The number of women anglers has exploded in recent years, helped somewhat by the pandemic. During the COVID-19 shutdowns, a lot of people took to the water and bought boats or just headed to the shoreline. Lots of people discovered or rediscovered fishing. A good number of those people were women.

According to a recent report by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021. That’s an 8 percent increase in fishing outings since 2019. First-time anglers in that female group were 1.6 million women participants. Total fishing outings for females in 2021 was 288 million trips.

I took my daughter fishing with me from the time she was 7 or 8 years old and just fished with my granddaughter a couple of weeks ago. She already has two little fishing rods and she's just five years old.

Clearly, gender is not an issue when it comes to fishing and if girls are exposed to it early and they like it, chances are they'll take to it as much as boys who like it.

There's even women charter captains all over the country including New Jersey. One woman who is making a name for herself at the Jersey Shore as a charter captain is Melissa Toro.

For women interested in surf fishing (that's fishing off the beach) there is a New Jersey women's fishing club. My friend who runs a charter fishing business out of Point Pleasant took his friend and his friend's daughter this past weekend.

Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media
Dennis Malloy / Townsquare Media

The 20-year-old college student hooked and landed a 45-pound striper off the beach of Long Branch Sunday.

You can find more information about women anglers and female fishing activity in New Jersey from the NJDEP website. It's a great pastime, sport, activity and bonding experience for anyone of any age. It also gives people a great appreciation for nature and wildlife. Take a girl fishing. She'll probably love it.

The bass are biting in New Jersey fresh waters

Starting in mid to late May the largemouth bass started biting on my favorite lake. I finally got a chance to get out and see how good the fishing is this year and it didn't take long to catch. I got two bass in the first 10 minutes on the lake. We used to fish exclusively with live bait, either worms, nightcrawlers (the bigger worms), or minnows. That got too easy and it's not what "real" fishermen do.

It's more of a sport if you fool the fish into biting your hook with the right lure and the proper presentation. You have to figure out what they would be feeding on that time of year, pick a lure that resembles that and finesse it in a way that makes it look enticing to the fish. To most people, this is a stupid waste of time, but to those of us who caught the fishing bug as a kid or an adult, it's almost addictive. OK, it is addictive.

Most people look at a body of water such as a pond, lake, river, or stream and admire it for its natural beauty. Fishermen try to figure out what kind of fish are below the surface and what would be the best spot to catch them. If you have small kids and you know how to fish, you can create amazing memories and give a great lesson on nature. My dad and my uncles did that for me and those of some of the best memories of my childhood.

There are so many different kinds of fish and fishing in New Jersey's fresh waters. We usually think of fishing at the Jersey Shore, but there are plenty of fishing opportunities not far from where you live. Make sure you know a few simple rules and ask a local tackle shop for some good advice on what to buy and where to go, and you're good to go. It's a great way to enjoy the diversity of landscapes we have here and challenge yourself a little.

I challenged myself for the first time this season to try and catch a few bass on Thursday afternoon right before the rain and thunderstorms and had success right away in one of my favorite fishing holes in Medford.

A walk through Riverton, NJ: Historic gem on the Delaware

Lots of history and tons of charm in this tiny little Burlington County town tucked in along the Delaware.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

You can now listen to Dennis & Judi — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite best friends anytime, anywhere and any day of the week. Download the Dennis & Judi show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM