BlogFebruary 2020

Women in Sports: 10 Reasons to Get Your Fish On!

Women in Sports: 10 Reasons to Get Your Fish On!

By Debbie Hanson

Feb 05, 2020

How women in sports have more opportunities to build confidence, skills, friendships. List of reasons for celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan declared the first National Women in Sports Day on February 4th in recognition of the history of women’s athletics. Today, it doesn’t matter if it's hiking, biking, golf, tennis, or fishing -- more women are reaping the benefits from athletics and outdoor sports than ever before.

According to the 2019 Special Report on Fishing, female participation numbers reached an all-time high at 17.7 million in 2018. This participation rate was the second-highest ever on record at 11.5%.

It's easy to understand why women and girls in sports are "getting their fish on" more often, particularly if you consider these ten benefits.

  1. Girls and women have more opportunities to build confidence, practice leadership skills, and can work together as a team while boating or fishing.
  2. Girls and young women in sports tend to have higher grade point averages and lower high school drop out rates.
  3. Fishing and boating can provide opportunities for girls and young women to learn new skills so that they feel more comfortable in outdoor sports settings.
  4. Female anglers know that catching a fish is an empowering feeling.
  5. Girls and women who play sports are better at budgeting time.
  6. Sports and outdoor physical activity are linked to decreased likelihood of symptoms related to stress and depression.
  7. Girls and women in sports learn how to set goals, which is important when it comes to inter-personal relationships and career success.
  8. Fishing builds friendships. There is an unquestionable bond of friendship that forms when women share time on the water together.
  9. Competitive sport fishing, which takes place through participation in tournaments and events, can help foster achievement-oriented behaviors.
  10. Girls and women need to see more inspirational role models. This means that they need to see more girls and women driving boats, tying knots, catching fish, and mentoring new anglers.

Whether it's on National Girls and Women in Sports Day, or any other day of the year, we have to keep shattering the "bass ceiling." Make waves by learning new fishing skills, and set an example for all of the young aspiring female anglers who are watching.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.