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Outdoors: Heroic veterans program back for sixth year

Each summer for the past five fishing seasons, Capt. Fred Forsythe of Castaway Charters has coordinated a “Fishing with Heroes” weekend in mid-July for veterans with combat-related physical injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder conditions.

Forsythe arranges the program that starts with a Friday evening fish fry and free fishing charters aboard his vessel.

A host of volunteer charter captains who sign on each year take veterans on outings at Lake Erie and at Chautauqua Lake on Saturday and Sunday.

Meals, lodgings and transportation to sites are all free and vets who have attended a “Fishing with Heroes” gathering in the past have high praise for the activities and enjoyment shared that weekend. The sixth-annual Fishing with Heroes event is set for July 17-19 this year. Reports of walleye in good numbers and sizes should make this season a good one for ’eye catching.

Forsythe has enjoyed providing this service for veterans so much that last year he extended daily charter–trip invitations to combat-injured vets throughout the open-water Lake Erie fishing season.

“The charter schedule is about 75 percent filled, but there are still a few openings left,” Forsythe said of this summer’s schedule.

These day trips usually run from Barcelona Harbor, but he will arrange to fish out of any Lake Erie port that is most productive for fish catching.

For more details on outings and/or arranging trip bookings, check with Forsythe at 560-9216 or visit