BD: Where do you live?
Tabby Abbassi: I live in Jacksonville Beach, FL…I was also born here! Someday, I’d love to eventually move closer to Mosquito Lagoon.
BD: What is you occupation?
Tabby Abbassi: I am a Corporate Recruiter, but I would eventually like to work for the State of Florida/FWC…a field position that will allow me to be a part of a team that helps with the research and development and conservation efforts. I just recently joined the Fish Tagging Program and look forward to learning more about the migration patterns of the fish I love so much!
BD: What are your other hobbies?
Tabby Abbassi: I am a very passionate tournament angler and fishing comes before anything…but in general, I do consider myself an Outdoors Enthusiast. I love anything related to the outdoors and animals. I love going to bikram yoga classes with my best friends and spending as much time on the water as I possibly can. I love kayaking, hunting, camping, hiking, cruising the beach on my beach cruiser, etc. Basically, I love being outside…I live for the outdoors!!
BD: Who or what got you into fishing?
Tabby Abbassi: Surprisingly, my passion from fishing comes from my Mommy…she is just as addicted to the sport of fishing as I am! As for my fishing idol, that would have to be Jose Wejebe, may he rest in peace. I could listen to Jose Wejebe talk all day and night…he was so inspiring! I would love to do what he did…travel all around the world catching different fish in different waters and bringing that passion and knowledge to other anglers. He was such a great angler and person and it was definitely hard to hear about his accident in 2012.
BD: How long have you been fishing?
Tabby Abbassi: I was probably 4 years old the first time I ever held a fishing pole. My family used to spend the summers in Vilano beach and there’s a campground we camped at for years. The locals would let me use their poles while my cousin and I would catch little whiting and blue crabs from the docks. I have fished my whole life, but really got into the tournament scene 3-4 years ago.
BD: What types of fishing have you done?
Tabby Abbassi: I have done it all…inshore, offshore, saltwater, freshwater, boat, kayak, land, piers, rocks and docks! I have always lived near the ocean and I truly believe I have salt running through my veins. For the most part, I’m an “inshore girl”…but I do like taking occasional trips offshore with friends when the conditions are good.
BD: Can you name your favorite kind of fishing so far?
Tabby Abbassi: My favorite fishing would have to be fishing the flats with artificial baits. I almost never use real bait.
There’s no greater feeling in the world than tricking a fish into thinking your artificial bait is real and them eating it! The adrenaline I feel compares to no other! It’s very addicting.
I mostly target Redfish and Trout, and occasionally have tournaments that require me to target Flounder too. Redfish, Trout and Flounder is what we call the “Northeast Florida Inshore Slam”…and add a Tarpon to that group and it’s a Super Slam! All of the tournaments I compete in are “artificial only” and “live release”…I am very big on conservation…but every now and again, I enjoy a red fish or flounder dinner…but I only keep what I know I will eat…everything else is released. I also enjoy fishing at night with a partner when I can. Redfish and Trout are even more fun to catch at night! Some of my best fish have been caught at night!
BD: What are some future goals or plans pertaining to fishing?
Tabby Abbassi: Tournament season has just started and really looking forward to a great year in 2014. My biggest goal this year is to catch a 10lb+ Gator Trout on an artificial lure. I also plan to fish as many tournaments as I possibly can and knock a few fish off my bucket list. Some of the fish on my bucket list would be a Blue Marlin, Mutton Snapper, Hogfish and a beautiful peacock bass. One of my biggest plans would be mastering the art of fly-fishing and I’m really looking forward to that this year too! I really want to take a trip to Belize this year too!
BD: What aspect of fishing do you like the most?
Tabby Abbassi: Where to begin…I love EVERYTHING related to fishing! Fishing is like yoga…you will never be perfect at the sport. It’s a “practice”. You will never stop learning and getting better at it. Seeing the progress you’ve made since you first started practicing it is very rewarding and gives you a sense of satisfaction…and drive to keep doing it.
BD: List some of your proudest moments in fishing?
Tabby Abbassi: A couple of my proudest moments from this past year would have to be catching my new personal best Mahi-Mahi/Dolphin out of Islamorada (Florida Keys)…that Mahi-Mahi gave me one of the best fights ever! My 2nd favorite highlight of the year was hooking up with my first huge Tarpon while surf fishing this past October. I was using live mullet when I hooked the Tarpon…talk about an adrenaline rush!!! My heart was pounding for a good hour after this experience. My 3rd favorite moment was catching my personal best Black Drum in Gulf Waters (Cedar Key, FL). This fish was a monster…45”…that Big Black Drum left me covered in Fish Slime. I actually caught two that size that same day…it was a day to remember!