All That ‘Jaz’
Don’t let her adorable dimples and megawatt smile distract you — Jaz (short for Jazmine) Robinson is super-serious about fishing. She’s also delighted to share her knowledge and passion, especially with other women of color.
On her blossoming Instagram account, Castaway_Jaz takes 4,000 followers along virtually when she goes fishing. “Just a sista who loves to fish” is how she describes herself.
Though Jaz is the first to tell you that she’s not a guide or an expert, she’s happiest when teaching others that it’s all about the fishing, not the catching — a lesson learned eight years ago from a now-ex-boyfriend.
“We had date nights on the lake,” she recalls. “I wasn’t very patient, and it was a while before I caught my first little fish. But when I did, I was hooked, literally!”
While the relationship didn’t last, fishing did.
“I wanted to go all the time,” she says. “I wanted to target other species. I wanted to see if I could do it on my own.”
She went on YouTube and started figuring it out, though she found her real education on the water.
“I tell people that the best lessons are when you mess up out there,” Jaz says, with a lot of wisdom at 33. “You have to figure out what’s not working and then switch up some things and cast out again. Once you get a bite, you log that: This is the pattern they’re going after, so I want to keep doing that. I learned to do that with every single species.”
A resident of Duncanville (near Dallas), Jaz often fishes at the local pond where she caught her first fish, Lakeside Park.
“My passion and interest seem to allow people to gravitate toward me,” she says. “They ask me for tips and advice; sometimes they just want to touch my fish.”
Jaz, who’s been featured in Southern Living and on the cover of Southwest Now magazine, will be a new Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador this year. She hopes all this exposure will help her achieve her dreams of becoming a pro angler and inspiring other women of color.
Those dreams include having her own boat, but for 2022, she’ll put on her Castaway_Jaz hat (buy one from her new line), make some instructional videos for her own YouTube channel and take even more women fishing.
Jonathan Vail | TPWF
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