Posted: Sep 8, 2012 7:00 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News
Updated: Sep 8, 2012 10:14 PM
Up and down the California coast, today, folks were hoping to reel in some fish.
That's because the Department of Fish and Game declared today one of two days anglers can fish without a license.
In celebration of the "Free Fishing Day," a local sport fishing group, Anglers Anonymous, teamed up with AmpSurf to bring along some guests.
About 20 Wounded Warriors set out with those volunteers a few miles out of Morro Bay. But they were looking for a lot more than a bite.
"Solitude, mostly," Jamin Moore, of Bakersfield, said. "You can just be with your own thoughts, no one really bothers you."
Jamin is one of the veterans invited on the trip. He served in the Army, spending time in Iraq before he was given, what he calls, "the express trip home" in 2007.
A bomb exploded near him during his service, causing third-degree burns over 65-percent of his body.
But, like the other veterans, every fish Jamin reels in is another battle won.
"Even when it's rough, that's part of the fun of it for me," Greg Birkholz, president of Anglers Anonymous, said. "Making the best of that, working with the conditions that Mother Nature gives you."
Together they collected about 50 fish, and these wounded warriors were victorious.
"It's a lot different than fishing with strangers," Jamin said. "Even though I don't know like 80-percent of these people, it's like kind of family almost."
Anglers Anonymous says the trip and barbecue lunch was a community effort. They say it went so well, they plant to do it again next year.
"They're forgetting about the war, they're forgetting about all their other problems. They're out there having fun, sharing with one another, meeting one another,"Birkholz said. "It's just incredible."
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