Katie Hoffman – Berkeley High School Fishing Team

Katie Hoffman (left) and her boat captain
Katie Hoffman (left) and her boat captain

A Fish Out of Water

By Katie Hoffman

Fishing is mainly a man’s sport, so it is very rare to see a female angler. Luckily Grace Caldwell and I were not intimidated by that factor and continued to pursue our love for the sport. Grace and I are two of three young ladies on our school’s fishing team. I joined my freshman year of high school and I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous. Walking into a room packed full of guys and with little to no knowledge of the sport was scary. It felt like all eyes were on me.

Katie Hoffman (left), Grace Caldwell (center) and their boat captain

If it wasn’t for Grace, I probably would have turned around and walked right back out the door. Since then, Grace and I have been partners, making us the only all-girl fishing team in the state. Sadly, that also makes us a target. The boys in our club and around the state have lower expectations for us. They do not expect us to out-fish them, which we mostly do.

A few years ago, Grace and I took third place in the state tournament. I think that it was that day that the boys began to respect us and realize that we were there to compete. The fishing club has been an amazing experience for me. I have learned so many things along the way. I’ve learned how to work as a team, to accept criticism, and to respect everyone. It has given me an amazing friend who I hope to continue sharing great victories and even better memories with her.