On April 21st we joined The Annapolis, Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishermen’s Association for a day on the bay. 14 vessels set sail out of downtown Annapolis at about 8:30am with 40 wounded warriors on board. The Fishermen were very accommodating. They greeted us with coffee and doughnuts. Three men actually lifted Pat and our dog Wilson on board The Heat Wave, a brand new fishing boat out for the first weekend of the season. The fishermen had been on hiatus over the winter and were itching to get out and catch some Rockfish.
On board The Heat Wave was the Captain Dale, fisherman Bob and fisherman Greg, Nicolas a wounded warrior from Ohio and Pat and me, his wife and caregiver.
We encountered cold winds and rough waters on the way out but about 11:00am the winds died down and it turned into a really nice day on the water. The fishermen rigged the boat up in no time at all. They dropped 12 lines in with huge florescent lures attached to each one. It was amazing to watch these men work and set the lines up making sure none of them would cross in the event we got a bite. We weaved in and out of huge cargo ships near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for close to two hour before we found some action. Nicolas took the line and it was a biggie. The fishermen instructed him to give the line slack, then pull it up and reel it in slowly, then give it a little more slack, pull up and reel it in a little more. Nicolas worked on that rockfish for several minutes while Bob and Greg sat back, heckling him and questioning his manhood. Finally, the fishermen dug out the almighty fishing belt. This belt was just what Nicolas needed he stuck the rod in the rod holder and had much more traction. He reeled that beauty in, a 36-inch rockfish–the whole boat was thrilled.
We were out on the bay until about 1:30pm, yes we returned with only on fish, but hey we had a good day. Only 5 boats out of the 14 caught a fish that morning. So we were still in the running. The Maryland Saltwater Sportsfishermen’s Association put on a nice banquet for us upon our return. One lucky wounded warrior would win the tournament. All five fishes were measured and examined and to our surprise The Heat Wave was the winner and Nicolas went home with a $200 gift certificate. I encourage all wounded warriors in the DC area to look out for this next year. It was a really great event.