ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — The no-experience-necessary "Ladies, Let's Go Fishing!" girls' getaway provides female anglers the chance to learn, network and enjoy some tournament competition Friday through Sunday, Oct. 19-21, in the sport fishing capital of Islamorada.
The Florida Keys weekend teaches aspiring anglers basic hands-on fishing skills that they can put into practice in optional offshore and inshore fishing situations. Participants learn about conservation and responsible angling techniques from prominent fishing captains based in the Keys.
The seminar kicks off Friday, Oct. 19, with a 6:30-8:30 p.m. meet-and-greet networking social at Tavernier's BPOE Elks Lodge at mile marker (MM) 92 bayside. Participants and guests can enjoy a fundraising raffle, silent auction and appetizer contest.
Saturday's activities are scheduled from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., with classroom presentations by professional local guides on fishing basics, conservation, release techniques and more. After lunch, hands-on activities include knot tying, bait rigging, spin and net casting, boat and trailer handling, stand-up fish fighting techniques, gaffing, removing hooks and filleting the catch.
Presenters include fly-fishing legend Stu Apte, world-class IGFA Hall of Famer Capt. Gary Ellis, tournament champion Allison Stattner, accomplished female angler Capt. Lee Lavery and several others.
A cocktail party is to follow Saturday evening at Seaside Glassworks, MM 82 bayside.
Both Friday and Sunday, participants can opt for an additional inshore or offshore fishing adventure, followed by a filleting demonstration, out of Whale Harbor Marina, MM 83.5 oceanside. Anglers can fish from a sport-fishing vessel, inshore flats boat or drift boat. Additional fees apply.
Anglers who choose to fish both days are entered into the LLGF Fishing Fever Tournament, a friendly entry-level competition that awards prizes.
Weekend seminars fill quickly, so early registration is encouraged. Online early registration is $125 per person. VIP registration of $160 entitles participants to premium reserved seating, socials and meals as well as future rebates and savings on souvenirs. Registrants must confirm their entry into the Fishing Fever Tournament when signing up.
Islamorada visitor information: fla-keys.com/islamorada or 800-FAB-KEYS
Florida Keys fishing information: fla-keys.com/fishing