Fishing Chick Ali Hobson
BD recently caught up with Ali Hobson of South Florida. She took the time to fill us in on her obsession with fishing. We are happy to make her our next “FISHIN CHICK”.
Q: Where do you call home?
A: I split my time between Islamorada and Vero Beach, Florida.
Q: What do you do for a living?
A: I am a physician assistant.
Q: How did you get your start in fishing?
A: I’ve been fishing as long as I can remember. I grew up in South Florida and definitely have to credit my Dad for my fishing passion. It all started by catching bream on bread balls in the ponds and canals of Miami with him. He moved to Islamorada when I was about 8-years-old and the rest is history. I spent hours at the boat ramp on East Ridge Road in Islamorada catching small snapper, grunts, and barracudas. Pretty sure I depleted the local bait shops of live shrimp when I was in town. After one of the tropical storms in Miami, someone’s small dock floated up in the canal across the street from my mom’s house. The neighborhood kids and I hopped on it with our fishing poles and paddled around using garbage can lids. I think I was 10-years-old and we slayed the bass on that thing. Overall, I’m basically the son my father never had.
Q: Do you have any other hobbies?
A: I like hunting of all types, but duck hunting is by far my favorite. Feeling the power of my Winchester 12-gauge is incredible. The constant action is such a thrill. I tend to fall asleep and drool on myself when I’m in a climber hunting deer, so I lean more towards fast-action hunting. Don’t get me wrong – I can drop a deer like nobody’s business – I just get bored quickly. I love anything involving water; diving, spearfishing, and surfing. I also have a bucket list full of places I want to travel, many of which include fishing obscure spots around the world.
Q: We hear you like a little friendly competition. Tell me more about the tournaments you have fished.
A: I just recently hit the tournament circuit. The aggressive nature of fishing in tournaments has thrown my competitive spirit into over-drive. I was fortunate enough to join Captain Brian Cone and his Mate Shannon Attales of the boat “Contagious” for two lady’s tournaments this season. Our team placed 1st in Islamorada Women’s Sailfish Tournament. We also took 2nd in the Poor Girls Sailfish Tournament out of Islamorada. I’m beyond addicted to the tournament scene and will be fishing several of the dolphin tournaments this summer out of the Keys and South Florida.
Q: What types of fishing have you done and what is your favorite kind of fishing so far?
A: Since I grew up in South Florida, I’ve fished everything from here to halfway to Cuba. Ponds, lakes, canals, flats/back-country, reef, deep dropping, and offshore. Fishing for pelagics offshore is my absolute favorite type of fishing – hands down. I could fish for dolphin all day, every day. I love the excitement of searching for frigates and running-and-gunning with live bait. Kite-fishing is a blast, too. It’s so much fun to work the kite lines, watch your bait get nervous, and then see it get crushed by a big dolphin, tuna, or sail. Amazing.
Q: Please share with us some of your future goals or plans pertaining to fishing?
A: First and foremost, obtaining my captain’s license is at the top of my list. I’m anxious to learn more about the specifics of being a captain and work my way up to doing charters in the future. I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to angling and definitely want to learn more. I’ve been fortunate to have good friends in the fishing industry that are patient enough to teach me. I also would absolutely love to get into a position where I can involve kids in fishing. Fishing offshore isn’t necessarily affordable for many families so I would love to donate my time and experience to children that otherwise wouldn’t be able to do it financially. I also plan on contacting the Make-A-Wish Foundation once I get my captain’s license. If I can help a sick child experience the joy of fishing, I’m all for it. My personal fishing goals include traveling to Panama to catch a black marlin, Alaska for halibut, and the Bahamas for yellowfin tuna and marlin. I’ve never caught either one of those! I love the medical field, but if I could somehow work in the fishing industry, I’d be ecstatic.
Q: I understand you have your own boat. What kind do you have?
A: I run a 29′ Triton center console with twin 250hp Mercury Verados. It’s called “Frigate About It”
Q:Tell us some of your proudest moments in fishing, i.e.…catch highlights, tournaments etc.…
A: One of my favorite stories was a day last summer when I was fishing with my team off Islamorada. We were offshore pulling lifters and small gaffer dolphin from under a huge piece of floating insulation. On the way out to the spot, we noticed the port trim tab was sticking for some reason, so when the bite shut off, I masked up & jumped in to see if I could fix it. I told the guys to keep an eye on me while I was in the water, just in case a shark decided to come hang out. All of a sudden, I heard the guys going crazy on the deck, but I couldn’t hear what was going on over the engine noise and waves. I thought I was dead. In my mind, I was certain I was about to get eaten by a shark. I came out of that water like I was walking on it and realized that they were freaking out over three huge slammer dolphin that swam into our spread. We immediately pitched live pins at them and hooked into one, but broke it off. They wouldn’t eat anything else and swam off. I immediately threw back skirted ballyhoo and started to troll the area. By the time I set the line and put it back into the rod holder, the line started screaming…and it was the biggest one of the three. It was so great to feel its power on the end of that line. After a few runs and one missed gaff attempt, we were able to box that 40-pounder. An incredible day!!!
Q: Are there any other sides of you that you want to share with us?
A: I have the coolest kid imaginable. He’s only 19-months-old, but he has already “caught” his first mahi (with a little help from mama, of course!). He absolutely loves being on the boat and points out every bird that flies by. I’m sincerely hoping he grows up to love fishing…he has little choice otherwise!
Q: Can you describe what aspect of fishing you like the most?
A: I definitely like the uncertainty of never knowing what the day has in store for you or what you’re going to catch. Sometimes it’s a slammer…other days it’s just the bait you caught on the way out. I’ve had my share of getting skunked. Luckily, those days have been few and far between lately. Hopefully, I didn’t just jinx myself! Don’t get me wrong – a day on the water with good friends is amazing. But, there’s something about running offshore by yourself, dragging some ballyhoo, blasting the radio, and singing Jack Johnson and Bob Marley at the top of your lungs. Being on the open ocean alone, surrounded by all that cobalt blue water, is incredible. It clears my mind. It’s “totally spiritual”.