Through a very good friend of mine Blake Muhlenbruck from www.nakedbaitco.com I was also very fortunate to meet a truly inspiring young man. His name is Jonathan Stanco from Plainville, CT. Jonathan
is a twenty-one year old professional co-angler on the FLW Series fishing and his disability does not keep him on shore.
has adapted around the circumstances of professional angling and will lead others to also be able to follow their dreams on
the tournament circuit.
"I started fishing when I was a young boy and have been hooked ever since. In my late childhood
I was involved with snowboarding and freestyle BMX. In February of 2004 I was involved in a bad snowboarding accident that
left me a paraplegic. After a long road of recovery, I went back to fishing more than ever." He thanks Jamie Worth for
being his inspiration, "After our meeting I became strong enough to drive up to New Hampshire and go on a bass fishing
outing for a day. I learned a great deal and he really was responsible for me now getting into tournament bass fishing."
went on to start fishing tournaments that were geared to disabled veterans and anglers, but what about the big ones? Jon does
not give up that easily and his inspiration is easily seen. He bought himself a small boat and taught himself to learn how
to fish independently from the boat. He then joined the Wallingford Bassmasters and the Forest City Bass Casters and looked
to fish larger more competitive tournaments. Not surprising since once you meet Jon you know nothing holds him back.
met Jon at Lake Champlain this September 2008 a lake that he had fond memories of including cashing a check for his incredible
12th place finish out of 102 anglers at the 2007 event.
Jon is the face that we should look at in fishing. His inspiration
and dedication is second to none. Jon has a strong and willful passion that you see from him as he wheels his chair to the
dock to board that bass boat for a hard day on the water. As one of the pro staff members of Naked Bait Co. Blake Muhlenbruck
knew he had found himself a winner. "Jon's courage is definitely above and beyond most able bodied anglers. He is more
than an inspiration to those around him".
I would think that Naked Bait Company is definitely right. I personally
think that I have been inspired by all of them and wish each and every one success at making this world a more understanding
place. If there was a place to find a hero I think the waterways are a good place to start looking.
Fishing offers many
benefits that we don't necessarily give credit, saving lives from the shorelines is one of them. Here are three men that not
only inspire us but had their lives changed by a single fish.
"Fishing is powerful, water is powerful and the two
together offer much strength for those that suffer." The motto I always share with others.
If you know someone
that might need a change to their life why not take them down to a shoreline and see if it helps make their day a better one.
Those suffering any form of depression should be encouraged to sit by the water's edge and toss in a line.