Anyone who has spent time on social media or by the ponds in The Villages may recognize Sherron Miller, a local with a welcoming smile, and a love for sharing her passion for fishing with people.
Miller, a retired middle school teacher from Wewahitchka, a rural town on Florida’s panhandle, finds herself fishing almost every other day. Some days she may end up with an empty hook, others she may reel in an eight pound bass, which she always releases. Regardless, Miller loves coming out to the water to observe nature and to have the chance to be outside.
“On my way home from the ponds, I’m like, ‘Thank you Jesus.’ Where else can you live and ride around in a golf cart with the fresh air blowing in your face,” Miller said.
She traces her love of fishing back to her childhood, growing up on a farm near the Alabama border. With the nearest neighbor five miles away, Miller said she remembers devising various forms of entertainment with siblings — many times leading them to the creek that ran through the family’s property.
“We were fishing all the time,” Miller said. “But just enjoyment fishing. Just throw a line out there kind of fun.”
This passion continued with her husband, a game warden for Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who she would fish with on a regular basis. However, Miller took a hiatus from fishing after her husband passed away, mostly due to the isolating conditions of her small town.
“I was afraid to go fishing since it was so remote. If I had tripped over a vine and hit my head, nobody would have found me for weeks,” Miller said.
After moving to The Villages two years ago to be closer to her son, Miller found herself drawn to the water she’d drive by. It wasn’t until her first spring in town that Miller decided to grab her fishing gear to test out the waters.
Miller said since fish typically bite better in springtime, she was having a lot of luck.
“I was thinking, ‘this is a lot of fun bringing in these fish,’” she said. “So one thing led to another.”
With the help of her son, the two created a channel on TikTok, which now has attracted over 150,000 followers. Every video on the channel captures Miller’s southern charm, exemplified as she invites users to join her to fish.
“It’s time to go fishing, y’all,” is a regular phrase heard on Miller’s videos.
Sometimes Miller bumps into fans who have traveled some distance — such as Brazil — in hopes of meeting and fishing alongside the local celebrity. And the recognition extends beyond the ponds, whether at the store or trick-or-treating with her grandchildren, Miller finds herself getting stopped by strangers who share her passion.
“That is the whole reason I’m on there,” Miller said. “Just to encourage people and hopefully brighten their day just a little bit.”
To learn more about the type of fish in the pond and fishing policies in The Villages: https://www.districtgov.org/departments/Recreation/images/FishingMapAndInfo.pdf