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1. Make it a date.
Girls love a little romance, so it’s in your best interest to make your time together as romantic as possible. Not only will it make your day more meaningful, but you might even score some points for being such a good guide!
2. Baby steps.
Like in dating, some girls just wanna take it slow. Start her off somewhere close to home and be prepared to pack it up after a few hours. You want enough time to be able to teach her a few things, but not enough to get frustrated, bored, or want to quit. Work up to the longer trips once she’s adequately hooked. Plus, shorter trips mean more quality time afterward ;)
3. Check the weather, man!
Most ladies that I know are not big fans of being cold. They might get cranky and refuse to participate – even worse – she might demand you take her home, and who could blame her? You should have checked the weather! It is in your best interest to pick a day where you know she will be able to enjoy herself. It also pays dividends to help her dress accordingly, whether it be protection from the cold wind or the sun’s rays – make sure she’ll be comfortable and you'll both fish in peace.
4. Say Cheese!
Just accept that we live in a world where you didn’t really “do” anything unless you post it on social media. Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a million photographs being taken of you, the horizon, the waves, the clouds, the birds, the planes - you get the idea. The best thing to do is accept that your whole day will be on Facebook and Instagram. Do your best to stand in the right light and help her think of the perfect caption.
5. Cheer her on.
I cannot emphasize how important it is to encourage and support your partner, especially during the learning process. It shows you care, it will motivate her, and it will make her feel like she can tackle anything! If they are entirely new to fishing, gently teach them the basics; how to cast, how fast to retrieve, how to set the hook. And don’t even think about showing her how to tie a complicated knot! You’re better off getting her line in the water so that she can catch the first fish and feel like the superstar she is.
6. Let her pick the lure.
Just know that she’ll probably go for the pink one. My advice is to give her a choice between lures that you know will work for the situation you are in. Spoons, spinners, and senkos are all easy to use for a beginner. Vertical jigging in the winter with electronics is as fun as it gets, don’t be surprised if it's her favorite way to fish!
7. Be patient considerate of her limitations.
We can’t pee off the side of the boat like you can. End of story.
8. Make them in charge of something.
Give them a job to do; Lunch, netting, photography (choose carefully). This will make your lady feel important and give them something to do if they don’t feel like fishing. While you’re at it, suggest she bring a book too – that way if she decides to stop fishing, you might not have to.
9. Take the time to show her why you fish.
Don’t set her up with the expectation that she will catch a ton of fish only to be disappointed if she doesn’t. You need to show her why you love fishing and that it’s not just about the fish you catch. If you’re a fly fisherman, explain the insect cycles and why you are fishing a particular fly. Teach her how to recognize the beauty of being outdoors; the fresh air, sights, sounds, the calm, how time seems to stand still. If she hasn’t been fishing before, she won’t know to expect it.
10. Consider hiring a guide.
Hiring a fishing guide is a great way to take care of the not so glamorous aspects of fishing (like getting skunked) and allow you to focus on the parts that might get your girlfriend ultimately hooked instead! Your guide will prepare the tackle and bait, take you to where the fish are, show your girl how to catch fish and then clean up after the trip. A lot of charter captains operating larger boats even have washrooms on board – a total game changer.
I hope these tips help you get your girl on the water and make your time there even more complete!