PDF Print Email

November 2020

Fishnet Special Edition

President's Message
by: Kathy Gillen, IWFA President 2019/2020

This Special Edition Newsletter is to recognize the women who won the coveted IWFA Awards for the year 2019.  The challenges of COVID have resulted in the cancellation of all IWFA Events for this year and we didn’t want to go another day without giving them the accolades they deserve.   Each of the 2019 winners were mailed their award when we realized that this years’ Award Luncheon would not be able to occur.  We applaud these women for their fishing accomplishments and hope that you will take the time to reach out to your friends and offer them your congratulations.

Crowninshield Award

Carmen Perez-Padron is the winner to the Crowninshield Award which is awarded to the top angler who accumulates the most points from the entire IWFA General Species List.

When I first joined the IWFA back in 2012 I felt so honored to join a group filled with so many women that had the same passion for fishing that I did. After attending my first Annual Luncheon and meeting so many more members I knew I made the right decision to join. I was so in awe of all of the women there and their fishing achievements. Being in the room surrounded by such amazing anglers, meeting Mrs. Kay Rybovich and learning so much of the history of this great club was awesome!  

I immediately jumped right in and submitted affidavits for every fish I caught, receiving many monthly awards and always so excited each time I received a certificate in the mail commemorating the monthly milestones. I decided to start competing in the club’s sponsored annual awards, it took me a couple of tries and finally won what was then called the Free For All Tournament, a plan came together and I caught over 1000 fish in the span of 3 days of fishing in one weekend. Winning this award along with the Newcomer Award that year along with some species release awards was a very proud moment for me and for my husband, Nelson, for us it is a team effort and win for the both of us not just me. That fed my desire more so to pursue other awards, the competition was always tough for the big 3 awards and I always thought to my self I had no chance to ever win. However, in 2017 I started the year off with some incredible fishing trips that amounted to so many different species that I decided I may have a chance at competing for the Rybovich Award which is the club sponsored award for the most species. That year everything worked in my favor, 46 species later I won the award as well as the Vernon Fly Release Award and several other species release awards. 

The following year in 2018 I decided I wanted to try to win the Crowninshield Award. Competing for these awards takes a lot of planning, dedication and time. We fished every weekend that we could, our time off from work all revolved around fishing – as it should be right? I love to fish, as many of you may know, and am so extremely fortunate to have a husband that also shares the same passion luckily, he loves to pole our skiff and see fish eat from the poling platform more than fish himself. It is through his dedication that made it possible for me to win that year. But again, this is a team effort and I have a great team not just Nelson but my friends the Denkerts, Blacks and Preihs families. Their support through the years made it all possible, always checking in to see how many points I had and wanting to know what else I needed to catch. Taking me fishing every chance they had, putting me on large numbers of fish and being so patient with me as I tried to catch as many as possible on spin, plug, general and fly divisions. Did I say lots of PATIENCE?? Poor Dave Denkert! I am appreciative of his guidance and tutelage after I decided to take up learning how to use a plug rod and a fly rod. Oh lord, it wasn’t easy, and I am still learning but I am so much better thanks to his instruction. Which also led me to win Fly Release and Texas Plug Awards that same year.

2019 was no different, I started the year with the desire to compete for it again, as I enjoyed it so much! Competing for these awards has made me a much better angler and I am grateful for that. I was honored that I was able to win the award again in 2019 and once again I am grateful to my “team” for helping me win! 

In closing I would like to say to anyone that would like to compete for any of the club awards, do it! It is such a rewarding feeling to win such a prestigious award and know that all that time put in, dedication and perseverance paid off! If it doesn’t the first year, try again, never give up!

- Carmen Perez-Padron

IWFA Top Award Winners for 2019

Lisa Everett is the winner to the Arostegui Trout Fly Fishing Award.

Lisa Everett

"Winning the Arostegui trout award was a goal I definitely wanted to achieve! Getting the species involved travel, as well as different skills depending on your location, Lake, stream, non-groomed trails with boulders and downed trees! I hope to do it again this year having fished on what is considered a “black diamond” stream of the trout world. It was a real honor to win this award the first time and I can only hope to have the fun doing it again! Thank you Roberta and Marty!"

- Lisa Everette


Linda Harper is the winner of the Fleming Tournament Award which is given by member Molly Fleming to the person who receives the most points in a year at IWFA sanctioned tournaments.

"Molly is so very generous to sponsor the Fleming Disc. By awarding it to the angler with the most points in the tournaments, she encourages participation in the tournaments, which is when deep and lasting friendships form between IWFA members. Since I placed 2nd in the Venice tournament, and 3rd in the Islamorada Tournament, I had no idea that I had won. What a glorious surprise!!!" 

- Linda Harper


Pam Basco is the recipient of the Kay Young Memorial Trophy which is sponsored by Gillen Yacht Services. This award is given to the angler who catches the first Blue Marlin of the year.

"Last year in Kona for the 60th Anniversary of the HIBT.....Hawaii International Billfish Tournament, my team represented Houston Big Fishing Club. I caught and tagged and released the very first Marlin of the tournament 30 minutes after lines in to start the first day off.  It was a wonderful tournament and to accept this lovely trophy in Kay Young’s name is truly an honor. Kay was a great friend and fishing partner back in the early days of the IWFA Annual Billfish Tournament. Thank you for the beautiful trophy as it will bring me many memories of Kay, IWFA, HIBT and Kona."

- Pam Basco


Rebecca Strain is the winner of the Ann Kunkel Newcomer Award. This award is given to the member who receives the most points in their third year of membership.

"What a great club! I'm just sorry I didn't know about it years ago, but glad to be a member now! Thanks to Lisa Everett for encouraging me to register the fish I caught after the first Islamorada Tournament." 

- Rebecca Strain


Connie O'Day is the winner of the Sture Olsson Billfish Award which is sponsored by member Lisa Everett.

"I never dreamed I would be able to win Clint and Lisa Everett’s sponsored Billfish Award that requires 30,000 points.  It began in late October when I caught 8 striped marlin in Cabo and knew I was fishing a tournament in Guatemala the next month. While I did receive the Top Lady Angler for that tournament, it wasn’t enough.  I made a second trip to Guatemala with IWFA member Brenda Moore. At 2:30pm on our last day of fishing, I finally did it! It was work. It was terrifying at times. It was amazing!  It’s a beautiful pendant and I highly recommend going for the challenge." 

- Connie O'day


Roberta Arostegui wins two additional IWFA Club Records. Roberta now has achieved 43 IWFA Records which is in addition to Roberta’s numerous IGFA World Records

"The Bull Trout was caught in beautiful British Columbia, Canada and the Kokanee was caught in Utah. Two of my favorite places to fish."

- Roberta Arostegui


The Junior Angler Program is off to a great start in 2020 with 12 junior anglers ranging in age from 8 to 17! We have three juniors that will turn 18 for the 2021 fishing year and we have every expectation that they will join IWFA as regular members. The committee is very happy with the growth of the program.

Junior Angler Committee 

Jenny Goodell – Chair

Connie O’Day

Molly Fleming

Carmen Perez Padron

Julie Brown

Joanne Kolius


Overall Awards for 2019

Top Junior Angler Fleming Species Award

Emily Hanzlik is 15 years old and will be in the tenth grade this fall. She released 24 species. She is quite accomplished as an angler as she has 29 world records! She is taking pre-vet classes, marine biology classes and in the debate club. When asked what fishing means to her, “I have learned that experience is a big part of becoming a great fisherman. I also believe that when it’s in your blood, a lot of what we know is just instinct. I love all things outdoors.”

Award Sponsor: IWFA member Molly Fleming


Top Junior Angler Saltwater Award

Emma Hunt is 17 years old and will be finishing her senior year with 24 college credits. She won this award with 953 points. She has a love of the outdoors and spends many hours at the “River Ranch” where she does most of her fishing. When asked what fishing means to her, “I come from a family that loves to fish so it’s no surprise that I too love to participate in the sport. I have been fishing as long as I can remember.  Fishing is my “happy place.”

Award Sponsor: IWFA member Joanne Kolius


Top Junior Angler Freshwater Award

Jenna Hunt is 13 years old and will be in the seventh grade this fall. She won her award with 105 points. She joined in late October so she only had 2 months to compete. She loves to ride horses and is competitive in anything she does. When asked what fishing means to her, “I’ve always loved animals and fish are a part of that. My nana has taught me how to release fish and tells me about IWFA all the time.”

Award Sponsor:  IWFA member Jill Gaddis

 YTD fish caught and released in 2020:

Species: 34

Saltwater: 265

Freshwater: 1,988

All fish under 12” is 1 point and fish over 12” is 5 points. A Sailfish is 20 points and Marlin 25 points. Juniors began a new online scoring system on May 1 to help transition them to IWFA.

The Junior Angler Program is open to any girl between the ages of 6 – 18 who has an IWFA member as a sponsor.


International Women's Fishing Association  | [email protected]  | www.iwfa.org