Wishing and Fishing on Lake Wateree

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Twenty-nine families recently enjoyed the fourth annual fishing trip organized by the United Special Sportsman Alliance (USSA) at Lake Wateree, a renowned fishing spot in South Carolina famous for its enormous catfish.

South Carolina State Troopers escorted the families to the Richburg Fire Department from their hotel. They had a fun pizza party there and got to meet their captains while also enjoying the excitement and camaraderie of the event. Early the following morning, the State Trooper escorted the families to the Lake Wateree landing.

At the dock, Justin Whiteside and his team were ready to help families get on their boats. They ensured everyone felt comfortable before signaling the Captains to leave, and the boats sped off into the water.

According to Caleb’s mother, Tracy, he had a great time on the outing, especially on the boat ride, and experienced the excitement of full-throttle boats. He had many questions, but the captains were kind enough to answer them. Caleb was thrilled when catching and reeling a fish; his joy was indescribable. He even wanted to take his prized fish home and have it mounted.

Kira expressed excitement as Sophia felt a tug on her fishing line and began reeling it. The task became increasingly difficult, but our cheers confirmed that Sophia had indeed caught a big fish.

Misty said joyfully, “During our first-ever boat drifting adventure to catch catfish, my son and I had an unforgettable experience. Our captains had an impressive knowledge about when and where the fish would bite, and we had moments where we caught three fish at once. The captains were kind enough to assist him in reeling them in one at a time and patiently untangling the lines when the fish weaved in and out of all the lines still in the water. My son Joe became so skilled at reeling in the fish that he could determine their size by how they felt on the pole. He was also incredibly patient and never asked when the fishing was over. Overall, Joe enjoyed every second of the trip and caught twenty-one fish.”

Joy expressed her happiness by saying that her family had an incredible time. They caught ten fish, with the largest one weighing 11 lbs. They were thankful for the opportunity to take a break from medical concerns and enjoy this special event.

Christy shared that her 13-year-old son, Brendan, frequently missed out on activities due to his growth disorder and was told he was too small to attend events. However, no one said that to him during their fishing trip. He felt empowered and accomplished after catching the first fish of the day. The family had a wonderful time on the water, and they are grateful to USSA for providing them with such a priceless and memorable experience.

According to Crystal, Elijah’s first catch was a thrilling experience. He was curious about the fish and couldn’t wait to catch another. Seeing the joy on his face was heartwarming, especially when they had two fish on different rods at once. Elijah even touched the fish! The sound of the catfish brought into the boat was one of his favorite parts of fishing. Elijah has been talking nonstop about the trip for weeks, and his mother is grateful for the fantastic opportunity.

Jeff, the father of Spencer, expressed that the trip was truly unforgettable, with the well-organized overnight stay and meet & greet. The police and fire escort to the park and lake the next day was remarkable, and the boat captains and crew went above and beyond to ensure that their day was exceptional. There were delicious meals, and the children received thoughtful gifts such as a fishing pole, a tackle box, and a gas card to cover their travel expenses. Overall, he was incredibly grateful for such a fantastic experience.

Kelli shared that Brennan expressed his appreciation to their fishing guides by thanking them often, telling them he loved them, and saying it was the best day ever. He enjoyed everything, from the fire department escort the night before to the lunch the next day, and couldn’t pick a favorite part. Kelli is grateful for the love, kindness, and generosity shown to her family during the experience, which was incredible for all of them.

We want to express our sincere gratitude to Justin Whiteside, the USSA South Carolina Representative, his amazing family, and the Captains and volunteer staff, whose unwavering commitment and effort made this event a great success. We also extend our appreciation to the donors and sponsors whose financial contributions help us fulfill the wishes of the families we assist. Lastly, we are grateful to the South Carolina State Troopers and the Richburg Fire Department for generously offering their time and facility for this event.

Congratulations to all the families and captains who had a wonderful day of fishing! They caught a lot of fish and created unforgettable memories. God bless!

If you want to get involved or know of a deserving youth or veteran who would like a wish granted, don’t hesitate to contact United Special Sportsman Alliance.