Nine-year-old Hector Medina and his brother Emmanuel, 11, from Wilmington, California had never been fishing on the ocean a year ago. That’s when they ran into the Phil Friedman Outdoor Youth Program and Wallace Air Cargo Group.
The brothers made their first trip on the Toronado out Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach, courtesy of Wallace Air Cargo Group and fell in love with fishing and the sea. The brothers have gone from knowing little about the ocean and all of its wonders to developing an insatiable appetite for learning about the sea and its creatures.
A recent exchange between a longtime ocean angler and little Hector illustrates just how far he and his brother have come.
“Killer whales are members of the whale family,” the man told the boys.
“Excuse me sir but killer whales are members of the dolphin family; in fact they are the largest of the dolphins,” said Hector.
If the boys aren’t fishing, they are reading about fishing and the ocean.
“You have given my boys something I couldn’t afford to give them,” said their mother Gabriela. “You have given them memories for a lifetime.”
The brothers have gone from never fishing on the ocean to making their first overnight trip to San Clemente Island where they were amazed by the variety of fish that were caught.
“This is a great story,” said Pete Thomas from Pete Thomas Outdoors. “You have made them fishermen for life.”
On Friday, the brothers were on another fishing trip on board the Tradition out of Redondo Sportfishing when Hector hooked something quite big. You’ll see Hector fight a fish that had him begging for help and selfless Randy Crowell from Pink Fishing come to the rescue.
“I can never thank all of the people who have helped my sons to become great fishermen and develop such a love for the sea,” said the boys' mother. “You have changed the direction of my son’s lives forever.”
Ned Wallace from Newport Beach and Wallace Air Cargo Group has been the driving force for much of what PFO Youth has been able to accomplish.
“It’s an honor to support you and all of your adopted kids,” said Wallace.