“We go camping twice a year that’s about all the fishing we do,” he said.
“We tried to get in last year, but didn’t make it. I heard this was a killer program.”
Trusty said the event was worth the wait and thanked the boat captain for helping Kaden.
“He didn’t have his pole set up and the boat captain set it up for him in the boat.”
Saturday’s tournament was a culmination of the program, which included classes spread over two weeks. The kids learned in the classes how to cast, learned how to use artificial and live bait and learned how to clean a fish.
“No doubt if Moose was here he would be especially proud of every one of you,” Martino said prior to the start.
The kids with poles in their hands and smiles on their faces hit the water just before 8 a.m.
“Let’s go fishing,” Martino yelled signifying the start of the tournament.
Prior to the tournament, Martino thanked all the volunteers and instructors.
“The boat captains are the heart and soul of this program.”
Martino also recognized one captain, Jerry Gamblin Sr., for his dedication to the clinic.
“Jerry moved to Florida and said he would come back every year to be a captain. I took that with a grain of salt,” Martino said. “But he’s been back every year. He drove 1,200 miles one way the last 12 to 13 years to be a captain.”
Martino also paid tribute to Jim Ault, a veteran and former volunteer and boat captain, who recently passed away.
“It’s a great day,” Peggy Ault, Jim’s wife, said prior to the tournament.
“Thank the Lord we are here [Saturday] to enjoy the great outdoors,” she said. “I hope it will continue for 30 more years.”