Women Take on Catfish: Women in the Outdoors program

The morning was as humid as it has been in 2009 following over night thunderstorms and heavy rains. Introductions had been done, breakfast finished, boats launched and lines set. Within 15 minutes of the lines hitting the water the second fish of the day was making its way to the boat. Many fish have made this journey to my boat over the years but this one was special because it was the first catfish ever for Carol Parvey of Grand Forks.

This past weekend the Red River was host to the Becoming and Outdoors Woman (BOW) workshop sponsored by the Minnesota DNR. The program was designed to introduce women to different outdoor opportunities. It gives the women an opportunity to play in the outdoors with experts in their respective fields while meeting other women with the same outdoor interests.

Carol Parvey is not your typical woman looking for an outdoor adventure. As it was told to me she got drug into this game by here long time friend, North Dakota BOW Director and Water Safety Coordinator Nancy Boldt signed her up and told her they were going fishing in the Red. She went on to tell me she had only been fishing a few times ever in her life and was just on the Red to see what it is all about, and because Nancy told her she had to. I was fortunate enough to be asked to volunteer my guide service to this program as luck had it I drew Carol and Nancy for day one.

Our fishing started out fast. We were allowed to fish with six lines (two for each person including me.) With four lines in and two that still required some setup the first fish was on and the skunk was out of the boat. After a few photographs and a release we were back to watching our lines for about five minutes when the rod folded and Carol got her first chance at a catfish. After some quick coaching about bringing in a catfish (nothing quite like on the job training, right?) we landed a 35-inch channel catfish. After a battle and now having a big fish at her feet Carol really was stunned as to what had happened.

Now that the fish was in the boat she had to hold it for the photos. As like anyone who does not fish much, the idea of holding a scaleless fish is a challenge in itself. Like a trooper she was willing to hold the fish for the photo. Upon my instruction she gave it a big hug and hung on as to not drop the fish.

The rest of our day together we caught fish, got rained on, and just had a great time fishing. Carol even landed another big fish, a mighty 34-incher. My hope is that both Nancy, Carol and the other women that I took out on day two of BOW learned a little something about catfishing, had a good time fishing and have a desire to come back and experience the wonders that the Red River has to offer.

If you would like to learn more about BOW please log on to the North Dakota Game and Fish or Minnesota DNR websites to see if there are any programs that you or an outdoors woman you know would like to take part in. Remember, you don’t have to know anything about the activity, just have an open mind and a willingness to have a great time outdoors.

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