Roland Martin is a fishing legend and there is a reason for that, he is a “World Class” angler. It is not every day that when your buddies ask you “what did you do this weekend?” you get to say “I went fishing with Roland Martin”. The weekend of December 3rd I got to do just that and it was a once in a lifetime experience. Roland and I were able to be a part of something new, the 1st Annual Fishbrain ITrekkers Tournament held in Tampa Bay. This annual tournament was a CPR (catch, photo, release) event and Roland and I were hoping for an Inshore Slam-Trout, Redfish and Snook. We started the day with Capt. Mike Grasso of “Reel Pro Charters” and headed out to Weedon Island to get a little shelter from the wind and to return to a spot where we caught forty Snook during our pre-fish.
The Fishbrain Tournament launched out of one of my favorite places, Hula Bay and had a great turn out. Once the anglers found out Roland Martin, “their favorite Fishbrainer” was going to be there they showed up in droves. Roland Martin has not only changed the way folks fish he is now changing the way they use their favorite “Fishing App” Fishbrain. Roland is sharing where he is fishing, how he is fishing and what he is using to catch all the monster fish he is reeling in, and it’s free. Getting free weekly information on how to improve your catches and fishing techniques direct from Roland is priceless. Did I also mention the pay-out was $5,000 for this Tournament? The proceeds from this Tournament went to benefit “A Reel Future”, a non-profit that works with children in group foster care and takes them fishing. To date over 1,000 kids have fished with “A Reel Future”. Tournament Director Tom Swick said, “It was a great first event with positive feedback and we are already planning our next event to be even bigger and better”.
The fishing that day was tuff, it was windy and the tide was pushed out. We headed across the bay and started fishing with some live bait, throwing close to the edges of the mangroves and the docks while we did a slow drift. Some of the places we wanted to check out we couldn’t because the water was just too skinny to get in. Still, we bent a few rods, caught some nice fish and I learned a lot from fishing with the master. Roland has some of the best fishing stories from his global adventures and I could have stayed out all day with him. Heading back to Hula Bay was a much nicer ride, the wind had died down and we were excited to see who was going to win the big money. We raised enough money from raffle ticket sales to sponsor forty “A Reel Future” kids to go fishing and some of the anglers walked away with a pocket full of Christmas money and lots of prizes. Fishbrain Exec Bojan flew all the way in from Sweden to be a part of this fun event. According to Bojan, “Hosting the 1st Fishbrain Tournament and having Under Armour as a title sponsor was a great success and we are still receiving not only great feedback from people who attended it but also tons of inquiries for the next one. We had great support from our users and from all of our sponsors and we are looking forward to growing it and doing more of them in 2017”. All I can say is fishing with Roland and spending time on the water with him was incredible, stay tuned you never know who I will be fishing with next.
Happy New Year Coastal Angler readers, keep your “Lines Tight” for the New Year.
Misty Wells is Co – Founder of “A Reel Future” a non-profit organization devoted to sharing knowledge and giving the passion of the fishing and the great outdoors to our future generation and kids in need. Misty is also the host of Radio & TV show “Let’s Take It Outside”. To get show information, to be a guest or to tune in go to www.mistywells.com and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org