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Top 5 | Fishing with Sue Daignault

Updated: Feb 20

A Massachusetts native, Sue Daignault spent her childhood summers surfcasting for striped bass with her parents and three siblings along the beaches of Rhode Island and Cape Cod. She graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1983, with a degree in marine engineering. For 30 years, she served in the U.S. Coast Guard, including postings from Alaska to Louisiana. She moved to Maine in 1989, travels to the tropics each winter to pursue bonefish, tarpon and permit whenever possible, though Maine’s own trout and stripers hold a special place in her heart. She is a retired an occupational safety consultant, but is now a Registered Maine Guide and Certified Casting Instructor with Fly Fishers International. She resides in Harpswell, Maine with her spouse, Karen, spending many of her days fishing the fresh and salt waters of Maine.

Since Sue has written a book about fishing we asked to name her top five favorite fish.

After much deliberation, this was her list:

1. Striper

While on Plum Island alone in the middle of the day, a striper blitz developed, pinning them against the beach and I landed a 40-inch striper along with many others.

2. Bonefish

During a week-long excursion to Long Island, Bahamas with 7 other anglers, on the final day an 8-pound bonefish hit me, tried to spool me three times as I left our guide in the mud chasing him down the flat.

3. Tarpon

My first and largest tarpon ever, caught off Miami Beach, Florida with a guide, drifting shrimp in the rip. My guide had to hold onto me to keep me from going over the side.

4. New Zealand Brown Trout

A New Zealand brown trout took me across and down the river up to my chest as I jumped in after him. I swam down the river 200 feet to chase him and my friend had to reach out to grab me before I drifted by.

5. Halibut

As a junior officer in the Coast Guard, on my last week on the Firebush, I landed a 152-pound halibut not far from Kodiak, Alaska.

Her book, A Full Net, is available now.


Susan “Sue” Daignault was practically born with a rod and reel in her hand. Nearly from her birth, she and her family spent entire summers surfcasting for striped bass along the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. That love has followed her through her days in the Coast Guard and to her home on the coast of Maine and to some of the most beautiful, and fishy, places in the world. In her fun and fascinating new book, A Full Net, Sue shares with readers how she became “fish-brained,” and a woman increasingly driven to pursue everything from bonefish and tarpon to bass and, of course, stripers—wherever and whenever she could. What shines through all of her stories of success, failure, and friendship is a love for the waters of the world and the respect and admiration for the fish who call them home.

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