Neighborhood: University Park
Neighbor since: 2005
Jeanette Wirz has found comfort in fishing since she began catching fish with just a hand line and a roll of string — no pole — as the sun rose after overnight shifts at nursing school.
That was 50 years ago, in Massachusetts, before she took trips to Alaska and Costa Rica to trick sockeye salmon and blue marlin into taking the bait.
“I can put a line in the water of my own swimming pool and be happy,” Wirz, 75, says.
Shortly after moving in 2005 to University Park from the Midwest, Wirz, retired from her nursing career, met the former president of the Lakewood Ranch Anglers Club at church.
In 2007, she became the first female member in the club’s history.
She served two years as the club’s vice president, before becoming president this year.
She’s especially proud of the Anglers Club’s annual Youth Fishing Tournament, a free competition and teaching seminar for children ages 5 to 15.
IN HER OWN WORDS:
On her most memorable fishing trip:
“Four years ago, I went with some of the Anglers Club members to the Kenai River in Alaska. I saw a brown bear belly-flopping in the water. I caught halibut and salmon and sent it back
to some friends.”