Jaime Lynn Buffington is well known in Fairfield, Maryland fishing circles. “Everybody who knows me knows I’m a huge fisherman,” Buffington says.
Jaime grew up fishing with her grandfather at the Maryland shore. Her passion for the sport led her to competitive fishing, eventually winning a tournament in Baltimore. But Jaime’s greatest achievement occurred when she competed in the 44th Annual White Marlin Open in Ocean City as a team member of the Women’s Offshore Alliance—the first all-female group to participate in the tournament.
In three days of competition, this six-woman team caught a white marlin but was unable to keep it on board. No one felt dejected though, because the “team’s overall goal is not to win tournaments, but to disprove the stereotype that fishing is a sport solely for men.”
Successfully competing with the guys was demonstrated on one of the days when the weather conditions were terrible. Waves were coming over the side of the boat. Out of 353 boats registered for the event, only 136 went out, and Jaime’s crew was among those fighting the weather. That was significant, as it proved a point—if the guys can do it, the gals can, too.
Nikki George and her husband formed the Women’s Offshore Alliance after an experience Nikki had while fishing with a group of men who attempted to help her (as capable as she was) land a fish. That’s when the light bulb went off. There could be huge benefits for a women-only group to educate lady anglers.
With the aid of social media “to spread the word” and a sponsorship from Everglades Boats, the group was able to ramp up quickly for the White Marlin Open. The current six members are hopeful they can grow the Women’s Offshore Alliance into a regional, and maybe even national organization.