160618_sports_warriors

St. Joseph News-Press
Margaret Slayton

The first Missouri-Kansas catfishing event by Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation took place this month with three Purple Heart recipients participating.

Wounded Warriors in Action is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2007 and is based in Apollo Beach, Florida. The organization also has sponsored a successful duck and deer hunt in the area for several years that has more than 100 volunteers.

The mission of the group is to serve the nation’s combat wounded Purple Heart recipients by providing world-class outdoor sporting activities as a means to recognize and honor their sacrifice.

“We had so many good people in the community that were wanting to help, we decided to take on an extra event this year,” Brian Roderick, chapter president, said.

The three participants each boarded their own boats and were guided along the Missouri River.

Tyson Scott and Brandon Pool from Texas and Duane Merchant from Oklahoma caught more than 300 pounds of catfish during the three-day event along the river.

Each member that fished with a guide stayed at the Napier Hunt Club in Holt County.

At the river, Merchant caught a trophy 50-pound flathead catfish and the group pulled-in several 40-pound blue cats. The trip produced among the largest fish the group had caught.

“The 50-pound catfish was probably the biggest fish I’ve seen caught,” Scott said. “Where I fish from, if you catch a 5-pound fish, you did well, so catching 50-pounders was pretty insane.”

In addition, the event incorporated bass fishing at a local private pond where the group also reeled in walleye and crappie.

The trio kept the catfish and held a fish fry and each also took home a few pounds of fish.

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