Fishing for Warriors brings major players in the recreational fishing industry together to honor and empower America’s returning war vets.

Wounded Warrior, Retired Corporal Chris Langston – USMC. Chris was injured a few years back in Iraq when his HumVee was damaged with an IED bomb.

Florida Sportsman, Yamaha Marine, Costa Del Mar, and the Guy Harvey Foundation together announced the “Fishing for Warriors” contest on June 13, 2013, an ongoing Florida-based initiative that welcomes home returning U.S. warriors by hosting them on recreational fishing trips on Florida waters.

“Fishing for Warriors” unites returning war veterans with volunteer anglers who will take the returning heroes out for a day’s fishing, fresh air, and healthy exercise as a personal welcome home and thank you for their service.

For more information, contact Rick@floridasportsman.com

 


Kings with Capt. Roger
August 2017

A great day’s fishing was long overdue for vets like Dennis Deveen. He served in Vietnam and came home when we as a people didn’t understand quite what a debt we owed our heroes. He was joined by vets that have served in more recent conflicts, covering everywhere from the Med, to Afghanistan. Capt Roger Walker hosted the trip aboard his “Streaker”

Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing for Warriors has proven to be a great resource for companies like Yamaha, Costa, Dandee Foods and the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation to thank the men and women that defend our way of life.

-Rick Ryals
 


Snapper with Strickland
August 2017

Billy Schofield served our country aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hancock. Incredibly Billy told us the flight deck was made of wood. That means our thanks for his service was long overdue.

Captain Mike Strickland and Capt. Eddie Smith thanked Billy the best way we know how. We may not be able to keep red snapper, but that doesn’t mean that Billy and family couldn’t have a ball catching them and letting them go.

Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing For Warriors” enables companies like Yamaha, Costa, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and Dandee Foods a chance to tell our heroes THANKS!!

-Rick Ryals
 


Billfish for Biggs
August 14, 2017

Getting the honor of taking Purple Heart Recipient Jordan Biggs out for his 3rd attempt to release a sailfish was a huge honor for me and my crew on “The Seven”.

Jordan has been very busy lining up new combat vets for our trips since he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. Once he told me a sailfish was on his bucket list, it was game on!!

Congratulations Jordan. It was an honor to have you on “The Seven”

Jordan’s trip was arranged by Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing for Warriors” program sponsored by Yamaha, Costa Del Mar, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and Dandee Foods.

-Rick Ryals
 


Purple Heart Shark
July 28, 2017

Purple Heart Recipient Jordan Biggs is not about to let stepping on an IED in Afghanistan slow him down.

Yesterday he went offshore with Capt Colin Cordell, slapped this fat shark in the face, took his lunch money, and made him go home and tell his Mama the US Army says hello.

Florida Sportsman loves celebrating our heroes with Yamaha’s “Fishing for Warriors” program. The program is made possible through the help of Costa Del Mar, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and Dandee Foods.

We’ve got 4 more warriors heading out this Sunday.

-Rick Ryals
 


Attack on Kings
July 27, 2017

Captains Mike Strickland and Al Torrans are the latest Captains that deserve our thanks for turning over their boats to help our warriors.

Great weather and even better fishing has made it possible for us to take more warriors fishing this year than ever before. We actually have warriors out this morning, and we’ve got reinforcements scheduled for Sunday to continue the attack on Northeast Florida’s fish.

Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing for Warriors” is made possible through the efforts of Yamaha, Costa, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and Dandee Foods. As long as our warriors continue to defend our freedoms, the great fishermen of Florida, will continue to try and thank them for all they’ve done.

-Rick Ryals
 


Kings and Cobia
July 16, 2017

When the kingfish and cobia snuck into the “Southeast Hole” off Mayport Florida, Captains Roger Walker, Mike Strickland, Al Torrans, Clay Phillips, and Eddie Smith knew just what to do. Purple heart recipient Jordan Biggs was placed in charge of assembling a team of heroes involving Army, Navy, and Marines that are either active duty, or had served in our world’s worst places to launch an attack on the unsuspecting invaders.

All told, 14 warriors battled over 50 kingfish with each warrior taking some home, and releasing plenty. Every Captain, along with myself is finding out just what a humbling experience it is to serve our nation’s heroes.

We are currently in our fourth year of Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing For Warriors” program. The program is exploding and so is the support for it. Yamaha, Costa, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and Dandee Foods all make these trips possible.

-Rick Ryals
 


The Real Heroes
July 6, 2017

It’s been a busy week so far for Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing For Warriors”.

None of us know how to thank Army Sgt Frank Gayle for his 24 years of service including 2 tours in Iraq, or Sgt Adrian Varragan for his 16 years of service including 2 Iraqi tours. Corporal Kenny Brown was injured in a mortar attack in Aphganistan, while Corp Dan Hayes specialized in power line mechanics.

These men are true heroes, and Capts. Roger Walker and Eddie Smith were proud to host them on a day’s offshore fishing to thank them for their service.

“Fishing for Warriors” is made possible through the efforts of Yamaha, Costa Del Mar, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, and Dandee Foods.

-Rick Ryals
 


A Trip for Tyler
September 8, 2016

When Army Landmine Specialist Tyler Hiltner stepped on an IED in Afghanistan he had no idea what the future would hold for him.

Mark Lacovara and I got to know Tyler, who lives in Jacksonville, back in May, when we took him fishing aboard Mark’s fabulous 39 Sea Vee the Sweat Equity as part of Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing for Warriors” program. We knew he had a good time. The tuna and mahi did their part. As I always do, I made sure Tyler had my number with specific instructions to call me if he ever needed anything.

It kind of made me nervous when Tyler and I reconnected today. He says he’s doing well. His back is manageable, and he once again spoke of his incredible gratitude for his trip. He said it actually “scared the crap” out of him when he saw Mark’s four Mercury 300’s on the Sweat Equity transom. Keep in mind that he had never met any of us, and believe it or not he said he kept wondering what our agenda was. “For private citizens to make me feel like a king for a day, was indescribable. You guys took a day out of your lives and dedicated it, and all that money, to taking a guy like me on the trip of a lifetime. I’ll never forget it. I’m afraid I’ve gotten hooked on something I may never get to do again.”

Tyler’s life has changed forever. He will spend the rest of it focusing on pain management from his injuries. It shook me up when he said “There is something I need to talk with you about, Capt. Rick. I do have a problem… I’m out of mahi!” I’ll bet we can fix that!

-Rick Ryals
 


Kings on the Kingpin
August 19, 2016

Mike with one of the kingfish he caught.

When Capt. Matt Matheson and I complained about the heat on the day Mike Blackney (USN) fished aboard Matt’s boat “Kingpin” he could only laugh at us. He has spent 23 years in the Navy, and after doing multiple tours in both Afghanistan, and Iraq, trolling across a calm ocean sure felt good to him. Capt Matt was thrilled to host Mike as part of Florida Sportsman’s “Fishing For Warriors.” Mike went home with three kingfish, and was already planning a neighborhood fish fry.

No we can’t thank Mike enough for keeping us safe, but at least we can take him fishing.

Mike’s trip was made possible through the efforts of Yamaha, Costa Del Mar, The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, The Duval family of Auto dealers, and Dandee Foods.

 
-Rick Ryals
   

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