Missouri Disabled Sportsmen’s inaugural out of state fishing adventure wrapped up last Friday and our team of four mobility impaired fishermen and volunteers made it home safely from Alabama early Saturday morning.
Every event we host has its own set of challenges and unplanned bumps in the road, but we adapt, overcome, and make those moments part of the adventure…and what an adventure this crew had last week!
The trip started in Andalusia, AL where we stayed at The Retreat at John-boy's Place, an accessible lake home on Point A Lake. The plan was to fish some local freshwater lakes until Tuesday with local guides. While the team was able to get on the water and land some crappie and catfish, mechanical issues with a wheelchair lift, boat motor, and a family emergency with one of our local guides forced us to adapt our game plan.
The hosts for the second leg of the adventure were gracious enough to allow the team to arrive a few days early, so they loaded the bus up Sunday evening and headed for Orange Beach, AL.
Bright and early Monday the team boarded The Hunter Summer out of Summer Hunter Fishing Charters for a half day trip. Vermilion snapper and trigger fish kept the guys busy most of the day as did the porpoises that targeted our hooked fish and ate well along the way. We wrapped the day up with an attempt at crab fishing near local docks and had a crawfish boil for dinner.
Rain the following morning washed our planned morning charter. Later in the day, the sun popped out and we adjusted our plans. Beach Power Rentals graciously allowed us to use four power beach chairs free of charge. The fishing was pretty good, and the team ended up catching several nice pompanos. That evening we peeled the leftover crawfish and made some Po Boy sandwiches for supper.
The weather Wednesday morning was beautiful, and we headed out with Capt. Sara Parker of Summer Hunter Fishing Charters. Sara opted to head a little further south than day 1 and found us some very hungry fish for the guys to catch. Vermillion, big eye snapper, and triggers were plentiful, and the guys limited out. Sara was a blast to fish with and we’d highly recommend looking her up if you’re in the area.
The final day of fishing was spent at Fort Morgan Fishing Pier. The boys caught some catfish, croakers, blue crab, and few stingrays. The evening was closed out with a crab, shrimp, pompanos baked dinner that was delicious!
Friday morning the team loaded up the bus and headed back home to Missouri. It took a couple of tire repairs and a little extra time, but they made it home safely.
Making events like these possible doesn’t happen without a diverse team of individuals from across the country doing what they can, where they can, to make it happen.
Thank you to everyone that supported our special fundraising efforts for this trip. Thank you to the volunteer-mentors that made the trip. Thank you to Lynnette Winder Glastetter and Becky Brooks Roth for trip meal and logistical planning. Thank you to Windchime Wishes Limited for making their beautiful ADA accessible home available at very reasonable prices for those with mobility challenges. Thank you to Lisa Musselman for allowing us to stay at her amazing condo on the beach. And finally, thank you to retired Col. Will Johnson for the use of his ADA accessible transit bus, it made the trip possible and worked out great.