The Brainerd Lakes Fishing Has No Boundaries event provides many participants with a year's worth of highlights.
"This is honestly the highlight of my year," said Camp Confidence's Bob Slaybaugh. "Seeing the folks who only have this one chance a year to get out on the water makes it all worth it."
The sixth annual event was held late last month on Gull and Sylvan lakes and made for many fish tales at the Confidence Learning Center. The event drew 120 participants, 58 boat captains and, in all, more than 250 volunteers.
The weekend event teamed volunteer boat captains with anglers and drew participants from around the state and the Dakotas.
Aaron Rush (left) of Brainerd, with the help of boat captain Marv Koep (right) and another angling partner, hoisted a nice-sized pike during the recent Fishing Has No Boundaries event on Gull Lake.
"We are so blessed to have so many great people from all over the state who come here to make it all go so smoothly," said Scott Roesner, Brainerd Lakes FHNB chapter president.
Television personality Bill Sherck of Minnesota Bound and Due North Outdoors fame served as a volunteer boat captain.
"My partner and I had a great day on the water and we caught a ton of fish out there," he said. "This was my first year being here but you can bet that I'll be back again. I had a blast."
Legendary fishing guide Marv Koep also served as a boat captain for the first time.
"I can't believe it took this long to be here, but having seen it and been a part of it, you can bet there's nothing that will keep me away," said Koep, who guided his anglers to the largest catch in the history of the event - a nice-sized northern pike.
Steve Quinn (back), a senior editor at In-Fisherman and the guest keynote speaker at this year's FHNB's event, guided his participants to some nice fish in the recent event on Gull and Sylvan lakes.
Guest keynote speaker Steve Quinn, a senior editor at In-Fisherman in Baxter, talked about techniques, basics and advice for catching the big one. Quinn also served as a boat captain. Also, well-known fishing guide and area resident Thomas Hunt was remembered for his contributions to the community. Hunt died last February after battling cancer and his family donated memorials from his funeral to the Brainerd Lakes FHNB chapter.
Fishing Has No Boundaries is a national organization that provides fishing and other outdoor opportunities to people with developmental or physical disabilities. The Brainerd Lakes chapter has gone from a fledgling group hosting 35 anglers in its first year to the second largest in the nation.
For photographs from this year's outing and information on next year's event, go to www.BrainerdLakesFHNB.org. Those interested in participating, serving as a boat captain or volunteering also may e-mail FHNB@comcast.net or call Slaybaugh at 828-2344.
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