The term sisterhood can signify many things. Some may describe sisterhood as the special bond shared between biological sisters, while others may relate with the term as sorority sisters linked by their allegiance to philanthropic work. But the sisterhood I’m a part of is quite special; it’s one that connects the sincere passion of hunting and fishing—my sisters of the outdoors. Over July 4 weekend, my lovely friends who I met through social media, travelled to Destin, Fla., to embark on a journey of friendship, fishing, and fellowship. We booked two separate trips through Destin Inshore Charters, deep sea fishing with Captain Chris Kirby on Charter Boat Backlash and bowfishing with Captain Alex Kendrick. On July 2, we rolled out of the bar and onto a boat in the early morning hours without an ounce of guilt. We had the time of our lives dancing the night away to a live band at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. Even though there were no regrets, there was certainly some snoozing after doing a little bait-fishing to prepare for the real action a few hours out.
After a wonderful nap to the roaring motor of Charter Boat Backlash, we awoke to the brilliant blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the words, “C’mon ladies, it’s time to fish.” I think we all hopped up faster than a child on Christmas morning. I’ll never forget the first battle I experienced while deep sea fishing—the hard-fighting Amberjack. I must admit, he put up one heck of a fight, and I wondered if I ever was going to get him to the surface. Slowly but surely, he finally was visible, and I heard someone shout, “You caught a Jack!” That moment of holding my first catch while deep sea fishing is something I will never forget.
Throughout the day, we caught some impressive Red Snapper and Grouper for a grand total of 14 Grouper, 12 Red Snapper, four Bonito, and one Amberjack. After battling some of the Gulf of Mexico’s finest saltwater fish, we caught yet another snooze on the drive back inshore.
Once we arrived back at the docks, the guys of Charter Boat Backlash arranged the fish ever-so- nicely for an epic group picture before they began the process of skinning the fish.
Then, we all were able to partake in something special; we carried our fresh fish up to a restaurant located beside the docks, and they fixed us an incredible meal. They prepared red snapper three different ways—perfectly fried, blackened, and grilled. As we sat around the table and recapped what happened only a few hours before, we all bonded even closer as we stuffed our faces.
After our deep sea fishing excursion, we made a pact to eat dinner and head in for the night since we had another early morning approaching quickly. On July 3, we headed out bowfishing with Captain Alex Kendrick of Destin Inshore Charters. We had heard that the clear waters and pristine estuary allowed for incredible bowfishing—and it was just that, perfect. The water was beautiful, and we were ready to get after some Big Southern Stingray and Cow Nose
Throughout the mid-morning, two girls stuck a stingray, and you would have thought we won the Super Bowl; rumor has it the cheers from the five ladies on the boat could be heard all the way in Miami!
At the end of the weekend, we walked away with more than fresh fish and memories that will last a lifetime. We genuinely walked away as a newly formed sisterhood. We’ve already started planning a spring turkey hunt in Pennsylvania where we will reunite and battle the Eastern gobbler. In our sisterhood, our mission is more than the thrill of harvesting an animal. We hope to provide encouragement and be a positive inspiration to women who enjoy the outdoors.