I have always considered fishing to be therapeutic in nature. It sooths my soul and relieves the everyday tensions of life. Hell’s Bay Boatworks, recently provided some fishing therapy to active duty airmen at Patrick AFB on Florida’s Space Coast. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than the men and women who work daily to protect our freedom.
It all started when Wendi Peterson met a lady at a boat show with a bass fishing organization that took soldiers fishing. Wendi and her husband own Hell’s Bay Boatworks in a 50/50 partnership in which they split business related tasks. Wendi is VP/COO, handling the day to day operations of the factory, marketing and factory operations. Chris is President, CEO/CFO handling accounting, legal, insurance, and government issues. It’s important to know however, at Hell’s Bay CFO stands for “Chief Fishing Officer!”
One thing led to another and the idea of taking local active military personnel was formed. “It didn’t take long for Wendi and Chris to agree,” said Hell’s Bay Director of Sales and Marketing Capt. Todd Fuller. “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.”
The logistics was relatively easy since Patrick AFB is bordered on the west by the Banana River, a great fishery filled with grass flats, spoil islands and docks; the perfect habitat for inshore game fish like redfish, trout, flounder and seatrout.
The result was a very successful outing giving the airmen a chance to fish and explore the local resources existing right in their backyard. “Everyone, from novice to advanced angler, caught plenty of fish, said a smiling Fuller. “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.”
“We certainly want to express our gratitude to everyone who helped put this together,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, commander, 45th Space Wing. “Anything we can do to give a helping hand for our wounded warriors, or our airmen here at the 45th is a great thing, and this is just another example of the great community we have here on the Space Coast. It’s all about people helping people; it always has been.”
The Patrick event was only the beginning for Space Coast airmen. “We’ll start it on a monthly basis by taking two Patrick airmen fishing with one of Hell’s Bay’s pro staffers,” Fuller added. “The base will have an internal process for the monthly selection of the airmen. We expect this initiative will set the stage for other events expanding it little by little as the word grows in coastal areas of other bases.”
NBC Sport Network’s American Hero Experience featured a segment from the event. The video can be viewed by clicking here.
Hell’s Bay is located in Titusville, Fla., at 1520 Chaffee Drive. For upcoming special events or to view the model lineups’ many features and benefits visit hellsbayboatworks.com . Or, contact Todd Fuller via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 321-383-8223.
Keep up with Ron’s latest Examiner updates by clicking on the subscribe button. A notice will be sent to you each time a new article is published.
Use the comment section below to add your thoughts to the conversation.
Angler Alert: Don’t forget to log you catch online at the Angler Action Program.