In 5 days I will be off to the exotic island of Tobago for my first EVER deep sea fishing adventure. I am sure most of you know how I was lucky enough to gain this opportunity, but for those of you that don’t, here goes (deep breath):
On June 17th, I entered the Adopt an Angler contest that was hosted by the World Fishing Network. The idea of the contest was to convince WFN (by photo, essay or video entry) why you should be adopted to become a better angler. I made a video entry which you can still view here:
The contest ran from June 15th until midnight on July 31st (the online voting period). My initial placement in the contest was determined by online votes, in which I had to finish in the Top 10 in order to have a shot at winning the grand prize (A DREAM FISHING VACATION!). I stayed within the top 3 for the duration of the contest, and I finished 1st place in online voting with 13,942 votes!!! My video still gets hits, with currently 32,106 views. After the voting process, the top 10 videos were then presented to a panel of WFN hosts and they chose who they felt should be the grand prize winner. The contest was open to all of the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec).
To be honest with you, since I received the call on August 12th, my life has felt like a bit of a dream. I was so shocked I just started crying. I obviously thought about winning, but I really didn’t have my hopes up. I know I have read about people saying ‘I never thought I would win’ when they buy a lottery ticket and I always though ‘how could you not?!’ but then it happened to me. There were a lot of good entries in the contest, and I just figured that someone else would win. It has been a little over a month since I found out I won, and I am just starting to feel like it’s actually happening. I have the plane tickets, I have the $500US spending money that came with the trip, I have the passport, the insurance… next step is packing and before I know it I will be the furthest away from home I have ever been.
Everyones first question is: Where is Tobago? Tobago is an island located in the northeastern coast of Venezuela and the southern part of the Grenadines.
Now the highlight of the trip is the FISHING!! I will be going on 2 deep sea fishing excursions while on my trip. Tarpon and bonefish will be at their best this time of year, so I am looking forward to catching the big one!! Tarpon can get up to 350 pounds, so I hope they strap me in! I will be happy as long as I catch something bigger than a bass !!
More than anything in this whole contest, my biggest ‘thanks’ goes out to my supporters. I really feel like I had ‘fans’ for the first time. It was incredible. My family/friends/coworkers voting daily, The Drive 98.9 for had me live on the air (and hosting the morning show), The Napanee Beaver posted 2 articles, and CKWS TV did a whole story about me! I have a Facebook group that still has around 600 supporters. I Googled my name a few times, and found postings on random fishing forums all over the world with people saying ‘I found this, let’s help this girl out’. Forums such as; Bigfatbass, and Quintefishing had people rallying for me everyday (since you could vote everyday). I was walking down the street a couple weeks ago and had a guy driving slow down and stop and say ‘Hey, Ashley? Congratulations on your win!!’ I found out he was from one of the fishing forums and recognized me. It’s really amazing!!
I could go on and on about how happy I am, but I will get to the part you all want to hear. I am going to film a video blog of the trip, so all the voters can watch the whole experience. I will update as soon as I get home, with the videos and photos, and hopefully the story of the BIG ONE!!
Stay tuned, and thanks again!!
CKWS TV Interview
Hardplay Fishing Charters
Big Fat Bass