Nicole Fel Dotto, otherwise known as her famous instagram handle @thesaltyblonde lives and breathes all things Fishe. Hailing from New Hampshire, Nicole makes the absolute most of the 18 miles of coastline her tiny but mighty state has to offer. Nicole’s work and play look quite similar… As her day job she fishes for lobster and crab. For recreation, she can be found fishing, surfing, SCUBA diving or just about any other activity that involves salt water. Cheers to Nicole for being the East Coast’s fishiest gal!
What is your earliest memory of fishing?
I started fishing with my dad when I was very young, he’s a marine biologist and taught me about all the fish and sea creatures here off the East Coast. He instilled my love of the ocean from day one. When I was younger, I used to care more about seeing all the cool fish than actually catching them; He'd put them in a big cooler for a minute so I could look at them while he'd tell me all about them and then we’d release them back into the ocean. To this day I still love seeing all the cool sea creatures that we sometimes find in our lobster traps. If some cool critters come up in the trap, it will take me 10x longer to get through our gear because I have to look at every sea creature.
What is your dream fishing location?
A stereotype about fisher people that is not true is…
“That fisher people do not care about the oceans, and every creature in them.” Fishermen get such a bad rap for their livelihood. When in reality just about every fisherperson wants to see our ecosystems flourish. If not, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot. Without thriving fisheries we wouldn't have anything for future generations or even ourselves to harvest. While there will always be people who try to cut corners and don't care about anyone or anything but themselves, there are an overwhelming number of us that do care about our oceans and the fish we harvest. It's all about knowing where your seafood comes from, and who your fisher people are!
Of the many species you fish for, what is your favorite to eat and how do you cook it?
This is a tie for me. For cooked fish, I love black sea bass blackened and cooked on the grill for fish tacos. For raw fish, one of my absolute favorites is yellow or bluefin tuna fresh off the boat for sushi or poke bowls!
What is your favorite part of sharing your fishing experiences on social media?
Meeting more female anglers and getting to follow along with their rad adventures. Social media really did help me break out of my shell and fear of talking to other women. I learned that not all women want to see you fail, the real and genuine women want to raise you up and see you succeed. If I didn't start this page I'd still be terrified of befriending women after I was bullied for many years.
Something you may not know about me…
I’ve been working on boats for over a decade.
Other than fishing, how do you like to spend your free time?
I love scuba/freediving, surfing/boogie boarding, clam digging. Anything on the ocean really most of my days off are still spent fishing and on the water. I also love roller hockey, and in the winter pond hockey, skiing both downhill and cross country.