Evolve – From ICAST to We Love to Fish

Lews Fishing
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Atlas Jack Plate
Lews Fishing
Power Pole
Strike King

by Rob Lever

Joe's Big Fish

Joe’s Big Fish from a We Love to Fish Trip

The eve of ICAST is upon us.  This is when the industry’s biggest and best get together to show off all the shiny new things that will be hitting the shelves in the upcoming tackle year.  ICAST also serves as a way to see how the industry has evolved over the years.  With advances in technology fishing has become far more advanced than I think the pioneers in the business ever thought it would become.

Just like the evolution of the fishing industry, We Love to fish has also been evolving.  Meetings, conference calls, and good old fashion gorilla marketing has turned my organization into a cutting edge social enterprise that is growing by the day.  With all the growth our mission has never wavered and our trips are not only changing the life of our guests, but helping me further my passion for sharing fishing with others.

The additions of children and seniors to the program have expanded my schedule from one trip a week to almost three during some weeks.  Each trip has differed in its own way but always seems to produce the same successful outcome as before.

One of the exciting new programs that we launched had its first trip on father’s day.  We decided to offer a guest the ability to bring their dad on the boat to share their experience.  The guest that day was also the youngest we have had so far.  This was the maiden voyage of “Bring your Parent” and one of my favorite trips to date.

The week leading up to the trip brought five straight days of heavy rain and wind.  Each morning I would go look at the water as it grew muddy with the ever worsening weather.  The night before the trip I received a phone call from the father who would be bringing his son.  He raved about how excited he was and said how happy he was to see that the weather called for no wind and not a cloud in the sky.

That was when my anxiety hit an all-time high.  Our trip would happen during the dreaded post front conditions that we all fear.

The morning of the trip was one that most dream about.  Birds chirping, no clouds, and the water looked like glass; the opposite of what I was hoping for.  My plan for the day was to find smallmouth on ledges near flats.  I decided to stick to the plan for the first part of the trip to see what we could find.

Once on the boat my guest and his dad were excited to enjoy their first day of bass fishing.  A short general lesson of casting and boat safety was followed by a short run at our first spot.  You can tell that both had never been in a boat that traveled so fast.  That run produced the first smile of the day, and that smile never left my guests as they defied the odds and got a ton of fish in some of the worst post front conditions I had ever seen.

After our trip I received an email that I wanted to share with you.  This email is now framed in my office.  It will serve as a reminder of how important it is to evolve and chance.

Father and Son Fishing

Father and Son enjoy a day of Fishing with We Love to Fish

 

Rob,
We had a fabulous time today. You are so kind and great at customer care, and Jeremy really did not want to stop…he left after 45mins at his first Redsox [sic] game! I had some things on my mind, but the experience enabled me to put them in perspective and I felt very good to be with my son. Sorry I was not so chatty and thank you for being such a gracious and effective teacher. You have a lot of skills in many areas and I admire your desire to teach your passion of Fishing.  Now even I can say I have been Bass fishing in The USA and scored!  If ever you need a reference. Ask me!  I think we shall be meeting up again!  Enjoy the time with your young family! Best regards,
Laurence

When I first started We Love to Fish I had the mission of helping adults with Intellectual disabilities.  As I have grown I decided to expand and help all ages experience something that they normally wouldn’t get the chance.  Without change I would have never witnessed this father and sons enjoy their day.  It was a day free of life’s normal troubles and everyday issues.

To say that I’m excited to see what the future has in store for We Love to Fish is an understatement.  The growth we have experience in just two seasons is overwhelming and I can’t even imagine what the future will bring.

Something that started as a way to give back has turned into a passion that has taken my life into directions that I never thought possible.   To learn more about our mission visit welovetofish.org, and since you are all fishing junkies like me, follow ICAST RAW right here on Advanced Angler.  DanO and Jason are gonna dig up all the cool stuff and share it with us.  Should be fun, because after all, We ALL Love to Fish.