Longtime mortgage lending executive Jane Floyd reels in some whoppers when she's not in the office.
Executive: Jane Floyd, 59, branch manager at NFM Lending, a Tampa-based mortgage lending firm. Floyd has been in the mortgage lending industry for nearly three decades and for many years owned and operated her own company, Diversified Home Mortgage Inc.
Diversion: Fishing. Floyd has been an avid angler for about 18 years. She began fishing with her son, Dillon, now 27, and has become addicted to the thrill of landing big catches from Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the waters around the Florida Keys. She and her husband Hank reside in South Tampa and own a Viking sportfishing boat, which they use to reach fishing spots as far as 50 miles offshore. The activity is usually an affair for the whole family, with Dillon and his fiancee, Bailey — also an avid fisherwoman — joining them. Dillon has embraced the hobby with equal enthusiasm, buying a flats boat so the family can fish shallow inshore areas around Old Tampa Bay and Weedon Island.
Small but mighty: Don’t let Floyd’s size — she’s a lean 4’11” — fool you: She can land some trophy fish. She’s hauled in large specimens of grouper, red snapper and dolphin (the fish, not the mammal, also known as mahi-mahi). “I love catching the big fish,” Floyd says. “Sometimes it’s like, ‘OK, I can’t bring this fish out.’ Obviously, it takes a little strength, but it’s really just all about technique. When you are trying to bring up a big fish, it’s mind over matter.” She says a 45-pound dolphin is probably her biggest catch to date —and she has her sights set on landing a sailfish and eventually a marlin.
Ladies first: Floyd says she’s not surprised more young women like Bailey, her future daughter-in-law, are getting into fishing. “I think fishing is just one of those things that you either really like or don’t like,” she says. “For women, maybe they’ve just never tried it. Maybe all it takes is more exposure to it.” Floyd often fishes with one of her best friends, a woman who grew up in Key Largo, and they competed in a charity tournament last year along with two other women on their team. “I’ll post a picture and some other women will say, ‘Oh my God, I love to fish!’ I think it’s just something that a lot of [women] don't talk about, because it’s perceived as a man’s sport.”
Going viral: The pandemic has led to more fishing trips for Floyd and her family. With restrictions on many other social activities, the call of the sea has only grown louder. “Recently, we’ve been going out every couple of weeks, depending on the weather,” she says. “With everything else [closed], you’re so cooped up, so you’re seeing a lot more people out on boats.”
Back to nature: Floyd enjoys the thrill of the chase, but she also appreciates the more relaxing aspects of angling. “I love all of it,” she says. “The connection to the outdoors, the sky, the water, especially when you are way out — it’s so peaceful; it’s nothingness. But I’m also very competitive and love catching fish.” Fishing, for Floyd, is also a welcome break from her fast-paced day job — “we’re insanely busy,” she says of the mortgage industry — and allows her to totally detach from work on weekends.
Treat yourself: Floyd, amid a gale of laughter, declines to estimate how much money she has spent on her fishing hobby over the years. “I’d be embarrassed to even try to answer that,” she says. “I’m on speakerphone and the girls at work here with me are laughing. A lot of women like to shop and buy expensive purses … I like fishing gear! We all have our priorities, right? I work really hard and that’s what I like to spend my money on.”
Keep learning: Floyd also isn’t afraid to get out of her fishing comfort zone. For many years, she had no interest in fly-fishing, thinking it looked boring, but a recent trip to Bozeman, Mont., changed her mind. “I'm hooked now; it was just incredible,” she says of her time casting about in the chilly rivers of the Treasure State. “I mean, you're catching tiny little trout, but it's a totally different technique, and you’re looking at the mountains all around you. It’s more about being out in nature, and I loved it. I’ll do it again.”
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