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Kat Vallilee is a passionate angler that is in the process of redefining commitment in the sport. Her focus on permit fishing is well-known, and her world records and tournament efforts show a singular focus on achievement instead of recognition. Not content to break just any world record, Kat set her sights on the Women’s 4lb tippet permit record in 2016, which was vacant. She set this record with the second permit she hooked on four-pound, a 3.5-pound fish with Captain Eworth Garbutt in Punta Gorda, Belize.
At home in Key West she was putting her efforts towards the permit tournaments, placing third in three events between 2015 and 2020. Last year, two catches of hers set the permit world into chatter: the first was a 21-pound fish she caught with Mako Ambassador Brandon Cyr, breaking a record that had stood for over 20 years. A few weeks later she set out to break her own 4-pound world record, believing that the bar could be raised higher. With Captain Nick Labadie and friend Wes Smith, she beat her own record by nearly 300%, landing a 9.5-pound fish in just 20 minutes using 4-pound tippet. Both records were measured and released to fight another day.
Besides her work at her fly shop, the Angling Company, Kat is a committed conservationist.