Fisherwomen assert themselves thanks to social networks", Mélanie Meissel, lure fishing competitor

Fisherwomen assert themselves thanks to social networks”, Mélanie Meissel, lure fishing competitor

How did you get hooked on fishing?

Varoise, I went to the shores of Lake Verdon for the first time, at 10 years old, with my father. But I really learned at 18, when I got a summer job in the fishing section of a Decathlon store. Faced with the diversity of equipment I had to sell, I started practicing to be able to talk about it and my colleagues helped me.

What appeals to you about this activity?

Discovering sites where I would never have gone. I often travel abroad in search of a specific species. One of my best shots was at the end of a road trip in New Zealand. Despite the polar winds, the snow, the freezing temperature, I managed to access a magnificent river surrounded by high mountains. While nothing was biting, I ended up catching the sublime trout that I had come to look for.

Can you explain this Holy Grail of the big fish?

Tackling a record specimen means demonstrating my skills. Because the biggest are also often the oldest. They have been stalked before and have developed defense systems like running away, hiding or even closing their mouths. Releasing them requires experience and perfection in execution.

Is this also a way of establishing yourself in a still very masculine world?

Yes, with competition, it's a way of showing that I have my place. Although there are no physical limits in our discipline, women remain rare and often take part to spend time with their companions. For me, it's the opposite: I met my lover, thanks to this common passion. The image of fisherwomen has evolved thanks to social networks. I no longer feel the machismo of my beginnings.

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