Photos by James Taylor

It's not every day that you have the opportunity to fish with 147 like-minded (read: obsessed) folks for a great cause. As one of California's largest kayak fishing tournaments, the Mission Bay Classic is exactly that: a premiere event gathering for all anglers, and for the benefit of an engaged local Heroes on The Water Chapter.

On April 14, we paid witness to kids, women, men, veterans, active military and your everyday, average Joe/Jane kayak anglers coming together to catch fish, support a great cause and share memories with fellow kayak anglers. Post-slayfest, HOW volunteers cooked up delicious yellowtail tacos for all of the above participants and friends accompanied by drinks and brownies all donated by various folks involved in the tournament. It wasn't difficult to enjoy an event with such warm welcomes, tasty provisions and "see ya next years.”

Fishermen and -women competed in two different divisions, without a single keeper halibut for the second year in a row. On the other hand, the bass were fired up and in full swing. Numerous fish were brought to the scale, but for the second year in a row, Danny Jones brought in the top spot for biggest bag and the largest fish weighed — Full results HERE. Between entry fees, raffle ticket sales and a very generous $5,000 from the Geo Group, the Mission Bay Classic raised over $13,000 in funding for the SoCal Chapter of Heroes on the Water.

More on Heroes on the Water. Donate at heroesonthewater.com