It was on a Veterans Day a few years ago that Jacksonville sport fishing captain and radio host Rick Ryals got inspired: “It came to me that my dad spent World War II in Germany while my mom was …
Help Keys Fishing Guides Recover From Irma
The Florida Keys are steadily digging out from under the rubble and crumbled infrastructure left by Hurricane Irma’s devastating winds and floods that left as many as 10,000 residents homeless. Many of those affected are inshore and offshore fishing guides who are the lifeblood of the island chain’s tourism economy.
With homes and boats damaged or destroyed, those captains need help to rebuild and recover their livelihoods. The board of directors of the Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Tournament, which was cancelled because of Irma, has established the Herman Lucerne Memorial Hurricane Relief Fund to assist Keys fishing guides with the recovery. The goal is to raise $250,000; so far, about $10,000 has been contributed.
Captain C.A. Richardson– standout Tampa Bay fishing guide, host of Flats Class TV, and Guy Harvey Outpost Program Director— is a member of the board.
“Book a charter for later this year or the first of next year, and give them a deposit up front,” Richardson said. “The fishing is probably already back to its world-class, iconic status. I am encouraging people to book these guys and donate to the Herman Lucerne Relief Fund. The media likes to sensationalize the devastation but not the entire island chain is destroyed. The middle and upper Keys are going to rebound soon, but the Lower Keys guides need help now.”
Richardson and Guy Harvey Outpost Collection will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from Richardson’s upcoming snook seminar Oct. 6-7 at Guy Harvey Outpost, St. Pete Beach to the fund. Go to www.OutpostAcademy.com to reserve a spot for the seminar and make a donation. The snook module will feature a cocktail party, instructional seminar, large casting pond, and raffle prizes from Simms, Yeti, and Smith Optics.
Richardson will be in the Keys in early October to shoot a documentary on the Keys’ recovery from Irma to air in late October or early November on the online Waypoint television outdoors channel.
“Hurricane season will be over soon and we need to keep the momentum and not let people forget about them,” he said. Visit http://www.hermanlucernememorial.com to learn more about the Herman Lucerne Hurricane Relief Fund.