Passions for the sport of fishing can be unique to every individual. They can be fickle; changing from styles, techniques, new species to getting involved in new communities and much more. Passions can also be rigid and fierce; dedicated to your favorite style day-in-and-day-out.
The word passion, in its Latin root “pati”, means to suffer. To be passionate about something is to choose discomfort over comfort.
It’s through suffering, trials, and struggles that test our passion and our will power to continue on no matter how painful it is. Tiffany Risch, our latest Fishing Chick, embodies what it means to be passionate about the sport of fishing.
Born and raised in Virginia, Tiffany Risch, known to many as Snookie Fishing on social media, grew up fishing with her family as a pastime. It wasn’t until 2014 when the passion for fishing came beckoning after her grandfather had passed away from a mixture of kidney disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Her grandfather, or “Paw-Paw” as she calls him, was the catalyst to finding her love for the outdoors. His passing took a heavy toll on Tiffany. “I often felt like I was in a vertigo episode of negative emotions. I battled a period of darkness often feeling lost, lonely and confused.” After a period of mourning, Risch realized the impact he had created in her life and the healing that it brought.
“I would never let sadness change all the years of him molding my character. Fishing in our lake, I came to my senses. It was something about God’s country and the peacefulness of the lake that shocked all that negativity out of me like a lightning bolt. I was reminded that no matter who Paw-Paw ran into he always introduced me as his Snookie because he saw the world through me. This fishing rod in my hand was like a magic wand bringing so much clarity to what I needed to do as a woman. I began to care less about objects and more about moments. My hobbies changed. The outdoors was now healing and I wanted nothing more than to explore what he had guided me too.”
Risch has since then dedicated her life to the sport of fishing, resigning from her full-time position with a local hunting and fishing company to pursue her fishing career. She has worked as a deckhand and worked alongside some of the best anglers in the business honing her skills and knowledge of the sport in freshwater and saltwater fishing alike. “I am currently building my brand, Snookie Fishing to showcase my abilities as an angler and more importantly as an independent woman. Being self-employed offers flexibility but it often can be distracting to the reality of real-world adult responsibilities. I knew this would be a challenge when the weather broke for the fishing season. Setting goals, booking shows, and creating expectations of what I should accomplish was the only way I could stay on task.” Tiffany continues to gather fishing knowledge ranging from bass fishing from her Vibe Kayak, sight fishing for cobia, trolling for Spanish mackerel in the Chesapeake Bay to fishing for sharks in Galveston, Texas and peacock bass in Florida.
The passion she suffers for does not only come through mentally but physically as she recently overcame medical conditions that limited her mobile capabilities. One of her proudest moments coming from her latest fishing trips was a 50-inch cobia caught sight fishing from the tower. “Hooking up on a 50-inch cobia from start to finish was very rewarding considering this time last year I could not handle the boat movement much less stand on a tower and not feel ill.” No amount of discomfort or pain would drive Risch away from fishing.
She recognizes the blessings the sport of fishing has brought her and pours back into the same community that she has come to know and love. “I am currently working with the women involved in the Women Making Waves movement uplifting women worldwide. In my continued efforts to inspire other women…My life experiences continue to open doors to my ultimate goal of being an inspiration to other women in the fishing industry.” The newest member of the BD Fishing Chick Family also worked alongside Cast For Kids, volunteering to forty plus children that are battling illnesses for a day of fishing, food, and fun on the James River. With over 50 sponsors (including Green Top and Coke Cola) this event not only touches the lives of the children but also serves the community.
When asked about her future fishing goals, Risch said, “I would like to start some type of annual event that brings women together for a fishing trip. I would also like to continue my fishing journey on the event planning side possibly hosting another kids event in the James River community. The target species that I’m after include tarpon, muskie, red tail catfish and red drum.” Snookie also mentioned that her fishing career would not have happened without the people and companies believing in her story and her passion. We thank Tiffany for sharing her story and passion with us and wish her all the best in her future endeavors!