They say that good teachers explain, better teachers demonstrate, and the best teachers inspire. And when those teachers happen to be two young women making a name for themselves in a male-dominated industry, well, all you can do is take a bow. Emily and Amanda Gale, two south Florida anglers, have been doing just that. The twin duo makes up Gale Force Fishing, a Pompano Beach fishing charter focused on family fun and teaching beginners how to fish. This Women’s Day, we’d like to share their story.
Angling in Their Blood
Emily and Amanda’s love of fishing began at the age of 10, when they started toying with the line and reel off the docks of Islamorada. Growing up in South Florida, it didn’t take long for the girls to become very good at angling. These are some of the best fishing grounds in the world, after all.
By the time Emily and Amanda started college, they were already passionate anglers. They attended the University of Miami, both earning degrees in Microbiology and Immunology. The sisters also competed on the track and field team as pole vaulters.
Speaking of, it’s actually track and field that the twins have to thank for their catchy nickname. The girls were in their junior year of high school, and they had just finished a 4×100 meter race. As they walked past their weight-lifting coach, he yelled, “There they are…The Gale Force Twins!”
The moniker caught on, and “Gale Force” grew to become something much more than a witty nickname.
Fast forward to today, Gale Force Fishing is a successful Pompano Beach fishing charter. Being one of the most popular charters in your area is no easy feat. To do that in the fishing Mecca that is southwest Florida is another thing entirely.
To learn their story, we sat down with Emily and Amanda for a chat.
Doing It Right
When did you realize you wanted to become professional fishing guides?
“We grew up fishing for fun, but college was when we got serious about it. We spent our summers and long weekends working on fishing charters in the Keys, and we just got better at it each year. Both of us really liked the sport, and as we got closer to graduating, we realized that this was something we wanted to do professionally.”
Keeping up with a busy schedule, the girls completed their “sea time,” honed their skills, and earned their USCG 50 Ton Captain’s Licenses. And it was here that they found a vision for their future business.
What made you realize that family-friendly fishing was the way to go?
“It was just something we noticed was lacking. There were a lot of ‘fill the cooler’ charters around, but we wanted to focus on the entire experience. Really teach and give our guests a hands-on fishing experience. A lot of our clients were first-timers and families anyway, so it made perfect sense to do it that way.”
These words ring true, especially when you consider that in 2019, over 1.3 million American women tried fishing for the first time. But you don’t even need big numbers to see how right they are. Take one look at the Gales’ charter reviews, and you’ll have all the confirmation you need.
How rewarding is it to work with beginners?
“Taking first-timers out is a lot of fun! I love the expressions on their faces as they reel in their first fish. It definitely reminds us not to take what we do for granted. What we see every day some people only experience a handful of times in their lives.”
What would you say was your favorite memory of fishing with a beginner?
“One particular memory I have is when we took out a family with two daughters, Sofia and Lola (9 and 7 years old). Lola, caught her first saltwater fish, a Blue Runner! To us, a blue runner is a common baitfish but her excitement showed that she didn’t even care.”
“What mattered to Lola was that she caught a fish that will be a forever memory for her. In the beginning of the day she was scared to touch her fish or even get close to it but by the end she was loving every moment of it. Lola even used some of the carcasses to feed the local fish back at the dock.”
And that’s exactly what me mean when we say inspire. Thanks to the Gale twins, these two young ones got a long-lasting memory. And who knows, perhaps one of them will decide to embark on her own fishing journey.
Fishing for Pleasure
Of course, Amanda and Emily don’t spend all of their fishing time showing beginners how to fish. The sisters enjoy fishing by themselves, too. Sometimes, they’ll throw in a little friendly competition into the mix. A “first-to-catch-your-limit” tournament sounds exactly like the sort of thing twin anglers would think of.
Is there any particular way you like to catch fish?
“Depending on the time of year, we can try a number of techniques. In the winter, we mostly troll, and bottom fish during the summer. But we also do kite fishing, drifting, and many other techniques. It just depends on what’s been working lately.”
When their schedule allows it, the twins find themselves chasing big fish on fishing tournaments. They have traveled to Costa Rica, Hawaii, and the Bahamas, fishing for Billfish and other exciting big game.
On their resumé are countless Sailfish, as well as a good number of Swordfish and Marlin. You’d be surprised to learn, however, that none of these Billfish qualify as the catch the sisters are most proud of.
What’s your all-time favorite catch?
Amanda: “A couple of years ago, we went to Los Suenos in Costa Rica. We were fishing for Sailfish, when I hooked this giant. It was a 65″ Mahi Mahi, the biggest one I ever caught. The best part was that I fought and caught this huge fish completely on my own, without anyone else touching the rod.”
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is:
Emily: “For me, it’s got to be the big Permit I caught last year. I caught it on my birthday, which made it really special.”
The waters were very “sharky” that day, and the Permit had a huge Hammerhead on its tail. After some exciting reel action, Emily landed the fish. After a quick photo, she released the fish unharmed.
The funny thing was that catching the Permit probably ended up saving its life.
To hear the whole story, watch Emily and Amanda’s birthday Permit fishing video on YouTube.
Keeping Up With the Gales
The Gale twins are big on showing anglers how to fish. They regularly shoot instructional videos, as well as their anglers’ success stories. The sisters also like to share some of their favorite fish recipes, and many other angling-related topics. To get the latest of their awesome content, follow Gale Force Fishing on Instagram and Facebook.
Emily and Amanda are the perfect inspiration for anglers who are just getting into the line and reel. They’re also an ideal example of how women can excel in what many still think of as a man’s sport.
And now, let’s hear it from you. Do you have a fishing mentor? What was your biggest fishing success? Share your story in the comments below.
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