Fishing For The Physically Challenged Population
Fishing for the physically challenged
population is a great way to bring enjoyment and a feeling of accomplishment to their lives not to mention
giving them a feeling of being part of the community.
A little kindness and time on your part can
bring much happiness in the life of a physically challenged person who either yearns to fish again or needs a
vehicle to help them regain confidence in themselves while being part of the
Your help can make a positive difference in a
person’s life that truly counts.
I want to share a bittersweet personal story
that brought happiness to a person who loved being on the lake again after being sidelined by a debilitating
While working at Bass Pro Shop in Memphis as the supervisor of the Fishing Department, I met this guy named Val who was restricted to a wheel chair due to a
He was a people person and loved to fish.
Back in his early days, Val fished with some of the Pros and knew them all very
He approached me one day and said that he
knew of a fishing tournament for physically challenged individuals scheduled to place in Brownsville Tennessee
and would I like to fish it with him.
I said sure I was up for that kind of thing
and I had just gotten my new boat that had plenty of room. Val was so excited that he was going to get to fish
again and in a tournament.
Val got with me a few days later. He had gone
home and got all the paperwork and brought it to the store for me filling out the parts that I had to such as
Insurance, safety, and mailed it off.
He would zip around the store telling
everyone that he was going to be in this tournament that was coming up and he was so glad to be able to fish
Well, the Saturday morning came up and I was
to pick Val up at 4am. When I rounded the corner, there he was with all his things out by the street. To tell
you the truth, I think he spent the night out there.
We got his things loaded and we were off to
Brownsville. It did not take that long to get there and when we did arrive, the lake was not open yet. With
about 1 1/2 hours to wait, we went to have breakfast and met with some other guys that were going to
As I Looked around, it seemed to me that
everyone had a glow about them and were talking about the old days full of stories about the fish they had
caught in the past. Then it came to me that we take things for granted and do not see what joy we can bring to a
few people who love our sport and have been struck down, but never give up.
After breakfast, we proceeded back to the
lake that was now open with a lot folks there helping with the tournament. They helped get Val into my boat and
secure him to the seat before proceeding to back my boat into the lake.