Lee L Lavery, Lisa Wright, and Susan Fry

Recorded February 13, 2006 Archived February 13, 2006 01:07:37
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX001064


Three friends talk about their passion for fishing and the all-woman fishing club to which they belong.

Subject Log / Time Code


  • Lee L Lavery
  • Lisa Wright
  • Susan Fry


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00:06 My name is Sue Frye. I'm 50 years old. Today's date is February 13th 2006. We're in Miami and I'm speaking to two very good friends of mine.

00:19 My name is Lisa right? I'm 44 years old and today is February 13th. We're at the Miami Herald building in Downtown Miami and I'm with a couple of ladies from a great organization and great friends.

00:34 My name is Lee Lavery. I'll be 60 years old in a couple of months. Today is February 13th. 2006 a we are downtown Miami if Miami Herald building and I am with two very good friends who enjoy fishing the same as I do.

01:00 Leaders are group ladies. Let's go fishing. That brought us all together. Tell me a little bit about the group ladies. Let's go fishing is a group for women only designed to promote the sport of fishing in a lake for an educational and social atmosphere in a non-threatening environment. And that is without the yelling and screaming it's called and no yelling School of fishing and that comes from not having the male counterparts around yelling and screaming at all the women telling them what to do and what not to do and we try and teach women how to be self-sufficient on the water boat handling and do more things than make sandwiches and pop the beer.

01:53 Why did you actually start the south Florida Chapter? I have been a a long time Fisher person and voter for over 30 years and I wanted the opportunity to be able to teach other women some of the skills that I have acquired over the years and there are a lot of things that are involved in specifically saltwater fishing that I thought this would be a great opportunity to be able to impart some of my knowledge to women that share the same passion about fishing as I do.

02:32 Lisa why did you actually join the club? I was relatively new to South Florida and I was looking for a way to get involved in to meet people and I had recently gotten into the sport of boating and I knew that the fishing was a great way to be out on the water. And so I saw an advertisement that for the club and I called lie and just from talking to her on the phone and it sounded very exciting. So I attended my first meeting and that's all it took.

03:02 So you've continued to be involved why if you stayed involved with the club, I love the sport of fishing and the camaraderie that has developed as a result of the chapter are South Florida Chapter, which we now call the South Florida chapter of ladies. Let's go fishing has been very rewarding for me personally and I have developed many many friends and it is a real treat to be able to be involved in something that you enjoy doing and being able to share your knowledge and have the friendship and the camaraderie that has developed as a result of this. It's it's just extremely rewarding and it's a it's a real good feeling when you have so many people tell you. Oh, I've come a long way you've taught me so much and you know, I guess it's just a little ego trip for me.

04:00 FLL Tripper nut, you know, you have to admit that the women in the group are very kind and very open people and it's one of those things where they don't know a stranger. Everyone's a friend you walk in no matter who you are no matter what your background is, you're there to learn fishing and that's what brings everyone together and everything else. All the diversity is forgotten along the way, you know, so I think that takes a special group of people to be able to do that.

04:28 We go on a lot of different adventures together each one of you what are some of or one in particular memorable Adventure that you've been on?

04:40 I think one of the most fun adventures I went on was the Naples Adventure. It was about a year-and-a-half ago. We went over and we spent the weekend on the beach in Naples. We did some fishing along the beach. We had a Sunset Cruise that we did went even which is just absolutely beautiful with the appetizers and some beverages a wonderful time and you just it was very relaxed and very fun.

05:08 For me, I think the most memorable Adventure was well, we've had a couple of trips to the Keys. We went to Marathon one time and we went to Key Largo one time and we stayed over spent the weekend fish down the drift boats down there. The fishing was good. A lot of fun a lot of bonding female bonding which was really nice and everybody got to know each other in a in a again non-threatening environment and we had a lot of front we ate together drank together slept together, but not in the literal sense of the word and it was a it was a real fun experience and we had the opportunity to teach a lot of the gals some skills that they would not have ordinarily have had the opportunity to learn really Hands-On where we so much of what we do with the meetings is kind of a classroom environment. We were able to do real hair.

06:08 Define instruction kind of out in the field. So to speak being on boats and fishing and catching fish gaffing chumming all the different things that go along with it with fishing. Do you remember any particular beginner that you really helped? Actually? Yes, one of the gals in our chapter.

06:31 I met her at one of the national seminars that we teach at the international game Fish Association and she knew absolutely nothing about fishing and going to the seminars and having joined our chapter. She has learned to tie knots. She's learned how to rig baits and admittedly has learned a lot on her own and she has come fishing with me a couple of times and picks up something new each time and then said it's been the most rewarding experience for her because she really knew nothing had the interest but was petrified of the sport and never thought she would be as proficient at at it as she is now in there similar stories like that with many of the other gals who have absolutely no skill level but an incredible interest in learning and I think we've we've done a lot for these ladies.

07:30 Italy I think you made a good point there too. And you said that you learn something new every time I mean, it's not the same old thing every meeting you go to him and there's always some kind of new adventure. There's some kind of new technique to be taught down. There's always somebody with a new skill that they can share. So it's it's never the same. It's always fresh.

07:51 As far as the club membership what types of things have you learned through the club that you've taken outside of the club into your own personal life.

08:03 I personally learned an awful lot about offshore fishing and I had knew nothing about it before I got started and and even some boat handling techniques and I was able then to take you friends and family out when they would come down to visit and you know show him a good time may not have caught much but at least we had a good time had you done another type of fishing before most efficient. I've done was Farm ponds in Kentucky when I was a little girl, I would that go with my dad and my brother and we would catch a fish for bass and bluegill.

08:35 Would you repeat the question, please. You've learned to the membership of the club that you've applied to outside the club your own personal life. My own personal life has been dramatically affected by the gals that are in the club. And in that is what I have learned is to really get along with a variety of different women in many different walks of life under many different circumstances and it has been a very fulfilling experience having developed these relationships that have extended beyond that of the club.

09:20 It's probably important so that we mention the fact that Lee was past president and I give as well as founder of the clothes founder of club for past president for three years three years running and is now in charge of membership membership and and education. They don't show up at the meetings. Never did reply to my email did you cuz I haven't been home in 3 days, so I don't know how I did you? Okay? Where were you Lisa I was at work talking with the lawyers. Oh, okay. All right there. She had a legitimate. Excuse out. Okay. I was on the road. I didn't have any now like you were on the road. So I been on on do both plan on continuing your membership.

10:13 I do. I mean, I think it's a very worthwhile organization to be in and I mean, I really enjoy the people that are in the group. It's a bit of a challenge for me right now because I'm involved in a lot didn't socially and you with school and work and different things. So but I do intend to pursue other activities and things with the group.

10:32 I have no choice. Of course. I have to continue my membership with the club and I hope to be able to to continue to do that for for quite some time each one of you tell me a little bit about the first time you've gone fishing.

10:49 Gosh, I think the first time I went fishing was off the baker's Haulover Pier, which is in North Miami next to what is now the nude beach and I don't think. I don't know if the pier still open. Do you know, I'm right. There's actually no, that's the Newport here. Okay. Anyway, that's where I got my start fishing was off the block off the pier used to catch a lot mackerel. We used to get a lot of mackerel fishing off. The pier we used to do live baiting. At least it was a fellow there that got live bait. We would buy live bait every day fishing was fabulous 30 years ago who's we-ya 30 years ago my uncle my uncle used to take me fishing and that's pretty much how I got the started in fishing.

11:48 But your first day fishing like described as a detail.

11:53 Oh gosh, I can't I can't it was like I was a virgin some years ago. I remember first biggest fish that got you hooked my first biggest fish. Probably I used to do a lot of fishing many years ago off the drift boat in in the keys and my first really biggest fish was a 23lb mutton snapper live baiting in 180 ft of water. We used a 30 ft with live bait and we used to know stays many many years ago used to get big mountain Snappers. And that was those were the most thrilling moments worth was fishing off the drift boat in live bait and getting big buttons, which you don't see fish like that too much anymore. Did you win the pool?

12:44 I was probably too cheap to enter it.

12:49 In those days, I don't even know if they had pool pool pool fish and I don't even know if we had pulled those days where ever I may have, you know, just sitting here and listening to leeteuk. I was thinking back in and one of my most memorable experiences was when my family and I went up to Saskatchewan Canada. My mom had a cousin that ran a farm up there and he had two girls. So it was my brother my dad myself my cousin and her dad we all went out on a lake to go fishing in the guys were bragging about how they were to catch all these big fish. We came back at the end of the day my female cousin and I both caught two pound northern pike and the guy is caught nothing. That's what keeps us going.

13:47 You both own votes have own boats on. How is that being a woman owning a boat taking a boat out fishing and just it it's unexpected on the water for a woman to be a captain or have her own boat and take a boat out fishing specially offshore.

14:09 I might think that a lot of times when the especially if you have guys that come along with you. They think that they have to show you how it's all done. You know that you can't do it yourself that then you said you prove to him that you know, what's going on. You don't really need them. They're their invited guests not a necessity.

14:28 For me, it's always I've learned everything the hard way and I've never had anybody teach me how to do anything. I've had to do things by trial and error and hopefully never make the same mistake twice and it's pretty much been that way with all my boating and fishing. I've always I've never had anybody take me out and show me how to do anything. I've done a lot of reading and a lot of lot of mistakes lot of crashing into docks as in boat handling throwing it into reverse when I thought I was going forward but as I said, there's so many new mistakes that you can make that if you don't make the same mistake twice, you can learn a lot and then I think it's very intimidating being a woman on the water because they the men really don't expect you to have a clue about anything you're doing out there when it comes to fishing or boat handling and soul.

15:28 You have to be the best that you can be at least better than the people that are watching you because you're always a hair always on display. My absolutely you have got to be the best that you can be when you're on the water find out that that whenever somebody was watching you handle your boat. Like if you're coming into the dock or something that that's every time you screw freaked out and then nobody's there. Then you get it right every time you're more focused on everybody watching you than the job at hand so nervous when somebody was there, especially at my condo and I would bring it into the dock and invite. Nobody was there I got it. Perfect and there was one guy that lived in our building every time he was standing out there. I screwed it up every time that you're more worried about the people that are watching you and what they're thinking and you don't focus on what it is you really you really need to be doing what and he was one of those it would jump in and tell me how to do it to him and they love it.

16:27 I love it. When you when you make a mistake in front of them, there's no question about it. Then we have to be able to tell you what you did wrong and in to see you to squirm lemon love to see you squirm on the water. If anything, it just pissed me off more than anything. So just get mad so.

16:46 Boating can end going offshore can be a very dangerous sport at times. What was the scariest time that you were on the boat that you felt that maybe you were testing yourself and your abilities?

17:01 Might have to say this experience was It was kind of scary but funny all at the same time. It was myself and one of my co-workers it and her and her boyfriend had come along with her boyfriend is a big guy. He's probably about 6-3 6-4 Eazy-E easily. Well over 250 lb big guy, so we're out there and got our lines out and it's probably maybe two to four foot seas and he goes to reach for a line and just about that time the boat kind of rolled to that side and right over before he went I Never Had A Man Overboard, so I'm like, oh, oh crap. So his girlfriend sitting there. She's panicking Macy's play feel any fell in. What do we do? What we do? I shut the motor down and I start back up or did the circle round I guess because that's what you're supposed to do and I realized you get tangled in the lines so I couldn't do that so I couldn't do that. So I started to back up and I'm yelling at her the whole time. I'm like give the Rope gift.

18:01 And he's out there this whole time and he just laughing because you know two women and his big old guy and he's the most experienced person on the boat and who falls over but him to take it you saved him. We saved him. We got him in the boat and we actually caught some fish that day might not have been a bad idea. But you know how long it could tread water just didn't want any casualties.

18:34 We what about you? Probably the most harrowing experience for me was coming back from Bimini a couple of years ago in the in the wake of a hurricane a we had six to eight foot Seas a normal hour-and-a-half trip took us almost four hours following a boat in front of us that I never saw anything except the tips of their Outriggers and it was a it was a very harrowing experience and probably the first time that I've ever actually worn my life jackets.

19:12 In the boat, which I'm not not to say that I shouldn't have ever done it before or since but it was a it was the trip from hell in one that we refer to it as The Benchmark of all trips for anything we do in this day and age. We were real glad to see the the stacks at Port Everglades at the time when we came in so

19:36 One of those experiences that you hope that you learn from and never want to repeat. Did you know that the weather was coming up or was it one of those sudden changes know we knew the weather was coming up, but we were with a group in the group decided to leave at that time. And we reached the point of no return where we were not comfortable turning back and we had no choice but to continue in retrospect if I had it to do over again, I would have turned back inside out the storm, but I again so many new mistakes and hopefully learn from from the the old ones and I would I would not make that mistake twice. I would never hesitate to turn around and go back to Safe Harbor.

20:23 No, lie, you are a licensed Captain, correct? Yes. How long ago did you get your license? 1988 I got my license. Okay. Alright, so I'm Lisa.

20:36 Tell me about the largest fish you ever caught.

20:40 You probably tired of hearing about that. Now I've read for every when I cut my first sailfish. It was probably about two years ago. Now off of Key Biscayne and it was the best experience I ever had. I wanted to take my dad and my nephew out the go fishing and I kept telling the friend of mine and please pardon my French I said, I want to catch a big ass fish and that we did. So what did you do at the time? I was pretty calm and collected. I mean, it's just I refused they told me that the fish was off the line because it was a deadline and I kept real in I refuse to give up on it. So I was stubborn and that's about when the fish come up and did a little dance out of the water and I'm like see it's there.

21:30 Never give up never pranking until you see that he'll come over the gunnel. So you never give up don't know it was fun. That day to is my nephew had never been offshore fishing. So I no sooner got one on the hook and was fighting it at the bow of the boat and then my nephew hooked it one of the stern of the boat and he was fighting it and he's actually turned out to be even bigger than mine. So that was very rewarding. What about your largest fish?

21:55 42 LB Dauphin right outside Port Everglades fishing for kingfish all my big fish catches have been incidental catches catching fishing for something else and then getting a nice fish on the side in a time of year when fishing wasn't supposed to be that great storms all around shallow water compared to what do you know? This is like a hundred and fifty feet of water and it was a huge School of huge dolphin in shallow water and we got the three dolphin over 30 lbs in a relatively short. Of time is sui my nephew and I you fish a lot with your nephew nephew said that grace me with their presents occasionally, they're not as willing to play with me now that they're older. I thought I have trouble finding people that want to play with me, but

22:55 We were out there for a real short. Of time and horrible weather and did real well, so that was probably three three fish over 30 lb in one of them was 42 pounds was a great day. I saw something almost 20 years ago though again. It doesn't happen in this day and age a sad thing is I am so envious when I hear people talk about, you know, the way fishing used to be a note 10, 20 30 years ago down here. I'm in I'm getting into it probably the end of its prime and it's not as active as it used to be but it's still fine. I just one of these days I'm going to catch that 30 pound that 40 lb dolphins.

23:35 I always felt I was born 20 years too late as it relates to the the fishing the environment the pollution the net the netters that everything nothing is as it was and we have to work a lot harder for it now.

23:51 Do you think it's going to get worse or better?

23:54 Probably worse. I mean, I guess I just don't see the environments getting tougher and tougher there more people out there. It's getting harder and harder and I just think there are a lot of negative forces against the fish population.

24:08 Pressure on fishing is extraordinary now so many people have or have money have boats go fishing. Even the cost of fuel. I don't think it's a deterrent and I think they're just so many people on the water that the pressure on the limited resource is extraordinary and although they say whoever they are that fishing in some regards for Kingfish has improved dramatically because we've have the ban on the the netters off our Coast which has made a big difference in in King fishing. So maybe on the one hand something else deteriorate something else improves. Maybe there will be a balance we can only hope

24:52 Does the club and or your hobby of fishing help keep you in this area?

24:59 Living no, absolutely. There is I wouldn't leave any place else I couldn't afford to hear about in the keys play love the fish. Can't move dark inside do it might not be as expensive as big besides. I have too many friends here. I wouldn't leave the area anyway.

25:29 I'm very transient when it comes to where I'm at and where I go about every 4 years I get nervous or get the kind of bored. And so I've made changes every four years and that brought me to Florida. I said, it's been about 4 and 1/2 to 5 years now, so who knows what's going to happen with me?

25:49 Thought you sold your boat. Yes. Are you looking at a new bow? Not yet. I will eventually but right now with all the demands of the school and everything. I just did I don't want to have a boat and not be able to use it.

26:03 Okay.

26:06 Do you think that we will ever lose touch with each other making that contact?

26:20 We being who we being the group the group. I probably overtime. I don't get everything has a life expectancy and overtime things change people change and and I don't think everything goes on forever. You can only hope that you can prepare chu8 the good things for as long as as you can and personally there are people in the club that I would not lose contact with regardless of where the chapter was in its life. There are certain relationships that I would not let go by the wayside regardless of geographic location.

27:12 Okay. Is there anything either one of you would like to add when do we get to ask you a question? We ask you a question?

27:24 Well, alright Sue. So how did you get into the chapter? How come you joined? Ladies with? How did you hear about ladies? Let's go fishing. I heard about ladies. Let's go fishing because there was a little blurb in the newspaper in the fishing report and I think it was a 3 liner that there were women getting together to form a club for ladies. Let's go fishing and there are meeting at the restaurants at a certain date and time and I decided to go

27:55 I thought it would be an interesting experience and I needed some fishing buddies. It has it been an interesting experience. It's been a very interesting mix.

28:09 I think I've been a member now for it's been in existence. I think three or four years now and

28:18 I try not to miss a single meeting. I can't necessarily go to all of the adventures and but I think it's it's taught me a lot. Me a lot as far as sharing a patient's with the difference in others and that

28:37 There may be a lot of different ways to do maybe the right thing and get to the same place from how to organize the club how to do things in the club down to how to rig your bait. How is it that helped you as an individual in terms of boat handling handling before I actually

29:03 Became a member of the club.

29:06 I would go into a total panic just docking the boat. My husband always drove the boat. I didn't drive the boat and he always docked and I would just be in a panic just throwing a lines over I was able to receive lessons from some of the women in the club and they help me build up my confidence and now to take the boat out whenever I want to and call people and ask them go out fishing with me whenever I want to and I can dock the boat and I gets mad boys. Even from time to time when I do not have the boat for the boys and you do a great job and you do I will attest to that. What's the biggest fish you ever caught?

29:49 Biggest fish that I ever caught

29:53 I hesitate only because there was a 44lb full dolphin that I caught and I'm pretty certain. I caught only to find out that the big fish that my friend on the other side of the boat was also fighting that that bull dolphin had both of our base and we were both ruling in the same fish. Although we both had a heck of a fight going on and he finally realize that we had both hope the same fish and on let his line go loose so that I could finish bringing it in and we actually brought it in but that was definitely the largest fish that I've ever caught. It was very very exciting. So that's a memorable experience just in itself and then have two people really in this.

30:53 He was kind. It was actually kind of comical you probably fighting each other more than the fish was biting you. Yes.

31:05 Is it to each of you that this feel women's only Club?

31:11 I personally don't really care one way or the other but I just think that it just makes up just a little bit more relaxed environment and it just you have more in common you you can relate to more of the same things.

31:26 I think it needs to be a woman's only Club because the majority of sporting organizations out. There are multi gender organizations in this club gives a lot of the women that are married the opportunity to get out one night a month or two have the excuse to go on a weekend trip or a day trip and tell their husbands. They can't go because it's a woman's only club and I think the women a lot of women need that in their lives and opportunity just to to be themselves and to be with their girlfriends and to just hang out once in awhile. I think it's a very healthy a healthy thing to do and and that's kind of the premise on which this organization ladies. Let's go fishing was founded. I think if it was so

32:26 Thing other than ladies, let's go fishing. We have to change the name and then we'd have to call at men and ladies. Let's go fishing. And then that would not be Who We Are.

32:37 I think if men were involved it would change the chemistry.

32:43 Of the club itself. It's it's a little bit easier to say all that. So and so do that let someone so drive the boat when the guys are around because they kind of take that role rather than the women actually learning to do it themselves on their own and learning and gaining that self-confidence and Independence, which I think carries over to their relationships in a very positive manner. I think if men were involved in the chapter in the in the club we be back to where we were with the women making sandwiches and

33:20 Chilling down the beer rather than the ones driving the boat rigging the Bates gaffing the fish and doing all the things that we do do it's it's tough to get the the Macho thing out of there in the whole Dynamics. Your right of the organization would be different than they are then they are now.