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December 2020

Fishnet Winter Edition

President's Message
by: Kathy Gillen, IWFA President 2019/2020

President Message PhotoWOW! What a year! I know 2020 will stand out as one of the most challenging years we have ever undertaken. I’m sure many of you share my disappointment at our inability to get together and fish. Seeing the many photos and hearing the fishing stories on social media allowed many of us to share in your adventures. We all had to adjust to the new world order and the Virtual Funament was a product of that challenge. The responses to the Funament were resoundingly positive. So much so that plans are underway to kick off 2021 with another Virtual Funament.

We are planning a full slate of events next year in hopes that our members will once again be able to meet in person to fish, celebrate our award winners and reunite in friendship. While we know it is still difficult to set our schedule in stone, we are working with the following dates for our 2021 Event Schedule.

  • 2nd Virtual Funament: Fish from anywhere during months of April & May
  • Annual Luncheon & Awards: Ft Lauderdale Sunday April 25
  • Louisiana Slam: Venice LA, Kickoff  June 6, Fish June 7-9
  • BackCountry Tournament : Islamorada FL, Kickoff Oct 17, Fish Oct 18-20

Please note your board will always have your safety in mind as we move forward with any plans and will solicit your feedback when in doubt.  

As we wrap up 2020, we hope that you will consider working towards some of the amazing Annual Awards in the coming year.  For a further look at the awards and the associated criteria, log onto the member section at iwfa.org and select the iScore tab to go to the awards portal.  There you will find not only your affidavit information, but all the awards, award standings and criteria.  Any previous years’ winners will tell you the best way to achieve these awards is to develop a fishing plan early in the year to target the award you are interested in achieving.  Let the competition begin!

In conclusion, I want to personally thank all the ladies who have given of their time and talents to the IWFA and IWFA Scholarship Boards.  Without these amazing women our club could not celebrate its 65th year.  And to you, our members and Jr members, thank you for continued support of the IWFA.  If you take the time to get to know your fellow members, you will quickly see why this is a special organization of not only world class anglers, but of relationships that can last a lifetime.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Kathy Gillen

Everything Else Has Been Virtual - Why Knot Fishing!

By Connie O'Day Event Co-chair

The pandemic year 2020 has resulted in cancellation of 3 IWFA Tournaments.  Desperate for a way to connect our anglers and have a little fun, the concept for the first IWFA  Virtual Funament was created.  This team competition allowed anglers to fish from anywhere at any time during the 2 month period.  Starting at 12:01am August 1, 2020, sixty-five anglers from Japan, Texas, California, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Illinois, and Louisiana unleashed their excitement to once again do what we love best – catching and releasing great numbers of fish!  

In the interest of “getting back out on the water” this tournament was designed to be a fun competition!  Thirteen teams of five (including junior anglers) were assigned team names and given the rules which included fishing from anywhere with any tackle and every fish on our approved list counted as one point. Emphasis was placed on communications between team members as they didn’t live close to each other, encouraging their team members to catch and release lots of fish, and mentor the ideals of the IWFA.

Team members developed new friendships as they strategized on how to maximize points and capture the most species.  We heard so many stories about how this new format enabled members to share not only their love of fishing, but find common bonds that just further reinforced that our IWFA members relationships expand beyond our love of fishing. 

In just two months, 12,404 fish were released alive and healthy by our 65 anglers.  

First Place Team - “Saltwater Army”  Linda Harper, Cindy Kearns, Denise Freihofer, Mary Muratori, Melissa Littlewood: released 2,006 fish and 50 species.  

Second Place Team -  “Liquid Assets”   Ashley Bahen, Jill Gaddis, Aledia Tush, Camille Soverel, Kimberly Gaido:  released 1,736 fish and 35 species.

Third Place Team -  “Reel Deals” Joanne Kolius, Mary Edmonds, Cheri Tindall, Pam Marmin, Emily Hanzlik:  released 1,664 fish and 42 species.

The 6 junior anglers caught and released 776 fish

Many thanks to the committee who designed this amazing new event format.  Connie O’Day and Brenda Moore Co-chaired the event with the support of Carmen Perez-Padron who handled the scoring and Mary Parker Weingart who was responsible for getting sponsors for the winning prizes.   The members received a survey and the results were all extremely positive with members encouraging more of these type of virtual events.

Plans are currently in development for another Virtual Funament for the months of April and May of 2021.  If you are interested in participating or chairing this Event Committee please contact Brenda Moore at [email protected]

My Journey to Master Angler

Roberta G. Arostegui

Achieving Master Angler has been a very long journey since I caught my first fish, a sunfish, on a bread ball in my backyard in Massachusetts as a child. My childhood home backed up to a large pond where my mother taught me how to “fish”. (I have a favorite photo of her with a sailfish she caught off of Miami Beach back in 1946.) We fished from ponds and jetties in and around Cape Cod until I grew up, graduated from college and moved to Miami where I met my husband and he taught me how to “catch”! We fished out of the Miami Beach Rod and Reel Club, participated in the South Florida Metropolitan Fishing Tournament annually for a number of years and other local tournaments. Fishing has always been a family affair.

In 2005 longtime IWFA member Gussie Leech introduced me to the IWFA organization and she was instrumental in paving the way to my membership. Over the years I have been very thankful to her and all the IWFA members who encouraged and guided me in my quests to achieve various goals.  Longtime member Gail Kennedy-McManus played a huge role in my present day love of fly fishing. I watched with amazement how many different species she caught on the fly when we both were trying to win the Rybovich award.  The next year I put down all other tackle and only fished the fly until I could master it. To this day, fly fishing is still my favorite. To every IWFA member who shared her skill, insight and friendship, I say thank you for welcoming me into this wonderful club. 

My recent journey to Master Angler started with a strategy session with my husband about what fish I wanted to chase and when and where we could find the species and size I would need. It turned out to be a very slow and disappointing start as I lost multiple huge fish: a cubera snapper caught at night eaten by sharks, a huge amberjack brought to the surface on stand up tackle from 260 feet deep to find it was one centimeter too short and a huge black grouper that after a long fight took me into the rocks and cut me off.  I fished multiple days without a single fish that met the requirements … always just an inch or two shy of the required length. Those “short fish” happened repeatedly!

The day I fought multiple amberjacks and the black grouper I injured my arm severely and needed to recuperate. I decided to leave the general category fish until last. Once recovered I decided I needed to increase my upper body strength for those fish to prevent another injury. I added swimming 30 minutes every day after my daily walk of four miles for the next four months. This proved to be critical in catching my final two fish. (I still swim every day I can. I learned to love it.)

Six of the twelve fish required were caught in Florida (Butterfly Peacock, Permit, Blackfin Tuna, Little Tunny, Jack Crevalle, Grass Carp, and Whaler Shark) and one in Louisiana (Red Drum). The entire journey however included traveling to three other countries - Canada (Chum Salmon), Guatemala (Pacific Sailfish) and Costa Rica Pacific Cubera Snapper and Roosterfish).

While catching the fish was my primary goal, I was blessed with beautiful scenery, kind and eager guides to help in my quest, and many incredible days doing what I love … fishing!  I cried, not with relief but joy, when we photographed and released my final fish. It was an unforgettable journey and a feeling of accomplishment that I had achieved what I set out to do. I will always be very thankful to the IWFA for creating this challenge and to the fish gods and my wonderful husband Marty who made this possible.

2020 Monthly Milestone Winners

Congratulations to our Monthly Award Winners 

Turning in those affidavits could put you on the list!


  • Brooke Black, 50 Monthly Awards
  • Allison Stattner, 25 Monthly Awards
  • Emma Hunt, JR Angler, 50 Monthly Awards


  • Julia Brown, Placida, FL - 100th Monthly Award
  • Linda Denkert, 1st Monthly Award


  • Brooke Black, Tavernier, FL - 75th Monthly Award
  • Linda Denkert, Islamorada, FL - 10th & 25th Monthly Award
  • Ashley Bahen, Nags Head, NC - 300th Monthly Award
  • Amy Lockhart, Riverview, FL - 25th Monthly Award
  • Jennifer Parker, Islamorada, FL - 25th Monthly Award
  • Leiza Fitzgerald, Sarasota, FL - 1st Monthly Award


  • Laura Beth Jenks, Abington, VA - 10th Monthly Award
  • Jenna Hunt, JR Angler, 10th Monthly Award


  • Linda Denkert, Islamorada, FL - 50th Monthly Award
  • Shandra Rummel, Islamorada, FL - 50th Monthly Award
  • Amy Lockhart, Riverview, FL - 50th Monthly Award
  • Leiza Fitzgerald, Sarasota, FL - 10th Monthly Award


  • Brenda Moore, Pearland, TX - 75th Monthly Award
  • Mary Edmunds, Marengo, IL -  75th  Monthly Award
  • Cheri Tindall, Islamorada, FL -  50th  Monthly Award
  • Nancy Llacuna, Cape Coral, FL - 25th  Monthly Award
  • Mary Parker Weingart, Mukwanogo, WI - 10th  Monthly Award
  • Wynn Smith, Louisburg, NC- 10th  Monthly Award


  • Linda Denkert, 75th Monthly Awards
  • Mary Parker Weingart, 50th Monthly Award
  • Amy Dougherty, 1st & 10th Monthly Award


  • Denise Freihofer, 150th Monthly Award
  • Amy Dougherty,  25th Monthly Award
  • Leiza Fitzgerald, 25th Monthly Award
  • Rebecca Strain, 25th Monthly Award
  • Cindy Kearns, 25th Monthly Award
  • Mari Kitagawa, 10th Monthly Award
  • Camille Soverel, 1st Monthly Award
  • Diana Javonillo, 1st Monthly Award
  • Ildiko Meltzer, 1st Monthly Award
  • Kimberly Gaido, 1st Monthly Award
  • Lisa Lanata, 1st Monthly Award
  • Lisa Bellar, 1st Monthly Award
  • Priscilla Horn, 1st Monthly Award
  • Emily Hanzlik, JR Angler, 100th Monthly Award


  • Linda Denkert, 100th Monthly Award
  • Amy Lockhart, 75th Monthly Award
  • Shandra Rummel, 75th Monthly Award
  • Ellen Matthews, 50th Monthly Award
  • Cindy Kearns, 25th Monthly Award
  • Camille Soverel, 10th Monthly Award


  • Brenda Moore, 100th Monthly
  • Christine Wilson, 1st Monthly


  • Aledia Tush, 75th Monthly Award
  • Amy Dougherty, 50th Monthly Award
  • Jennifer Parker, 50th Monthly Award
  • Nancy Llacuna, 50th Monthly Award

* Please note ALL 2020 affidavits must be filled no later than end of day on Jan. 5th, 2021 in order to be counted.

 2021 Tentative Schedule of Events

We are hoping this year that we will be in a position to have the following events: 

  • 2nd Virtual Funament: Fish from anywhere during months of April & May
  • Annual Luncheon & Awards: Ft Lauderdale Sunday April 25
  • Louisiana Slam: Venice LA, Kickoff  June 6, Fish June 7-9
  • BackCountry Tournament : Islamorada FL, Kickoff Oct 17, Fish Oct 18-20

Message from IWFA Scholarship Trust

Greetings fellow IWFA members,

The scholarship trust board would like to wish each of you a happy, healthy, holiday season.  Please remember us in your end of year charitable giving plans.  We are fully tax deductible, 501-c3 number CH8210.

Thank you, Lisa Everett
IWFA Scholarship Trust Chair
This is the address for Scholarship Trust:
P.O. Box 530816
Miami Shores, FL 33153-0816

Member Applause

Congratulations to Carmen Perez-Padron who recently won the Top Lady Angler and General Division Championship at the Redbone Tournament in Islamorada.

Connie O’Day and Kathy Gillen just returned from fishing the No Sancocho Tournament  at Casa Vieja Lodge in Guatemela where Kathy won Top Female Angler this year and Connie won the same award last year. 

Member Mary Peachin has just published her inspirational biography, Sleeping Around, that highlights the adventurous life she has had.

New species added starting 2021

New species added starting 2021. This takes our species list up to 237 species!  Please note we generally follow the IGFA species list but have chosen to keep species that they often retire. The IWFA species list is larger than the IGFA list and includes a larger variety of fresh water fish.

  1. Asp - Category 1: Member of carp family, found in Europe and Asia, bottom feeders, terminal mouth allows them to eat larger fish and small birds.
  2. Pacific Bonefish - Category 3:  Worldwide in tropical and subtropical pacific waters.
  3. Milkfish - Category 4: Indian and Pacific waters east and west. Coastal in nature, as well as reefs.
  4. Snubnose Pompano - Category 3: Jack family, range indo-pacific, Red Sea, estuaries to reefs. 
  5. Sea Bream(gilthead) - Category 2: Poggy family, Mediteranian and Eastern Atlantic Reefs, lagoons and estuaries. 
  6. King Threadfin - Category 2:  Queensland Coast to Gulf of Papua Australia.

 Amazon Smile...

Don't forget to "Smile" during this holiday season!
Who doesn’t Amazon?  Don’t forget to SMILE!

The IWFA Scholarship Trust has some wonderful news! As of May 12th we are part of the Amazon smile program. When you log in to do some shopping on your regular Amazon Page, please go to Smile.Amazon.com. When the smile page comes up you will see that you can choose a charity to receive a donation when purchasing from Amazon. Please select IWFA (International Women’s Fishing Association) & we will receive 0.5% of your purchase price. Then, whenever you shop, just make sure you are on the Smile.Amazon.com page and all of your purchases will work with this program! Let it rain donations from Amazon…it makes us SMILE!

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the IWFA Scholarship Trust, please send your donations to IWFA SCHOLARSHIP TRUST, PO Box 460387, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33346-0387 and feel free to research our endeavors through the following link: www.iwfa.org.

 Facebook Posting facebook icon
Facebook: Members are utilizing Facebook regularly and posting great shots. Please use @organization name to tag sponsors for our events and #organization name to do the same. Due to limitations of Instagram, Facebook will be our major outlet for Social Media.

Post on the IWFA FaceBook Page…Here’s How!
Let’s all stay connected by sharing our fishing experiences and photos on the open FaceBook page!  Just like your personal FaceBook account, you can make a post to our group and connect with others that may want to share in the same experience.

Here is how to quickly post from your own phone or computer:
  1. From your FaceBook Page type “International Women’s Fishing Association” in the search bar
  2. You should now be able to click on the IWFA Face Book Page
  3. Below the Main Organization Name there are several tabs (Home/About/Photos/Events/Videos/Posts/Community); Select Posts
  4. Once Posts has been selected, there will be an option for you to “Write Something” and post a picture using the photo icon.  Only 1 picture per post can be uploaded on an organization website.
  5. See photo for guidance…it’s just that easy!

           FB instructions

Photos from Tournaments & Funaments for Historian & Sharing

If you have a great photo of yourself or your fishing partner to share with IWFA, please email it to:  [email protected].

Also, feel free to directly post it to the IWFA Facebook Page, but if you don’t have a Facebook account, emailing it to the above address will allow for all avenues of the board to access the photos for the newsletter, facebook, historical records, etc…

 JR Angler Mentors Needed

Any IWFA member that is interested in being a mentor or would like to sign up a Jr Angler from the ages of 6-18 please contact the IWFA Junior Angler Chair Jenny Goodell at [email protected]

Welcome to our new members!!

  1. Amy Dougherty – Kitty Hawk, NC
  2. Gwyn Grafe – Buford, GA
  3. Diane Javonillo – Long Beach, CA
  4. Cindy Kearns – Union, IL
  5. Audrey Koocher – Bronxville, NY
  6. Heather Voss -  Royal Palm Beach,  FL
  7. Christine Wilson – Sarasota, F:
  8. Courtney Woznek – Jacksonville, FL 
Jr Anglers 
  1. Sophie Hunt – Pearland, TX
  2. Mia O‘Day – Pearland, TX

International Women's Fishing Association  | [email protected]  | www.iwfa.org