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In This Issue...

  1. President's Message
  2. IWFA Tournaments
  3. Members' Travelogue: Girls Out Fishing
  4. Special Recognition
  5. Scholarship Trust Announcements 
  6. Monthly Awards Milestones 
  7. Regional Representative Corner
  8. Conservation Corner
  9. Upcoming Events/Announcements 
  10. New Members
  11. Sponsors 

President's Message 

As I perused this newsletter, I couldn’t help but notice the assortment of photos. We have ladies sharing their love of catch-and-release fishing and camaraderie in the Outer Banks of NC, Sarasota, FL, Palm Beach, FL, Islamorada, FL (3 separate events), Moorehead City, NC, and Guatemala! Please keep those photos coming. It's because of you that this a great club!

There has been a transition in a few of the Board member positions. Melissa Littlewood has volunteered to be the Scholarship Chair. Melissa brings great enthusiasm to her board position and has already contacted several potential sponsors who can offer reciprocal brand exposure. She and Aledia Tush were pivotal in helping the IWFA secure Columbia as a sponsor for the Islamorada Backcountry and Guatemala tournaments! Brenda Moore became the Tournament Chair on November 15. Brenda has participated in numerous tournaments and Funaments and is eager to learn the operations side and help oversee the tournament directors.

Within the Upcoming Events and Announcements section, you’ll notice that the Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon will take place in Sarasota, FL in 2018. Two IWFA members will be awarded the Distinguished Lifetime Membership designation at the luncheon so I hope you will plan to attend. I’ll be polling the membership soon regarding hotel accommodations. The event will be followed by a two-day Funament in Boca Grande. The date for registration for each of these events will be announced in a few weeks.

In the same section, you’ll be introduced to changes to the IWFA awards program that will begin on January 1, 2018. The Board and I will be implementing many new things in the coming year and we look forward to sharing them with you. Know that everything we do is to try and ensure that the club is sustainable while also continuing to encourage conservation and promoting angling competition amongst our members.

On behalf of the IWFA, thank you for your membership. I appreciate you and your continued involvement in our club’s future.

Wishing you a very joyful and blessed holiday season and a Happy New Year,

Jill Gaddis
IWFA President 

IWFA Tournaments

Islamorada Backcountry Tournament


Congratulations to Judy Axelrod from Sarasota, FL for winning IWFA Islamorada Backcountry Tournament last month. Judy had a strong first day fishing with Capt. Richard Black catching Snook, Redfish and Tarpon with additional Slam points for 2 slams. Connie O'day came in 2nd place and Becki deRosa in 3rd. Congratulations to all of the ladies that fished the tournament and supported the Florida Keys fishing guides. We all would like to express our sincere gratitude to Kim Clement, Amy knowles and Gail Kennedy for making sure the tournament went off without a hitch. For more information about final standings, please visit our website for the results.



IWFA Guatemala Billfish Tournament

Pictured below (Left to Right) 1st Place Winner Serena Wilson, 2nd Place Fran McKelvey, 3rd Place Connie O'day. 


IWFA 2017 Guatemala Billfish Tournament

Members from the International Women’s Fishing Association met at Casa Vieja Lodge for the 2017 IWFA Guatemala Billfish Tournament.  These twenty-four ladies ranging in age from 36 to 82 traveled from 7 different states to share in the thrill of the sport.  The format of the event included a one day of pre-fishing Funament where the women had a chance to fine tune their technique and for the novice to learn new skills. The two-day tournament resulted in 228 sailfish releases and 3 blue marlin releases.   

Five of the members fished their first IWFA tournament and a number of ladies hooked up with their first billfish.  Merrily Simmons, Beth Jenks, Kate Van Zile and Donna Krehling hooked their first sailfish and for Merrily and Beth their first blue marlin.  Back at the dock Beth performed the traditional jump in the ocean to commemorate her accomplishment.

The competition continued back at the lodge where the evenings were filled with many fun events.  The fishing teams worked together in an aggressive competition in an IWFA fun facts trivia game.  A special event occurred on the final evening when Hall of Famer and 30 year IWFA member Diane Locke was honored for her 10 sailfish caught by a woman in her 80’s.  The role model was toasted by all the ladies with a round of her favorite libation – The Martini!

The Casa Vieja lodge rolled out the red carpet for the IWFA.  Upon their return from the 50 mile trip to the fishing grounds, the anglers were greeted with signature cocktails and a Mariachi band.  The awards banquet which featured a festive pig roast was concluded by a surprise fireworks show sponsored by the lodge.  

Serena Wilson of Palm Beach FL achieved the first place award by releasing 19 sailfish.   She received the beautiful gold sailfish disc.  Fran McKelvey of Mulberry FL took second place with 14 sailfish and 1 blue marlin.  Tournament co-chair Connie O’Day received third place honors releasing 15 sailfish.  All award recipients for top anglers and top teams received custom made wooden boxes from Cuban artist Don Yoyi.

1st Place Team

Jill Gaddis, Donna Krehling, Suzie Villere, Serena Wilson

 2nd Place Team

Diane Locke, Linda Nolasco, Aledia Tush, Jing Torn

3rd Place Team

Ellen Matthews, Kathy Gillen, Mary Peachin, Fran McKelvey

Top Boat Day 1

Kim Clement, Susan Coleman, Fran McKelvey, Jing Torn

Top Boat Day 2

Joanne Kolius, Brenda Moore, Jing Torn, Serena Wilson

 Please click on the link below to be directed to the Marlin Magazine coverage of the tournament. 



 IWFA would like to recognize Columbia Sportswear for donating shirts and buffs to both the Islamorada and Guatemala Tournaments. THANK YOU!

  Members Travelogue: Girls Out Fishing

Lisa Yvette Everett with a 44inch Redfish caught off the Nags Head Pier in North Carolina. 


13th Annual Mote Marine Snook Shindig here in Sarasota. Participants: Julie Brown, Becca DeRosa, Melissa Littlewood, Corinne North Fuller. It was 12 continuous hours of night fishing for snook for research for Mote Marine Institute and FWC fish stock enhancement program. Great job IWFA West Central FL women!



Mary Muratori with a beautiful 30 pound Redfish caught and released in November in Jacksonville. Largemouth Bass, Clown Knifefish and nice Peacock Bass in Lae Ida, Palm Beach, FL with Captain Butch Moser.

Brooke Black with a beautiful Wahoo she caught and released on light tackle in Islamorada while fishing with her husband, Capt. Richard Black.

Happy fishing!

Special Recognition


Susan Coleman and Linda Nolasco, both from Virginia, fished the Wine Women & Fishing Tournament held in Virginia Beach in August.  This is a charity billfish tournament benefiting breast cancer research for Eastern Virginia Medical School.  Fishing on the "Sensation"  with Capt Dale Britt of Morehead City, NC,  they released 7 white marlin to win First Place in the Tournament out of 50 boats.  There were an additional 4 other ladies on the team "Sensation's Treasure Chests."   It was a great day of fishing with nonstop action!


Lisa Everett and Gail Kennedy McManus fished the Hurricane Cup Tournament benefiting the Guides Trust Foundation Hurricane Relief in Islamorada on October 28, 2017. The ladies, who fished with Capt. Larry Sydnor, released 255 Snook that day to win the tournament. They won Most Snook Releases, Top Spin Team, Top Guided Team and Lisa won Top Female with her 155 Snook releases. There were 36 boats in the tournament, with 694 total fish released. Great job ladies!



3rd place Corrine North Fuller at the 13th Annual Mote Marine Snook Shindig in Sarastoa.  

Scholarship Trust Announcements

IWFA Scholarship Trust Logo

Thank you to all the IWFA members who bought raffle tickets during the Islamorada Backcountry &
Guatemala tournaments. Anne Taylor won the beautiful pearl necklace, Suzie Villere won the sailfish mount donated by King Sailfish and Beth Jenks won the gold sailfish earrings donated by Glenda Kelley. The raffles raised over $5,000. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

SAVE THE DATE for February 10, 2018 celebration Lechon Asado dinner, at the home of Roberta & Marty Arostegui in Coral Gables, FL. Roberta and Marty are graciously donating their home and the delicious Cuban traditional dinner. Come and enjoy a relaxing evening with your fishing friends and get to know the students who were awarded scholarships in 2017.

There will be a silent auction with spectacular items and a very exciting live auction. The auction items are all donated so the entire proceeds of the auctions will be awarded to graduate students that are seeking their doctoral degree in Marine Science.

It’s a win – win for all of us.


2017-2019 TRUSTEES

Chairmen Pam Marmin, Vice Chairmen Lisa O Everett, Secretary Gail Kennedy-McManus, Treasurer Joan Vernon , Trustees:  Roberta Arostegui, Brooke Denkert-Black, Betsy Bullard, Glenda Kelley, Diane Locke, Connie O’Day, Suzie Villere, and IWFA President, Jill Gaddis.

Monthly Awards Milestones 

Congratulations to the following member(s) who have earned such incredible milestones! These monthly award numbers include the October 2017 stats. Happy Fishing!

Ann Taylor, Luling, LA - 1st Monthly Award

Laura Nolasco, Virginia Beach, VA - 1st Monthly Award

Maggie Brown, Naples, FL - 50th Monthly Award

Julia Brown, Placida, FL - 75th Monthly Award

Becki deRosa, Placida, FL - 100th Monthly Award

Sharon Ellenwood, Islamorada, FL - 200th Monthly Award

Yvette Everett, Kill Devil Hills, NC - 300th Monthly Award

Linda Harper, Nags Head, NC - 300th Monthly Award

 Regional Representative Corner

Each newsletter we will profile and interview one of our Regional Representatives to provide you with an opportunity to learn more about our IWFA leaders.  In this issue, we will feature Melissa Littlewood.

Why did you volunteer as a Regional Representative?

I joined IWFA in 2007 and remember my first tournament in Islamorada. As I walked into the Islamorada Fishing Club I looked across the room and saw 40 women and couldn’t believe there could be this many women who loved fishing as much as I did! Through their friendships I was educated about the incredible history of the IWFA and what we as an organization can do to promote responsible fishing, conservation and catch and release tournaments.

Two years ago I retired from my business after 36 years and knew that I now had the time to give back to this great organization all that it has given me in fun, friendship and education. I love my IWFA sisters in the west/central territory. They bring joy to every IWFA activity we participate in. I am honored to be their Regional Representative!

What do you see as your primary role as a Regional Representative?

I would like to believe that I am the liaison between the IWFA board and the west/central IWFA members. I promote upcoming tournaments and funaments, encourage participation in IWFA Awards and coordinate member participation in local fishing tournaments, banquets and fishing outings.

What events are planned in your territory?

We have a very active group of ladies who participate in local tournaments and are active with CCA. Earlier this year we had an extremely successful funament in Boca Grande and due to popular demand will are planning another funament to correspond with the April annual meeting. We are thrilled that Sarasota Florida will be the host city for the next IWFA Annual Meeting.

It was just announced that you are assuming the responsibilities of Sponsorship Chair. Can you
tell us your plans?

Get more sponsors that will help grow and promote this organization into the future.

I would appreciate any of our members that have contacts in companies or organizations that could be a potential IWFA sponsor to please contact me at [email protected] or 941-232- 1188.

Conservation Corner

No report at this time. 

Connie O'Day - Conservation Chair

Upcoming Events/Announcements

Upcoming Events 

The date and location have been set for the 2018 Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. Please save the date on your calendars. We hope to see many of you there so that we can see each other, catch up or meet some of our new members as well as celebrate in everyone's fishing accomplishments.

Luncheon information:

When: Sunday, April 22, 2018

Where: Sarasota Yacht Club - 100 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota FL, 34236

A Funament in Boca Grande will follow on April 23 - 24. More information to come!


The Louisiana SLAM tournament will be held June 11 – 13, 2018 in Venice, LA. Watch for more information to come!


Changes Coming to IWFA Awards Program in 2018

NOTE:  Eighty-six members, or 62% of the membership completed the Awards Membership Survey.  The survey results can be found on the IWFA website or by viewing the attached file.

An awards committee was assembled to review the current state of IWFA Awards and develop recommendations to better position the organization for the future.  One of the primary objectives was how to maintain the cost of awards and their administration while also adhering to the organizations conservation goals. The committee performed a comprehensive evaluation of historical affidavit data and gathered member feedback using a membership survey focused on awards. The following recommendations were presented to the Board of Directors at the October board meeting and have been approved for implementation for all fish caught and affidavits processed commencing January 1, 2018

Braid and Mono line will be processed on affidavits using the manufacturer's stated line breaking strength. At the present time, when an affidavit is completed for fish caught on braid, anglers report  two line classes above the stated breaking strength. Feedback from member surveys indicate there is a strong trend towards braided line. Because all lines, both mono and braid, have various breakage points, it was determined that the best position for the organization was to use the manufacturer's stated line breaking strength.

The weight fish category will be eliminated as part of the program changes.  A number of items were taken into consideration when making this change. First, were the conservation issues associated with taking fish out of the water and hanging them from a lip scale.  In addition, less than 6% of the membership file weight affidavits. The impacts are the elimination of the Sherwood Award, which is only based on weight fish, and the elimination of weight fish monthly awards. All other awards are based only on released fish. Both the conservation and the costly and burdensome administrative components associated with the weight fish category contributed to this decision. Club records will continue to be supported.

Annual Species Release Awards and Club Record Award recipients will now receive a certificate acknowledging their accomplishment.  Recipients will have the opportunity to purchase a disc, similar to the current annual species awards program disc, to commemorate their achievement. The exception will be if a member or company chooses to sponsor a species award and fund the cost of the award disc. This decision was a direct result of member survey results. The goal is to maintain  low membership fees while also directly controlling the cost of the award component of the club's budget. There are currently 237 species that each have the potential for an Annual Species Award.

The Anne Kunkle Newcomer Award will be based on all affidavits filed in a new members third calendar year. This will allow time for the new members to become familiar with filing affidavits and will also eliminate the advantage of someone who starts at the beginning of the year versus someone who starts at the end of the year. All members who joined in the year 2015 will compete for the Newcomer Award in 2018. Get Ready Class of 2015! The award is a beautiful gold disc which is graciously sponsored by the Kunkle family.

What’s coming?  Details on how to win awards and improved descriptions of the award programs will be emailed to you prior to January 1, 2018. A new and simplified online affidavit will be activated on January 1 and will make it easier to record your catch. 

Change is often difficult, but it is in the IWFA's best interest to align its awards program with its budget to ensure that this prestigious club is around for at least another 60 years.


At the Islamorada Backcountry Tournament in October, the IWFA held a drawing to give away its IGFA Member Benefits. All current members of the IWFA were eligible to win. Congratulations to the following members:

  • IGFA World Record Game Fishes books will be issued to Terry Shafer and Ruth Smith
  • A one-year subscription to International Angler digital magazine will be issued to Bonnie Carpenter
  • A Premium Club Membership for members will be issued to Tonya Willoughby, Vicki Martineau, Laura Beals, Lauren Lemon and Lisa Byron

The 2017-2019 Yearbook has been posted to the website. After signing in with your membership credentials, you can view and print the PDF file or pages of the file that are important to you. Several changes are going to be made to the Yearbook over the course of the next several months, including displaying it online in a more comprehensive manner and making it easier to search for information based upon keywords. Therefore, the Yearbook will no longer be printed and mailed to you. If you’re not able to print the file and/or would like the IWFA to provide you with a “hard copy”, please contact your Regional Representative. The cost to print the Yearbook is currently $10 plus shipping charges.

 Please be sure to check our website www.iwfa.org frequently for announcements, information, and a calendar of all upcoming events

New Members


The IWFA would like to wish a warm welcome to the following ladies that have joined our amazing club since August 2017.

Kellie Trotta - Islamorada, FL
Lisa Lanata - Metarie, LA
Carmen (Elisa) Badillo-Sheeder - Miami, FL


Please support our sponsors!



Links to our sponsors can be found on the Sponsor tab of our website www.iwfa.org

 If you're interested in an IWFA Sponsorship email us at [email protected]

[email protected] | WWW.IWFA.ORG