This Cali girl and recent Texas transplant is fishing in brand-new waters.
Name: Gianna Goots
Hometown: Livermore, California
Current Residence: Fort Worth, Texas
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in northern California until I was about 13. People used to ask me if my family was military, but my mom just liked to move us around. I came home from school one day in sixth grade, and my mom told my sister and me to pack up our stuff, and we moved to Norman, Oklahoma. We stayed there for a year and half and moved back to California. I’ve also lived in Arizona. We eventually moved to southern California to be closer to family.
What got you into fishing?
In 2014, I went on a trip to Alaska, and that was when I found my love for fishing. Everyone on the boat got sick except for me, so I was catching limits for everyone on the boat to make sure everyone went home with fish. It was so much fun. I learned how to fillet the fish myself, and when we went in, I got to pack it. I took to it naturally.
You recently moved from California to Texas. What is your favorite thing about Texas so far?
Everything is so new! And there’s a Top Golf 10 minutes from our house! I’m obsessed.
What is your favorite thing to fish for, and where is your favorite place to fish?
My favorite fish is yellowtail because they give such a good fight, and they taste amazing. I recently fished in Costa Rica and loved it, but I’d say southern California in the La Jolla and San Diego areas because I’ve fished there so much.
Do you have a favorite fishing memory?
Hands down the time I fell in trying to gaff a 200-pound Bluefin my boyfriend was reeling in. I had never seen a fish that big in real life, and I had to gaff it because he couldn’t let go of the rod. We were about 40 to 50 miles offshore, he had been fighting it for two hours, and the rod tip had broken. The happy ending is that I managed to get back in the boat with the gaff still in my hand, and the fish was still on the line. He got the fish back up to the boat, and my adrenaline was pumping, and I just stuck it. Then we muscled him in to the boat.
Also when I caught my first yellowfin, I followed the tradition of eating the tuna’s heart.
You’re part of Pelagic team. What do you do for them?
Once I really got into fishing, and we were going out on the boat every weekend, I used to wear regular leggings and old tee shirts, which weren’t great. My boyfriend got me my first pair of leggings, and the fabrics were amazing. I started buying a lot of their product and spending a lot of money. I would post pictures wearing their gear just trying to get noticed and get my face out there. Someone reached out to me, and I was so excited. I model their products, and I get to go out and fish also. They sent us to Costa Rica for a week, and we got to fish in a tournament. I caught my personal best Dorado and my first Pacific sailfish.
What are your hobbies besides fishing?
One of my biggest hobbies that no one really knows about is I like to collect coins. I’ve always had an interest in coins—like the state quarters when I was little. My father passed down a coin collection to me from my great uncle Rayford. Ever since then I have been obsessed with coins. I have the white gloves, a microscope, and a weighing station.
Describe your perfect day.
Waking up on an island and fishing for half a day. Coming back and filleting everything and having a chef prepare it for us. Take a bath in a big Jacuzzi tub, and do it all over again the next day!
Where would you like to go fishing?
We have been wanting to go to Cedros Island in Mexico. There is a fishing charter there called Cedros Outdoor Adventures. It’s a five-day charter, and you catch exotic fish.
Do you see yourself as a role model for other women in fishing?
I actually look up to pro angler Michelle Dalton aka Bombchelle. She is so badass, and she really inspires me. So if someone could look up to me as much as I look up to her, I would be honored.
What are your goals?
I want to work with Niki Jensen and have her teach me how to shoot. I’d like to get into hunting. I want to try noodling. I’m excited to try freshwater fishing and see what fishing in Texas is like.