Lighthouse Point, FL (PressExposure) May 29, 2009 -- Fishing off South Florida has been good, but one of the best trips of the past week was extra special because of the fishermen, the fish they caught and the boat they caught them on. Greg Kidney, Jon Pruden, Chris Gordon and Luke Murphy, who were all seriously wounded while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq and are involved with the Wounded Warrior Project, caught kingfish, bonito, a blackfin tuna and dolphin, then concluded their trip with a yellowfin tuna doubleheader.
They kite-fished with live pilchards and goggle-eyes in 100-145 feet off Boca Raton on Margaritavich, singer Jimmy Buffettâs 43-foot sport fishing boat, with Capt. Vinnie LaSorsa and Capt. Tyler Andresen. Although LaSorsa, of Lighthouse Point, who runs Margaritavich, and Andresen, of Cape Cod, Mass., who runs Buffetâs motoryacht, have fished all over, this trip ranked as one of their most memorable. âTo do all that on a day when you have four Wounded Warriors, I donât know what you call that,â LaSorsa said. âDivine intervention?â
The Wounded Warrior Project (woundedwarriorproject.org) helps injured servicemen and women and their families make the transition to civilian life. LaSorsa found out about the Wounded Warrior Project from his brother, Joe, who is a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. âBoth Tyler and I have great respect for those who serve our country and fight for the liberties we all take for granted every day,â LaSorsa said. âIâm very fortunate. I have a great job, and I work for one of the coolest bosses anyone could work for, Iâm friends with all my colleagues and for that Iâm grateful, which at the same time makes me want to give so much back to those who fight for our freedom.â LaSorsa contacted the Wounded Warrior Project and spoke with Pruden, of Gainesville, who is the organizationâs area outreach coordinator for the southeastern United States.
His plan was to take Pruden and the others fishing on his familyâs 35-foot center console. When he asked Andresen to come along, Andresen asked if LaSorsa had told Buffet about the trip. âI told him I had not mentioned it and Tyler reminded me about what a huge supporter Mr. Bis of the Wounded Warrior Project and that he would think itâs really cool,â LaSorsa said. Buffet immediately said they should take the men fishing on Margaritavich because it would be more comfortable for them. The day started with a bunch of kingfish 10-15 pounds and a few bonito. Gordon, of Clermont, caught a blackfin tuna, which was followed by more kingfish and bonito and a small dolphin.
At 11:30, Kidney, of Gainesville, and Murphy, who attends Florida State, each caught a dolphin of 20-25 pounds. The yellowfins came just after noon, in 110 feet, Pruden and Murphy each landing a 56-pounder, which was quite a feat on 20-pound line. âIt was an amazing opportunity and a heck of a lot of fun,â Pruden said. âI was thrilled and I canât wait to do it again.â Neither can LaSorsa. After he told Buffett, who was on tour in California, how the trip went, Buffett told him: âWhen Iâm not in town and youâre not with my family, I canât think of a better way for you to spend your time than by taking the Wounded Warriors fishing.â Steve Waters can be reached at 954-356-4648 or at swaters@Sun-Sentinel.com. Listen to him Saturday from 6-9 a.m. on the Honda Marine Weekly Fisherman on WQAM (560-AM).