More women are fishing in Wisconsin than ever. It’s a trend the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources would like to see continue. So this year, they came up with a great idea to encourage women to stay in the sport.
Kelsey Pickart started fishing as a girl due to a bribe of ice cream from her dad at the end of a fishing trip.
Kelsey and her dad would go fishing, and she caught her first northern pike around age 8.
These days, she fishes with her husband and competes in tournaments. She also has friendly competitions with her husband and never accepts his charity fish. "We definitely compete when we’re out here,” said Pickart.
Kelsey has caught a couple of muskies, which were about 40 inches. on Lake Monona. The avid angler works for the Department of Natural Resources, alongside fisheries biologist Karl Scheidegger.
Every year, he produces a calendar that showcases the natural resources of Wisconsin. This year’s calendar has Kelsey front and center. “I’m all about women fishing,” said Pickart.
In the last 10 years, the number of women with a fishing license grew by 23%. Nationwide, nearly 4 out of 10 fishers are female.
Karl hopes the calendar will encourage women to stay in the sport. “I love that people understand that they’re looking for relaxation and escape and adventure, and it’s an opportunity to get out and learn some new things,” said Scheidegger.
Wisconsin lakes are filled with more than 150 species of fish.
Kelsey likes to fish in an ideal weather when it’s sunny and 75 degrees, but she knows Mother Nature does not always cooperate.
“I love that people understand that they’re looking for relaxation and escape and adventure, and it’s an opportunity to get out and learn some new things.” — fisheries biologist Karl Scheidegger
“You can catch perch, you can catch bluegill, and you can catch crappie,” said Pickart.
For women who are on the fence about getting out and starting to fish, Kelsey recommends starting with a friend or family member.
“Go with somebody you know who can teach you some of the tips and tricks of fishing,” said Pickart.