Florida Bass Paddlers
This week, our buddy, Bill Sikora, is talking about Florida Bass Paddlers and their fifth annual online fishing FUNdraiser supporting CfR.
Five years now…this will be the fifth annual tournament Florida Bass Paddlers has held to support Casting for Recovery, but perhaps it’s time to get everyone up to speed on how this very special relationship came to be!
Let’s go back to 2010, when some guy who loved kayak fishing (that would be me) decided he wanted to create a group that met monthly to go kayak fishing for bass. From that, Florida Bass Paddlers was born! In 2018, we are with a Facebook page with over 1000 followers strong and raising thousands of dollars over the years to benefit several not-for-profit groups, such as those who help our Veterans, as well as yearly toy drives for Children living in orphanages and battered women’s shelters.
You see, I have been given many special “freebies” from the relationships that I have made over the years in the kayak fishing industry, so I decided what better way to give back than to pay it forward. In 2012, while I was attending the annual ICAST Fishing Show in Orlando Florida, I walked past a small booth for Casting for Recovery. As soon as I saw the color pink and the word “Recovery,” I wanted to know more.
As a cancer survivor myself (esophageal), I know the hardships of how physically and mentally that ugly “C” word can wear a person down. I wanted to know more, and a lovely young lady named Whitney Milhoan, was more than happy to fill me in on just how CfR helps women who are fighting breast cancer, and the passion in her eyes immediately told me that this was important. I was all in.
Fast forward to now and here we are! Getting ready for the fifth annual FBP Casting for Recovery FUNdraiser. Now, you can see that the word FUN is in all caps because that is what this tournament is all about. I devised a way to give everyone who fishes in it, even if they don’t catch a single fish, a chance to win a fantastic prize! Anglers are competing for 50/50 tickets. I’ll break it down. Every angler who registers for the event gets one ticket, if they catch one fish, they get a second ticket; if they catch their limit of five…they get…yep you guessed it…another ticket. The top five anglers at the end of the event each win additional tickets based on how they finish, and the top three will win a cash prize.
We have a wide variety of items that have been donated by several fantastic companies such as Manley Rods, Catch Fish or Die Trying, fishingsir, PersonaForm Designs, On the Water Innovations, St. Augustine Paddle Sports, Kayak Fishing with Christ, PAC Kayak Rentals, and of course, Casting for Recovery.
The event is a nationwide kayak tournament that runs for two weeks and a variety of bass can be caught. Anglers pay just $25 and $10 from each paid entry goes directly to CfR, the other $15 goes towards the hosting tournament website fees, PayPal fees, and the top three payout pot. Florida Bass Paddlers keeps none of this money. All prizes are shipped to the winners and postage is paid out of pocket by me to make as much money as possible available for prizes to the top three and to support CfR. Each year a Facebook page is created for the annual event and every time 10 anglers sign up, we raffle off a CfR hat. FBP is honored to have built this relationship with CfR…we are all in this together!
Founder Florida Bass Paddlers