Tenth Annual Take the Troops Fishing Event
In 2003, veterans of the Iraq war were treated to a day on the water by members of the Onslow Bay Saltwater Fishing Club. On September 7, marking the ten year anniversary, club members continued the annual tradition of saying thanks to those who volunteer to go to most dangerous places in an effort to make the world a better place. Club members provided the boats, gear and expertise for a day of fishing and picnic lunch for Marines from Camp Lejeune. Terry Peed and Paul Friday served as the 2013 Chair and Co-chair for the event.
We had seven boats participating this year (Capt.'s Terry Peed, Henry Rudnicki, Mike Garb, Bob O'Brien, Joe Ramirez, Fred Jelinek, Bill Raab and Crew Cindy Garb, Lee Johns, Jack Willis) and took a total of 18 troops out for a wonderful day of fishing. Bright sun and fair skies throughout the entire day.
Troops arrived by bus at 0600 at the Osprey Oak Marina where they were assigned to boats by Terry. Most of the Captains choose to trailer and launch from either Swansboro or Morehead City. By 0620 everybody was on their way. The forecast all last week was for calm seas and light winds but that is not what greeted the captains as they cleared the inlets. Seas were as one Marine on my boat excitedly said 'bigger than he expected!". Capt. Terry Peed had failed to appease the wind goddess with his morning incantations and the winds blew from the north with more vigor than usual almost the entire morning. Still all Captains/crew and troops onboard all the boats were successful at fishing and the troops caught varied fish from False Albacore, Spanish, Blues, Sharks, Flounder, and an assortment of other bottom dwellers. On board the Black Magic, the crew also did some diving and spear fishing which resulted in a nice assortment of big Sheephead.
About 1330 most of the boats and troops had returned to Osprey Oaks where our chefs for the day (Vince Starace, Dan Sochalski, Scot Evans) and the wives (Becky Peed, Anne Jelinek, Maryanne Watkins, MaryAnn Starace) had set up the tent and prepared the food. As usual the troops were the first to eat but in the end everyone had a full stomach and a chair to sit at while we talked about the days big fish. Each of the troops present received a rod/reel combination, passes to the Bogue Fishing Pier, and a bag full of fishing lures. In addition we held drawings for some other awards from our various supporters and each troop received an additional award ranging from gift certificates as local restaurants, sunglasses, soft sided coolers, to full 12 hour trips aboard the Continental Shelf head boat out of Morehead City.
Sometimes the weather and fish cooperate. Other times they do not. But the smiles of the returning Marines never vary. When they return to the dock at Osprey Oakes Marina, the host marina for the event since the beginning, eyes are bright and tales may be taller than they should be, but the result is always the same. Marines are thanked for their service and club members had a great time doing it.
Major supporters were Nancy Lee Fishing Charter, Bogue Fishing Pier, Continental Shelf Charter, Coastal Marine and Sports, West Marine, Ed and Mary Ann Watkins and Sound Ace Hardware. Additional support was provided by Food Lion-Emerald Isle, Food Lion of Swansboro, Piggly Wiggly, Lowes Foods, Sams Club, Nicky's Restaurant, Capt VP Restaurant, Ice House Restaurant, T & W Restaurant and Chowdaheads Restaurant.
Good food requires great chefs.
Some nice fish
More proud fishermen
It was that big, honest!