Those We Honor

You’ll find more than just fishing celebrities in this list. One can make a significant impact
on the lives of many without ever being well known. It is important to honor all of
those who had a great influence on the great sport of fishing, whether famous or not.
Corporate advances tend to be much more visible to us. For it’s their products that
shape the evolution of the sport of fishing.

Women Angler’s of Minnesota

Women Angler’s of Minnesota

Inducted 2019

Executive Summary of Accomplishments

  • Longest standing women’s fishing organization in the Nation
  • Founded in 1977
  • Non-Profit Organization 501(c)3
  • Donated over 6000 rods to children
  • Brought thousands of women into the sport of angling through outreach and education
  • Provided financial support for children’s fishing education and clinics for over 20 years
  • Provided fishing education and opportunity to thousands of women
  • Teaches sustainability and conservation as a guiding principle
  • Held an annual women’s fishing tournament for the last 40 years
  • Brings publicity to fishing in Minnesota through various media channels
  • Master Angler Program
  • Youth Membership for Young Women



Women Anglers of Minnesota was formed in 1977. The formation of the group stemmed from a group of women who wanted to create a peer group for women to fish and gather together. The club was formed with a purpose to educate, empower and support women learning the sport of angling. Since the formation of this organization, women have joined and supported the mission to teach other women and children how to fish, to further cement the future of fishing in the State of Minnesota.

The idea to form the club occurred when women who fished together began to wonder if there were not more women like themselves who loved to fish and wanted to learn more about fishing and conserving the fisheries they loved so much. The goal was to provide an environment in which women could feel comfortable in learning the skills of boating and angling. Sybil Smith became the first president of the Women Anglers of Minnesota. Many skeptics asked why women need a separate fishing organization – why couldn’t women just join the existing clubs? Sybil responded “Most women grew up with the notion that fishing, like football and finance, was a boy’s only activity. Sometimes the fellows took us along to fry the fish, but we weren’t expected to know anything about tackle, structure, baits or boats. Now we’ve discovered that fishing is fun and we intend to become the best anglers in the state! That means learning how to fish, where to fish, and when to fish. It also means how to care for our environment to ensure fishing fun for future generations of women anglers”.

For many women, fishing can be intimidating to learn. Most women do not grow up being taught how to fish, operate a boat, back up a trailer, etc. Women also do not have a readily available peer base who they can learn from. Men have that advantage as they currently make up the largest segment of the angling demographic. The peer base is often times a deficit for women. Unlike men, women have a significant concern about safety. Women, for good reason are wary of taking up a male angler’s offer of an open seat on his boat if she does not know him, or meeting up with people connected with via social media to go fishing, etc. These are all significant concerns for women as it relates to safety.

Women Anglers of Minnesota allows all of these opportunities to occur in a safe environment where no question is considered silly and every single member celebrates the success of their peers. Helping each other, teaching each other and pushing each other to become a better angler through advancing their skills and building their confidence.


The Women Anglers of Minnesota (WAM) has made a significant impact to the fishing industry. We have brought thousands of women into the sport of angling. Most of them beginners, some that had a bit of experience fishing with spouses, but the experience was elementary. We taught them the basic skills, educated them to be self-sufficient and in turn, they taught their children. Currently, we have up to three generations of anglers in our club. Grandmothers taught the mothers who taught their kids. These women are now confident anglers, who own boats, snowmobiles and every piece of tackle and equipment necessary to be an efficient angler, all of which has a significant impact on the financial health of the fishing industry.

WAM has also has a significant financial impact to organizations who provide educational fishing clinics to children. We have donated rods, reels, tackle, bait and money to support the education of our children and remove the barriers of equipment costs to children who may be less fortunate.

In serving as an advocate for women within the industry, WAM partners with organizations to promote the creation of functional, high quality gear for women. We advocate to companies that women love to fish too and need high quality gear just as men do.

We provide a platform for women to be recognized and noticed for their accomplishments. The club has a strong social media presence which has allowed more women to learn about the club and connect with each other – organizing fishing meet ups, sharing best practices, and constantly encouraging one another. Through a social media reach of over 500,000 people per month, women are participating by sharing their catches, ideas and tips. This type of exposure provides a place for women to enter and flourish in the sport.

Our annual women’s-only fishing tournament has a long-standing tradition of 40 years. This event provides yet another platform for women to compete and showcase their angling skills. This annual tournament receives significant media coverage which provides the sport of angling visibility and encourages other women to get out and enter the sport.

Women Anglers of Minnesota has a legacy of giving financial donations for stocking and conservation efforts to organizations who provide efforts towards keeping our natural resources flourishing. As part of our mission, responsible angling practices and supporting conservation efforts is at the forefront of our efforts within the community.

Most recently, the club has formed a Master Angler Program for Women. This program provides a certificate of award and pin to commemorate the accomplishment of a Master Angler Fish. This program encourages women to get out on the water frequently to build up their award status. The women with the most Master Angler catches in the year will be awarded with the Angler of the Year Award.

WAM promotes and advertises Minnesota-based fishing companies such as Clam Outdoors, Vexilar, Northland Tackle, AquaVu and Tuned Up Custom Rods through providing a discount program to encourage women to spend their dollars toward Minnesota owned companies.

Youth Angler Program and Sponsorships occur with our youth members. This program provides financial support to encourage young females to get involved in the sport of angling through their local school district. We help supply the equipment and fishing experts to take them out on the high school tournament circuit as well as clinics to build their skill sets.



Fox 9 News – About Town with Todd Walker — March 2017

Fox 9 News – Morning Show – MA Roscoe — March 2017

BOB FM – The 4Outdoorsmen Radio Show — March 2017

Star Tribune – Dennis Anderson – Luring Female Anglers — March 2017

Lakeland Public Television – Women on Ice — January 2017

Star Tribune – Five Story Lines for the Ice Fishing Season in MN — December 2016


Women Anglers of Minnesota has a 40 year history in furthering the sport of angling in a segment that has long been forgotten. The organization has made significant impact on furthering the sport of angling through education and financial support. Very few organizations in Minnesota can provide a 40 year history financially supporting education clinics for women and children, donating rods and reels for youth and promoting the sport of angling across the state of Minnesota and the Midwest.