As the crisp morning air embraced the shores of Lake Neanger in Bendigo, Fishcare Victoria embarked on a thrilling adventure, casting our lines into the waters with the Women in Recreational Fishing and Boating (WIRFAB) group. With leaders Karen Rees and Tiffany Newton by our side, and the invaluable support of Coordinator Caitlin Berecry from the Victorian Fisheries Authority (VFA), the day promised to be a celebration of female empowerment, skill-building, and, of course, the joy of fishing.
At Fishcare Victoria, we’re driven by a passion for creating inclusive spaces where everyone can embrace the beauty of fishing while fostering a sense of community. Collaborating with WIRFAB aligns perfectly with our mission, as the Women in Recreational Fishing and Boating Network works tirelessly to upskill women in the world of fishing and boating. Together, we aim to provide a platform where female fishers and boaters can learn, belong, and revel in the joys of this lifestyle. It may not be for everyone, but it does provide a great foundation for women who may feel overwhelmed with where to start in this amazing pastime.
As the day unfolded, participants braved average weather conditions, undeterred by the elements, fueled by their shared enthusiasm for angling. The atmosphere was one of camaraderie, with WIRFAB leaders offering their expertise, empowering participants with newfound skills and confidence.
Caitlin Berecry, the dedicated coordinator from VFA, played a crucial role in providing insights into responsible fishing practices and environmental conservation. Her knowledge served as a foundation for the participants to engage in sustainable fishing, ensuring that our activities contribute positively to the health of our aquatic ecosystems.
Adding to the wealth of experience present, Mitchell McMaster, our Operations Manager and Geelong and Bellarine Facilitator, lent his expertise to the event. His presence was a valuable addition, offering hands-on guidance and support to both novice and experienced participants, reinforcing Fishcare Victoria’s commitment to creating memorable and educational fishing experiences.
With fishing rods in the hands of our determined participants, and despite the challenging weather, a sense of achievement filled the air as silver perch and rainbow trout were caught. The triumphs weren’t just in the catch but in the connections made, the skills honed, and the shared experiences that created lasting memories.
As we wrapped up the day, reflections on the shared triumphs and the bonds formed lingered. The cool conditions and blustery winds may have challenged us, but the spirit of female empowerment prevailed. We extend our deepest gratitude to the participants, the inspiring leaders of WIRFAB, Caitlin Berecry from the VFA, and Mitchell McMaster, whose collective efforts made this day at Lake Neanger a resounding success.
At Fishcare Victoria, every ripple tells a story, and every angler has a place in our vibrant community. We look forward to more collaborations that strengthen our commitment to diversity, education, and the pure joy of fishing. Until the next adventure unfolds, tight lines to all the passionate anglers who cast with us on the shores of Lake Neanger.