We Love to Fish 2014 – Mid Year Update

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Atlas Jack Plate
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Strike King
Lews Fishing
Lews Fishing

Happy We Love to Fish Angler (7)

A Happy We Love to Fish Angler

by Rob Lever – Director of We Love to Fish

Having a mission to find that perfect day on the water for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities is not always easy.   When I started We Love to Fish three years ago I knew that I wanted to share my passion with others, and it only took me a few trips to realize the impact it was having on the guests on my boat. Countless hours of planning added to the hours with my guests have added up to a solid program that is growing.

The first year of We Love to Fish we took 20 trips and it has grown each year. It is now a full time social enterprise that is on pace to do 85 trips this year. The amazing part is the willingness to help from our support team and generous support of others. With their help each trip is free of charge to the guest. That was my promise when I started We Love to Fish and will continue for as long as I’m a part of the organization.

Each offseason we plan for the next season and when the planning for this season started I knew it was important to work on securing a new bigger boat for the program. Doing our trips from an older 18 foot bass boat was challenging. I wanted to get a bigger boat to make the trips more comfortable and also be able to take more people out at once. I am so happy to say that with the support of Elite Series Angler Josh Bertrand we were able to purchase our dream boat for the program, a beautiful 2012 Z9 Nitro with 250 Mercury Pro XS.

Bertrand, a young angler who has made a living as a guide in Arizona worked with us to make the sale work. He was patient while we secured funding and helped work out shipping from Arizona to Massachusetts. Without him we would not of reached our goal and when asked Bertrand why he helped out the program he said that the boat “was meant to take people fishing”. The guests of We Love to Fish can’t thank Josh enough for his support and we know many guests will enjoy this boat for years to come.

We Love to Fish New Boat

We Love to Fish’s New Boat

It is with the support of people like Bertrand and many others in the fishing industry that makes this program what it is. Our support team is filled with many amazing companies that give me the ability to do the work that I’m so passionate to do. I cannot do this alone and this team is what makes the fishing world so amazing!

Now that we have talked about the behind scenes of life at We Love to Fish, let’s talk about the fishing. In the past during these updates I have talked about the success of individual trips. This year is no different. In the over 40 trips we have already taken year to date each guest continues to excel and leave us with a new found passion for fishing. Many returning guests are becoming better all-around fisherman and continue to work on their goals by using fishing as a therapeutic way to deal with their disability.

This year’s new guests have also been amazing. Each trip serves to renew my passion for the sport I love, and every trip is centered on the guest. Their faces light up with each bend of the rod and fight from the fish. I can’t even explain how amazing it is to see each catch their first fish and I sit their beaming with every catch.

As I said earlier, the work we are doing isn’t always easy. Giving the person centered trips we give to our guests needs planning and requires help from many to serve our mission. Every step of the way I have been blown away with the support.

I know that We Love to Fish will serve our mission for many years to come and I am so excited to have many more guests find that perfect day on the water. Please look for more updates about our future trips and I encourage you share your passion with others.

To learn more about We Love to Fish please visit us at welovetofish.org, and please look at the photo gallery below to get a sense of what I get to experience every day.