Fishing event takes veterans out on Missouri River to catch walleye

Local News

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. (KELO) – The rain didn’t stop one group from hitting the water Thursday. It’s the first day of the Paralyzed Veterans of America fishing trip.

The Paralyzed Veterans of America fishing trip is something Michael Needham looks forward to each year, no matter the weather.

“We travel like 300 miles to come down here to do this because the first time I did it I had so much fun and I knew I was going to catch fish, so we can go home and have fish fry,” veteran Michael Needham said.

The event takes place the Thursday and Friday before Memorial Day each year. This year there are 42 veterans participating.

“Rain or shine, and a chance to get people with disabilities out on the water fishing for walleye, we come from all over the Midwest, we come here to Chamberlain each year,” event coordinator Paralyzed Veterans of America fishing trip, Bill Curry said. “Set up a list with the veterans that express desires to go fishing and then what we do is come together and locate our fishing crews and people willing to participate with their boats.”

Once everyone is in a boat, they head out onto the Missouri River in hopes of catching some walleye.

“So it is the camaraderie and the fishing, the opportunity to get out on the water, this is one of the greatest fishing areas in the nation and to do this with veterans that have served, this is just an opportunity to get together and hear stories and see these guys really come alive, they seem to really enjoy it,” associate PVA member, Scott Bentz said.

A fishing trip that continues to create lasting memories.

“It’s a good time to reconnect with friends that we have made over the years,” Curry said.

Curry says last year they didn’t have the fishing trip due to the pandemic.

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