By Gaige Davila
The Texas International Fishing Tournament (TIFT) is on schedule for the first weekend of August, for its 81st year.
This year, the TIFT Board of Directors selected Felicia Calo as hostess, a title bestowed on local anglers to promote TIFT. Calo graduated from Port Isabel High School in 2016, then from the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a degree Applied Movement Science with a minor in business. Calo moved to South Padre Island after graduating, and is currently managing Osprey Cruises while getting her personal training certification.
“I’ve fished TIFT every since I was about 2 years old until age of 10 (when my mom passed) with my dad and mom at the docks,” Calo said. “At 16, I started volunteering at the docks and helped out with registration. As I got older, I became more invested in TIFT and grew closer with the people who put it all together and I realized that this was something I wanted to be involved with forever.”
She continued, “After being a scholarship recipient for 4 years, I wanted to give back to them by representing them in the best way I knew how: hostess. It has been a dream of mine since I was very little.”
As TIFT hostess, Calo encourages people to get involved in the tournament.
“Seeing that TIFT has been the best part of my summer, as hostess, I want to share the excitement with the anglers, family, and friends,” Calo said. “The hostess supports those who participate: volunteering, fishing, or spectating for the experience. I offer a helping hand if needed, and keep the energy level high.”
For Calo, any kind of fishing is worthwhile.
“Personally, fishing is fishing: If I have a line in the water, I’m already living my best life,” Calo said. “However, I’ve always loved offshore fishing a tad bit more, just because of the adrenaline rush when you hook a trophy fish, like a marlin, sailfish or dorado. If the fight lasts a bit longer, so does the excitement.”
TIFT takes place this summer from July 29 to August 2, 2020. For a full schedule of TIFT events, visit tift.org/events.