Volunteers prep the kayaks for deserving veterans.
Newly appointed H.O.W. Outreach Coordinator and wounded warrior Cesar Silva and Samantha take a break from paddling.
Cesar Silva with a South Shore speckled trout
A small spoil island gave all the anglers the opportunity to get out, stretch their legs, meet other anglers, and wet a line on this beautiful Tampa Bay day.
A very slow tide and windy conditions made for some really slow fishing. Speckled trout seemed to be the only thing biting, except for the primo catfish Sam and I were sitting on. Sam got to be a real pro casting cut bait under a bobber, catching one after the other. It was good practice for what would come later, when a very frisky bonnethead shark took her bait. She would have been gone for a Tampa Bay sleigh ride if not for my trusty stakeout pole that we were both tied to. After a short but fierce battle, the shark got its way and broke the leader. Not long after, Cesar saw the same shark hit his cut bait, only to have the hook pull after a good run.
A testimonial from one of the anglers;
“After completing my first outing with Heroes on the Water Tampa Bay Chapter, I was truly amazed at how the chapter treated me and my family. With great care, they assisted my loved one in obtaining the confidence she needed to tackle kayak fishing. Bill Howard was our guide for this fishing adventure on this H.O.W. outing. Bill understood that I knew what I was doing as a beginner kayak angler, but showed compassion, understanding, and patience, with showing her how to fish. It truly touched me when they showed great care in taking care of not only me, but my family as well. If you truly want a great fishing experience, and are a wounded warrior like myself, contact the H.O.W. Tampa Bay Chapter for further details.
Thanks, Cesar Silva”.
From the beginning, the Tampa Bay Chapter’s goal has been, “Whatever it takes to get vets on the water, we’ll do it!” It’s not about us - it’s about the vets and their families that need the healing powers of being on the water. Those of us that do it know that feeling, and we want to share it with those that have given so much so that we can do what we love.
Our next event will be held on Saturday, 2 June 2012, at Fort Desoto. Until then…