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South Florida sisters impact fishing industry through YouTube video blogging

The twins used the pandemic’s pause to teach themselves video software and create a stronger online presence.
Captains Emily, left, and Amanda Gale have used the pandemic to create a stronger brand through video blogging. The South Florida twins have more than 50,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel.
Captains Emily, left, and Amanda Gale have used the pandemic to create a stronger brand through video blogging. The South Florida twins have more than 50,000 subscribers on their YouTube channel. [ Emily and Amanda Gale ]
Published Dec. 7, 2020

Emily and Amanda Gale have had a passion for fishing since a young age, starting off the docks of Islamorada.

The South Florida twins out of Weston have spent much of their lives on the water, enjoying what’s right in their backyard. The 25-year-olds found ways to balance their love of fishing with full-time classes and pole vaulting careers at the University of Miami, studying microbiology and immunology until graduating in December 2017.

The sisters began documenting their fishing adventures on a blog in 2018, writing stories about their findings, offering tips and letting their audience get to know them better.

On an ice fishing trip that year, Emily decided she’d add a video component, not knowing how much fun she’d have filming, editing and publishing.

Slowly, the blog transitioned into a vlog. And now, the twins exclusively post videos on their Facebook and YouTube pages.

“We just had a natural tendency,” Emily said. “And it was fun for us.”

Related: ‘The Difficult Discussion’: Tampa’s Ronnie Green talks social justice, more on fishing show

The videos haven’t always been the “meat and potatoes” of their brand, Gale Force Twins. The sisters used to charter full-time, but when the coronavirus pandemic hit Florida in March, charter fishing stopped altogether.

Jobless, they decided to focus on their YouTube presence. The sisters talked to friends who are professional YouTubers and created a job for themselves filming and editing videos.

“When COVID(-19) started, we had about 1,000 subscribers on YouTube,” Amanda said. “We thought it was now or never (to do this).”

This summer, before publishing a video of them docking a 35-foot boat in a 40-foot canal, the Gale twins had about 10,000 YouTube subscribers. After posting it, their channel blew up to 40,000-plus subscribers.

“All of our videos leading up to that (one) were kind of fishing intense videos,” Emily said. “This one was just so simple and it’s something a lot of people struggle with.”

Related: St. Petersburg ranks No. 7 on list of ‘Best Places for Outdoor Enthusiasts’

The twins natural ability to connect with viewers on the joys of fishing is clear. Since March, their following has grown more than 52,000 subscribers and their videos have more than 4 million views.

“We’re still working really hard at it, and it’s opened a lot of doors for us, too,” Amanda said.

There’s no fancy equipment or high-tech programs involved. The twins taught themselves how to use Final Cut Pro, an Apple-based video editing software program, and they film their adventures on a GoPro or an iPhone 12, which features the wide lens they need to capture their footage.

Because of their vlogging, the Gale twins don’t have to charter anymore outside of their fishing camps and events, which started in August with an overnight trip to Yankee Capts Pulley Ridge. Their next event is scheduled for May 2021.

“It’s always been a goal of ours,” Amanda said. “On a fishing charter, I can teach the person in front of me, but on YouTube, I can teach the world.”

Have an outdoor adventure we should try? Curious about the ins and outs of fishing seasons in Florida? Know a cool business or owner to profile? Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.