Fishing has long been known as a man’s sport; however, in the Gulf of Mexico there are two Lady Anglers that are taking the tournament scene by storm: Laurie Jones on the 56’ Viking, “Reel Addiction” and Sherry Polk on the 72’ Viking “Share-E.” You can find both of these women consistently on the leader board in tournaments throughout the Gulf of Mexico- including the recent Blue Marlin Grand Championship.
Both of these ladies have been fishing for a long time. For Laurie, it was her parents who introduced her to fishing. She grew up fishing on their boat and fished out of the Pensacola Big Game Club. For Sherry it was her husband, Buell Polk, who got her into fishing. He suggested she participate in the Isle of Capri Tournament. Although she didn’t catch anything that year, a 1,000+lb Blue Marlin was caught by another boat and the rest is history.
It’s the thrill and excitement of big game fishing that hooked these ladies on fishing. Laurie says, “it is my love for being on the water and the catching the big fish that hooked me.” Sherry says, “The thrill is not knowing what is on the other end of the line. Being on the ocean is like being in God’s country. And after you catch that first big fish, you are hooked.”
Both Laurie and Sherry love to catch Blue Marlin and they have both caught the type of big Blues that inhabit every angler’s dreams. They both say that their most exciting experience on the water is when they caught the big blues that allowed them to win big at a tournament. In 2013, Laurie caught a 722.2lb Blue Marlin that gave her Third Place in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship, and to this day, she says it is the most exciting experience she has had fishing. For Sherry, her most exciting experience on the water was earlier this year when she caught a 651lb Blue Marlin at the Orange Beach Billfish Classic on a loaner boat provided by Galati Yacht Sales and new captain.
We sat down with these Ladies to get to know them a little better.
Where is your favorite place to fish?
Laurie: Gulf of Mexico
Sherry: Gulf of Mexico
Where are some places you have fished besides the Gulf?
Laurie: Dominican Republic and St. Thomas
Sherry: Hawaii, Panama, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Brazil, and heading to Alaska this year.
What is your favorite feature of your boat?
Laurie: “I love that it has all the comforts of home.”
Sherry: “I love the Sea Keeper, the new stabilization feature that keeps the boat from rocking as much.”
What are three things you cant leave the dock with out?
Laurie: Wine, Rods, and my husband!
Sherry: Sun Screen, Fishing Gloves, and my husband!
Any advice to other anglers?
Laurie: “Just have fun! If you lose a fish you have to shake it off. When you fish, you are always learning something new every trip and it helps make you a better angler.”
Sherry: “It’s a learning process, and takes determination, and endurance. Surround yourself with a good fishing team, people willing to put in the work, and that’s where you will get your education.”
Lady anglers are increasing in number yearly. Laurie and Sherry know the adrenaline rush of “catching the big one!” All ladies young and old are encouraged to give this sport a try-you may become hooked for a lifetime.
We would like to thank Laurie and Sherry for taking the time to sit down and talk with us. We wish you both continued luck in your future tournaments!