Follow Michelle on Instagram: @bombchelle_fishing
The word “tomboy” probably isn’t the first adjective you think of when you see Michelle Dalton. Blonde, beautiful and a social media “bombshell” (or @bombchelle_fishing on Instagram) Dalton says her favorite hobbies growing up were racing go-carts, helping her dad fix cars and fishing in the canals and lakes around her home in Florida. By age 6, Dalton was hooked, and she has turned her love for fishing into a career as a member of the women’s professional team for the sport-fishing lifestyle brand Pelagic Gear, and a representative for their women’s clothing line: Pelagic Girl. Here, Dalton tells us what it takes to reel in some of the biggest fish in the sea:
H&B: Sport fishing has taken you around the world. Tell us about your most exciting catch.
There are so many different species of fish that I have caught throughout my life of many different sizes. To pick just one is so difficult! I travel to Costa Rica a few times a year because I have family there; it’s my second home. One of the staple fish there is the rooster fish. The first time I caught one while I was in-shore fishing with live bait, I was expecting to hook one, but never realized the fight they put up. I reeled in this 50-plus-pound rooster fish and brought it right next to the boat about four or five times, but each time it got spooked by the boat and took off again about a hundred yards. It wore me out. Once I finally landed it, I was exhausted, but I felt so accomplished! They are such a gorgeous species.
H&B: Speaking of gorgeous species, they say there are plenty of fish in the sea. If you were a fish, what fish and why?
[Laughing] Of course I’d have to go with the fastest fish in the ocean: the sailfish! They’re one of my favorite fish for many reasons, but to sum it up, they’re smart, pretty and fierce! Being from Florida, the sailfish is our state fish, so maybe I’m a little biased. It probably helps that anglers don’t tend to harvest them either, so I think that I would live a long fish life.
H&B: You have also participated in multiple tournaments around the world. Any competitions you’re hoping to win this year?
I fish a few tournaments every year with my Pelagic Gear team and I always enjoy fishing those because it feels like home with my team, even when we’re in another country. Pelagic Gear is one of many sponsors in the Bisbee’s tournament series — one of the biggest in the world. It’s one of my favorite events because all of the fish that are kept are donated to hungry families in need. Not to mention, the size of these fish and the money involved is just insane [2017 winners were awarded $3,255,750]. The overall vibe is incredible.
H&B: Tell us about your role in the Pelagic Women’s Team.
I started working with Pelagic Gear almost three years ago after they approached me through my social media. I started out as a brand ambassador for their (at the time) new women’s apparel line, Pelagic Girl. My role was to promote their apparel and represent the ocean lifestyle that they possess and that naturally exudes from my veins. After about a year into it, I quickly became part of their pro team, in which I’ve been privileged to be able to fish in tournaments and attend events with them around the globe. They’re my family!
H&B: All of the women on the pro team are impressive anglers. What’s your advice for men who are trying to get their ladies interested in fishing?
I don’t believe fishing as a sport is something you can easily talk someone into wanting to love. You have to be open to it in many ways. It can be dirty, smelly, challenging, tiring after a long day of hard work, and most of all, testing on your patience. Although, I think women do seem to have more patience than men. I’m excited to see more and more lady anglers pop up on social media over the last few years and I think that will certainly influence any woman who may be hesitant about fishing. It breaks down the stereotype that this is a man’s sport.
H&B: You have more than 154,000 followers on Instagram. How has social media influenced your experience in sport fishing?
I consider myself a pretty modest person. I couldn’t be more grateful to have the amount of love and support that comes my way every single day. It certainly makes me want to help others improve or learn new techniques and even more so, to be an inspiration to children. That is important to me. So, I’d say the positive messages that I receive from my social media, especially the people who thank me for being a great role model, is what drives me to continue learning and to always better myself in this sport.
H&B: What is the worst fishing-based pick-up line tried on you.
Any variation of a compliment followed by, “Oh and the fish is nice, too!” And anything relating a snapper to a woman’s privates. It’s played out! At least give me something original!
H&B: Ha! Ok: Let’s say we came up with something original. What’s for dinner if we were on a date?
If I’m cooking on our date, I usually plan according to whatever fresh catch I have in my refrigerator. I’ve been on a piccata kick lately. If we’re going out, I’ll keep it simple. Mexican cuisine is my jam.
H&B: Be honest: Is the “fish n’ hook” your go-to dance move at the club?
Isn’t that every anglers’ favorite move? I’m not crazy about clubs, but I love a good dive bar! To be completely honest, my husband and I tied the knot in January of 2017 and the Fish n’ Hook was the dance that we came out to when we were first introduced as a married couple!
Follow Michelle on Instagram: @bombchelle_fishing