When I was working the Odor-Off Hand Soap booth at the Forrest Wood Cup Expo last month, I had the good fortune of being introduced to one of the most inspiring bass fisherwomen ever! From the minute I met Marisa Gallman, I could tell that she truly had a burning passion for fishing. As I listened to her husband, James Gallman, talk about how Marisa would get the boat trailer hooked up, drive the boat to the launch, and drop it in the water quicker than most other anglers he knew, I had to find out more about how she got into the sport. Thank you Marisa, for inspiring other women to get out on the water and cast towards their dreams.
How did you first get into fishing?
I first got into fishing about 3 years ago, and it was actually against my will. At the time my husband was fishing different team tournaments and without fail, his partners would back out at the last minute or he couldn’t find one. So I just started fishing with him. Honestly I was scared out of my mind but I embraced it gracefully and the rest is history.
Most memorable catch?
My most memorable catch was 2 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was fishing a spinner bait about 50 yards across a lily pad field, I would let it sink to the bottom and start slow rolling it back. About half way to the boat it felt like a freight train had hit my line and at first I thought I was hung but when my line started moving in the opposite direction. I realized that it was either now or never and started reeling as if my life depended on it. When I got it to the boat my husband reached over, grabbed it, pulled it in and handed it to me. While hyperventilating and shaking uncontrollably, I grabbed it by the lip, dropped to my knees, put my head down, said “Thank you Lord” and the tears started rolling. I could not believe it; I had just caught the biggest fish of my life, 7lbs! That one moment is what this sport is all about. I still get emotional thinking about it.
Advice for women just getting into the sport?
Keep it classy, respect the sport and always be honest. Give it all you got because you’re only going to get out of it what you put in! Believe in yourself and get out there and ROCK IT!!
Do you have a favorite piece of fishing gear?
My Denali Jadewood Rod. It’s light, sensitive and extremely durable and the foregrip is made from exotic stabilized hardwood that aids in transmitting vibrations. I use this rod with braided line because the ceramic inserts are equipped with ringlock guides that eliminate the inserts from popping out and fraying my line. And after fishing 8 plus hours a day I’m not tormented with cramping hands because of the split grip system that provides a positive grip with increased weight reduction which also contours to the natural curve of my hand for added comfort. Not to mention all the Denali rods carry a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
Ever fish alone?
NEVER!!! My husband, James Gallman, and I ALWAYS fish together. I’ve gone with friends before and had fun, but it’s just not the same without him!
When did you start fishing the ABA (American Bass Anglers) Couples Series?
We started fishing it last year, but there were only 2 tournaments scheduled and fished then the rest were canceled. We since then have been appointed the new Directors for Division 10, so we are extremely excited about getting the new season kicked off on a high note and already have at least 10 teams ready to fish!!
Do you have a full-time career?
Yes, I do… and it is EXTREMELY demanding, but I am very grateful that they are so understanding and supportive when it comes to my fishing career because they know how much this means to me.
Biggest fishing lesson or heartbreak?
Biggest heartbreak was losing the kicker fish that would have put us in the money during an hourly tournament all because I didn’t know how to properly net a fish, which I blame solely on my husband! But I managed to hit the fish in the corner of the mouth with the net which then in turn released it back into the wild!!! So needless to say, I now have some MAD NINJA NET FISHING SKILLS!