Girls Just Wanna Go Fishin'!

Fishing, hunting, and the outdoors in general play a major role in the lives of most children who grow up in Northeastern Ontario. For me, fishing has been my passion ever since I was a little girl. There was nothing I loved more than leaving school on Fridays, sometimes even during the week, to go to camp on Lake Nipissing with my dad or grandparents, and fish all weekend. To this day, there is nothing I look forward to more than being able to spend all day out on the water.

Every person who identifies as an angler, hunter, outdoorsman or outdoorswoman understands what I mean when I say that it is the driving force behind what we do. Fishing, hunting, and being in the outdoors is what we love. It’s why we breathe, it’s who we are. There is nothing that separates the men from the women when it comes to outdoor sports other than our biology.

Gord Pyzer 10

I have been fishing in tournaments for 14 years, and over those years I have put my body through days and nights of not nearly enough sleep. I’m not alone either. Anglers in general have endured downpours of rain for days on end. We’ve endured snow and crazy winds so big that we could no longer keep our balance in the boat and have had to fish on our knees. And we’ve endured extremes in temperatures from bitter cold to scorching heat. And it’s enduring these weather changes that helps us succeed.

Whether you identify as a male or female, if you fish, you are an angler. Being a female angler can present its very own set of unique challenges, but this is not a negative thing; male anglers also face their own challenges. People call anglers crazy for everything we endure, but we call it determination — determination to do better the next time we are on the water, determination to learn more about techniques or fish handling, or the feeding patterns of certain bodies of water. Being on the water and catching fish is an addiction, and as everyone knows, addictions do not discriminate.

As a young woman involved in the fishing industry, I have been under much scrutiny. That scrutiny might intimidate some people, but it has only motivated me to do better as an angler and to get more young women involved.

So, for all the girls and women who would love to go fishing, I say, “Go for it!” You will fall in love with the sport as much as I have, and the people you meet will become some of your greatest supporters and friends.

About Amy Nesbitt

Amy Nesbitt is a professional angler and outdoorswoman from Northeastern Ontario. When she’s not on the water, she is studying to become a Registered Practical Nurse. Amy caught her first fish when she was two years old, entered her first tournament when she was eight, and has been in love with the sport ever since. A fierce advocate for women anglers, Amy has over 100 tournaments under her belt, two first place finishes, a Classic win, countless Top Tens, and was named Rookie of the Year 2010 Top 50 Pike. 

Related Articles

Double Header, Double Season

Wolf Lake and Blue Lagoon

This is the Must-Do Road Trip of Summer!

The Georgian Bay Coastal Route winds through some of Northeastern Ontario's most beautiful landscapes.

Northeastern Ontario Pow Wow Guide: Summer 2023

Culture, community, food, dancing, music, tradition, and regalia.

Lake Nipissing Fishing Hot Spots

Nipissing is one massive lake with plenty of fishing opportunities to keep anglers exploring.

Complete Guide to Moosonee & Moose Factory Island

12 essential experiences for visitors.

Plan A North Bay Bike Vacation

And follow in the tire tracks of professional cyclist, Emily Batty.

Fish for one of the World's Rarest Species of Trout

Found only in 12 remote Ontario lakes–and nowhere else in the world–the aurora trout is a special fish.

The Northern Lights Trip Planner

3 trip ideas for an illuminating experience in Ontario

Best Things to Do in Kirkland Lake: The Town that Gold Built

Check out a self-guided gold mine tour, a northern chateau museum, and get some beach time!

How to Properly Hold and Handle Fish

Techniques & Tools

Manitoulin Island Camping and RVing Guide

Have you explored the world's largest freshwater island yet?

The History of the Fire Tower

From World War II to Jack Kerouac to Temagami

Manitoulin Rocks!

Understanding Alvars and What Happened in Walkerton

The Lake Nipissing Loop

From french bakeries to trading posts, museums to winter hiking—add this epic weekend road trip to your bucket list

2017 Pow Wow Schedule

Celebrate & honour the tradition at a pow wow in Northeastern Ontario!

3 Easy Weekend Trips from Brampton

Lighthouses, waterfalls, epic hikes, and the world's biggest nickel await on these easy road trips from Brampton to Ontario's north. Plan your summer vacation today!

Prepping for Pike

The 'lowly' northern pike is an often overlooked freshwater fish

Welcome to Moosonee

"Oh my god, it’s salt water. We’re in the ocean!’” 

An Insider's Guide to Manitoulin Island

12 communities, sights, hikes and experiences that most first-time visitors miss!

The Low-Down on Those Pesky Bugs in the North