Meet the women who inspire women to become today’s anglers

Rae Lesmeister has been influenced by women who are avid anglers and working hard to promote the sport to their peers. This lake trout was caught on one of her first trips back into the sport of fishing.

Lake Superior guide extraordinaire Josh Huff and I were discussing the strategy we would employ to target the lake trout near one of the islands of the Apostle Islands chain. My wife, Rae, was in earshot and asked how we were going to get the lures into 120 feet of water over suspended fish. She asked what lures we planned to use and why. Huff ended our logistics session by describing to Rae how downriggers get lures deep into fish zones.

It shocked me that my wife of 47 years was interested in the topic. Even though Rae fished as a child into her early teens, with her busy life raising children, then transitioning into a high-level career with a large international company, she had little time to spend on the water with me. We took many boating and kayak trips to popular vacation destinations, but Rae didn’t have much interest in fishing… Until now.

When I asked why the interest in fishing after such a long hiatus, she said “inspirational women.”  What? My fishing acumen hadn’t been the catalyst? She went on to explain that since her retirement from corporate life, and her attendance at the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) conferences with me, meeting women who she views as changing the industry piqued her interest. She said, “Why they inspire me transcends their career choices. I see their passion for fishing. I see their genuine desire to share their passion with others through their stories, pictures, and podcasts. It was a compelling invitation to go fishing.”

The women who usurped me as a source of angling inspiration are Barb Carey, Angie Scott, Hannah Hudson, and Dena Vick. All of them are influencers in the world of fishing, and Rae is not alone in finding them to be role models to the many women who love to fish.

Dena Vick is a communications and marketing manager in the fishing, hunting, and outdoors industry who is highly regarded for her proficiency in social media. She is as skillful on the water with a rod in her hand as she is in front of her computer screen cranking out marketing copy. Hardly a day goes by that Rae hasn’t checked out an image of Vick holding up an impressive catch on one of her social media platforms. She also shares Dena’s love of cooking and pairing fish with wine or a creative cocktail. She is an inspiration.

Hannah Hudson is well known as a world-class photographer and a social media giant, but she is also proficient with a fishing rod. Her husband, Jim Hudson, who passed away in 2013, was a guide on Lake Superior and while he may have added to her expertise in certain areas of fishing, she was an angler long before they connected in a bar in Superior, Wis. It was actually her fondness for fishing that brought them together. Her love of fishing is still strong today as she continues to promote the sport to her many minions on social media. She is an inspiration.

Angie Scott created The Woman Angler & Adventurer podcast with co-host Barb Carey out of her passion for fishing and her desire to inspire women of all ages to be active outdoors. Scott lives in Nashville these days but she grew up fishing in Minnesota. Scott’s mission statement says she wants women to “get out there and experience amazing adventures, together blazing a trail for ourselves and generations of women to come. We want to be more active and connected so we will be better equipped to teach and learn from each other and grow together in our fishing and other outdoor pursuits.” She is an inspiration.

Captain Barb Carey is the founder and president of Wisconsin Women Fish, and the Woman Ice Angler Project. She has been promoting fishing hard for over 15 years. Carey is an award-winning outdoor writer and as the co-host of the popular podcast, The Woman Angler and Adventurer, she shares her knowledge with tens of thousands of women who wish to be more proficient anglers. Barb loves to fish big water and teaches women how they can create their own adventures on the resources they love. She is an inspiration.

The result of these women inspiring my wife to be more actively involved in a sport that I have pursued for as long as I can remember, is that I have a new fishing partner. She’s someone I love to spend time with and is willing to be congratulated with a big kiss on the lips when she hauls in a big fish. None of my other fishing buddies allows me to do that.

Categories: Blog Content, Tim Lesmeister

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