kept us hooking up away from the crowds which was really nice. Finding fish and not being in a crowd is not always possible during the Buoy 10 season. Pro’s talent, tackle, and personality made for a great trip that I will not forget.
The women I met and spent time with inspired me. Fishing hard with boats full of women all after the same thing and the joy that is shared through fishing is wonderful. My hope is that more women will be inspired to fish and see that there are women out there working hard in the sport. I am looking forward to competing in the 3rd annual Fish Like a Girl Tournament.
Thank you Pro and VIP Outdoors for bringing us ladies of fishing together. Thank you to the guides of the tournament for opening your boats to us and working hard to get us on fish.