Lady anglers on the rise in Calhoun County

If you’re out on the water in Calhoun County – don’t be surprised if the angler next to you – is a lady.

Shellie Gray purchased her first boat when she was 28 years old. And 17 years later – she’s on her seventh boat.

The Port Lavaca resident has been a full-time fishing guide ever since.

“When I was younger, my mother took me fishing quite often, between that and horses, she kind of kept me out of trouble, so to speak,” Gray said.

Gray says in the last ten years – she’s noticed the number of lady anglers has almost doubled in Calhoun County.

“Because I think it’s contagious, I think they show up, and they see that there’s other women fishing, and they find out how much they love it and then before you know it they’re introducing two or three of their friends to fishing,” Gray said.

Even the way fishing clothes and equipment are designed has changed, Gray says, she’s seeing more pink and waders designed for a woman’s frame.

“It is a male-dominated sport but I think that’s changing every year,” Gray said.

Her boat is a shallow running boat – which is necessary for the area she takes clients out to – because of how shallow the backwaters are.

“This boat is a shallow sport model, most days I call her Good Things because she never gives me any problems,” Gray said.

And when times are stressful – it’s always good to be away from shore.

“Being on the water really has something to do with your soul, once you get out there you take in everything around you and you’re able to take a deep breathe and its like all your stress goes away,” Gray said.