“I want to catch a fish from a boat!” declared Kody, a 7-year-old boy from Maine who has spent a portion of his life fighting Leukemia. The Catch-A-Dream Foundation (www.catchadream.org) got to work and asked if I could make this happen for Kody.
As a registered Catch-a-Dream outfitter, the only thing I knew to say was, “Bring him on!”
Not knowing what to expect, I have to say my eyes were open to a whole new world. To hear stories of life threatening experiences from a 7-year-old boy is just something I never expected.
We met at the boat at 6 a.m. and headed out the Perdido Pass and started trolling for kings and whatever else might be around. To see Kody’s face light up when the drag started screaming was amazing. This fish quickly became more important than any fish on my bucket list.
Once the king mackerel hit the deck, Kody was so excited and ready for the next “big one.” We managed a couple more nice hook ups – enough that Kody fell asleep on the ride back to the dock.
Later that evening, Catch-A-Dream hosted an awards dinner for Kody at Wolf Bay Lodge in Foley, Ala., where we had one last get together before the trip was over.
I would like to thank Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie, the crews of Rigid Industries LED Lighting, Canyon Reels, Gulf Water Gear, and the staff of Catch-A-Dream Foundation for making this trip possible.
Catch-A-Dream is a national, charitable, non-profit foundation based in Starkville, Miss. The organization provides once-in-a-lifetime dream hunting and fishing trips to children across the United States and Canada who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. Through these adventures and exposure to outdoors-minded people who care, the program instills in these children a message of encouragement at a time when they need to know that hope does, indeed, exist. Find details at www.catchadream.org.
Capt. Josh Huffmaster is a fishing guide based in Orange Beach, Ala., who also works with Gulf Water Gear, a fishing apparel and equipment business.