Recently, I pondered the previous years accomplishments and asked myself if I thought we did well for our first year as a non-profit organization. I never expected the impact that COVID would have on our ability to raise funds, I new the government was slow to approve things, but never figured they would be as slow as they were, and I wondered if my own experience would be enough to gauge success of each outing on. Well, the latter was definitely a big "No." I'm not selling myself short because we did catch quite a few fish, but I quickly learned that local charter captains know the waters, know the fish and know where to fish when conditions are less than optimal. Yours truly struggled in that respect. However, all in all the year went very well as we gained new members and set our goals for 2021. As we began 2021 and experienced fishing in colder than normal weather with winds that just did not seem to quit, I realized my experience had been limited to pretty much a "fair weather" fisherman. This would have to change if I really wanted to gain an understanding of fishing habits throughout the year. It will also be one of the keys to success as we compete in the January and February tournaments.
After looking at our past experiences of ending up on the occasional sand bar and failing to get in close enough to catch tailing reds through skinny water, I realized that if we were going to be competitive and if I was going to be able to get into some of the many areas where fish were holing up, we would need a boat with a much shallower draft. I admit, the comfort of our current Sportsman Tournament 234 is something that we have truly enjoyed. However, more often than not, it has left us wishing we could get into places that would never be possible with the 14 to 16 inch draft. For this reason, I have contemplated selling the bay boat and returning to the success of a Flats boat. While the frills of electronic power steering and a high fidelity sound system are nice to have, we are in the business of putting our clients on fish.
Whatever changes we elect to make over the next few weeks, we want you to share in the enjoyment. Become a part of our organization and experience the joy of fishing. Unlike that Sunday picnic where you might relax with the family under a tree, you will get to experience the rush of speeding through the shallows, the adrenaline of fighting the big one and the thrill of landing that once in a lifetime fish.
As always, Casting for a Cause Disabled Veterans Foundation places the highest priority on veterans suffering from any number of disabilities. However, we are open for anyone that would like to join our organization. We value the support of each member and each contributor and we look forward to getting you on the water.