Hell's Bay Boatworks launched a fishing event for Patrick Air Force Base airmen with professional guides in a segment featured on the NBC Sports Network’s "American Hero Experience."
“With much pride and honor, we’ve kicked off the Hell's Bay Boatworks Military Appreciation Initiative, one we feel strongly about,” Hell’s Bay sales and marketing director Todd Fuller said in a statement. “And we give a special thanks to Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, commander, 45th Space Wing, and the staff at Patrick for making this first event a great success, letting us show our appreciation for all they do to protect our freedom.”
Co-owner Wendi Peterson met a lady at a boat show who worked with a bass fishing organization taking soldiers fishing, Fuller said in a statement.
“There are several of these, like Project Healing Waters, where in Bradenton we recently took 13 wounded veterans saltwater fly fishing, some for the first time,” Fuller said. “It was suggested we also consider active military personnel. It didn’t take long for she and husband Chris to agree. We all loved the idea, proposing a fishing trip to officials at Patrick Air Force Base in nearby Melbourne, pairing over a dozen airmen with seven of our Hell’s Bay pros and their skiffs. They accepted.”
Centered on Florida’s Space Coast, Patrick borders the Atlantic Ocean and the Banana River System, a fishery filled with grass flats, spoil islands and docks and the perfect habitat for inshore gamefish such as redfish, trout, flounder and sea trout.
“It was a very successful outing, giving the airmen a chance to fish and explore the local resources right in their back yard,” Fuller said. “Everyone, from novice to advanced angler, caught plenty of fish. We finished with a barbecue lunch and the airmen swapping lots of fishing stories. Our pro team members probably enjoyed it as much as the airmen.”