Reeling Freedom: Fishing Therapy for Veterans (Podcast)


Our veterans and active duty military personnel lay their lives on the line to make sure we as Americans can live free every day.

We owe so much to these individuals and should constantly be looking for ways to help and thank them for their service.

That’s why we’re so excited for this week’s podcast guest — Gene Hammond.

Gene is a veteran who comes from a military family. Both his dad and two younger brothers are also veterans.

Gene is also the chief operating officer for Reeling Freedom — a nonprofit organization that supports veterans, active-duty military personnel and first responders through fishing and being on the water.

In this week’s episode, Gene goes over a number of veteran issues and what Reeling Freedom is doing to help them. Those topics include:

  • Veterans mental health and suicide
  • How fishing helps veterans returning from deployment
  • What Reeling Freedom is doing to help veterans in Florida and beyond

Gene is also an avid fisherman and spends much of his free time hammering fish on Florida’s gulf coast. See Gene with a nice kingfish below:

Gene Hammond Kingfish
Gene Hammond with a gulf coast kingfish.

How do you like to support our nation’s veterans?

Let us know in the comments below!

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

Click the play button below to listen right here on our site or click either button below to go directly to iTunes or Stitcher to download the episode.

fish strong podcast

stitcher fish strong podcast

Note: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the Fish Strong podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

The Reeling Freedom Story

Reeling Freedom was started by Paul and Danielle Gage. Paul, who is a veteran himself, is a passionate offshore fisherman and goes offshore on the Florida Gulf Coast as much as possible.

One weekend when running out the inlet, Paul noticed some veterans fishing from the jetty at the inlet. He had seen these vets before and decided to stop and do something crazy.

Paul pulled up to the beach, parked the boat and got out to talk to these vets. After a short conversation, he grabbed three of them from the jetty, put them on his boat and took them fishing.

Reeling Freedom Boat

Paul loved being able to take his fellow veterans fishing and after a couple more times doing this, he and Danielle decided to start Reeling Freedom as a nonprofit organization.

Today, Reeling Freedom focuses on getting veterans out on fishing charters and fellow veterans boats for “fishing therapy,” throughout Florida and hopes to go nationwide one day.

Check out the Reeling Freedom Facebook page here.

Resources for Veterans

Below is a list of resources and nonprofit organizations that offer assistance to veterans and active-duty military personnel:

Check out the video below to for more information on the Veterans Crisis Line:

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!


What did you think of this episode?

Let us know in the comments.

Click here to learn more about the Insider Fishing Club.

P.S. – Click here to see all of the past podcast episodes.

Tight lines!

Do You Want To Quickly Find New Fishing Spots In Your Area?

Then you’ve got to see this private fishing club!

Here’s what you’ll receive today:

  • Weekly fishing reports and TRENDS revealing where the inshore fish are feeding all year long
  • Weekly “spot dissection” videos that walk you through all the best spots in certain areas
  • Exclusive fishing tips from the PROS you can’t find anywhere else
  • Everything you need to start catching fish more consistently (regardless if you fish out of a boat, kayak, or land).

Click here to join today.

Related categories:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Charles Bender
4 years ago

Hey guys, great weekly update! Love these vinets/tips! As a vet, the Reeling Freedom podcast was AWESOME! Can’t tell you how many times in AFG I dreamed of coming back to Florida, learning to consistently catch fish, then get my captain’s license, and take vets out on a regular basis. Got a long way to go, but now I may have another option in the meantime thanks to your podcast.
Ps. For those of us who don’t use iTunes, it is great when you link your podcasts to the weekly update.

Vr, Charlie Bender

Danny Trevino
Danny Trevino
4 years ago

I love it!

Gene Hammond
4 years ago

Thanks for your support!

4 years ago
Reply to  Gene Hammond

You made your younger brother cry brother. Very proud of you


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

How To Find More Inshore Fishing Spots (Training #1)

Want to know how to find the best inshore fishing spots? In this Q&A, Luke and Tony share their strategies on how to find feeding fish.
See Full post
No comments

Flats Fishing Tip: Managing the Wind

Flats fishing in Florida can be an absolute blast if done correctly, but it can be incredibly frustrating when you're not properly managing the wind.
See Full post
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)