Ramping up for MAD 2 Hampton VA

With MAD9 Morehead City behind us, we turn our attention and resources to the Hampton VA Chapter for their second annual MAD event on August 23, 2014.

A Message to our Honored Guests

First of all, from all of us at MAD, THANK YOU for your service.

Each of you have signed up for the upcoming MAD event in Virginia and we are glad to have you on board. My name is Jack Bartell and it’s my job to assign our Military Participants to our Volunteer Boat Captains. You can expect an email from me with the information on your boat approximately 2 weeks prior to the event. Some of you have put things like “offshore fishing”, “bottom fishing” or “I would like to fish with…” in your notes. Fishing with friends is not an issue so all of those requests should be honored, as long as we can stay within the maximum number of guests on a particular boat. In Virginia we need to go 50 miles or more off the coast to get to the species targeted for offshore fishing. Given the time constraints of the event it’s not likely our captains will be going offshore but if any indicate they will make that run I’ll put those who asked for it in those boats.

Just a couple of things to keep in mind as our event gets closer:

  • If your situation changes and you can’t make the event, please make an effort to email or call me as quickly as possible. While we are constantly recruiting additional boat captains we may have more people sign up than we have spots on boats so if you can’t make it for any reason, please inform us right away so another of your deserving brothers or sisters in arms can use that spot.
  • Some of you have signed up additional guests to join us at the picnic while you are fishing. I will be emailing everyone about a week before the event asking you to reconfirm the count as we want to insure we have enough for everyone. We plan to have some on shore activities, so for those who will have family members coming early and staying for the picnic, if you could let us know the ages that would help us know what to prepare for.
  • Captains will be providing the boat, fuel, bait and tackle. You should plan to bring whatever food and drinks you’d want while on the boat. PLEASE REMEMBER: Some boat captains do not allow alcohol onboard. So if you’d like to bring along a couple of beers, this should be discussed with the captain in advance to avoid any issues on board. Also, bananas are considered bad luck on fishing boats so DO NOT bring any to the boat as most captains will insist you throw them overboard or you will be held personally responsible for every missed fish for the entire day.
  • Many of the captains will be launching from the public ramp near Wallace’s Bait and Tackle, 365 Dandy Point Rd, Hampton, VA 23664 (757) 851-5451. However some may leave from the marina where their vessels are normally kept. Your specific departure location and time will be included in the email I send when you are assigned to a boat.
  • Depending on the weather you might plan to bring rain gear (or a cheap $2 poncho from Wal-Mart). Wind and weather play a huge roll in where the captains will fish and for which species. Often that is a game day decision so you may not know the plan until the date of the event.
  • Depending on wind and your sea legs you might also want to have Dramamine or the motion sickness medicine of your choice. If you do get sick, don’t worry about it because it happens to the best of us. Just do it over the side, not in the boat … for two reasons. One, chum in the boat will do nothing to help the captain’s mood and two, chum in the water helps bring fish to the boat and that’s a good thing.
  • We have asked the boat captains to plan on having you back at Wallace’s Bait & Tackle by 3pm. We’ll have some great food and drinks and we’d like to thank all those involved with the event (sponsors, participants and boat captains). This will give everyone a chance to meet and talk about the day or brag about the fish they’ve caught (hopefully).
  • Because of the logistics in bringing together such a large group we do not have a rain date. If the wind is blowing most captains will bottom fish in protected areas. However, the safety of our guests, captains and crews is our #1 priority so if weather conditions demand a change, the MAD committee will make the decision as to whether we fish or limit our activities to a get-together and picnic. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen but if it does I’ll be emailing everyone involved and asking the boat captains to call those assigned to their boats.
  • The goal here is to have fun and thank you for your service. If we catch fish that will be a bonus, but keep in mind the captains are all volunteers so we only ask that you be courteous onboard because each will do their best to give you a good day on the water.

    I’ll look forward to meeting you all on August 23rd but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or on my cell phone. So you can put a face to the name I’ve included a picture below. Of the two in the picture, I’m the one wearing glasses.

    Jack Bartell

    MAD Hampton Virginia Chapter
    Boat Coordinator

    A message to the volunteers of MAD 2 Hampton

    Hello, my name is Bob Gohsler, and I am the MAD chapter president of Hampton Virginia, and I would like to personally thank each one of you for volunteering for this event.
    This is our second annual event, and it is growing. We have troops signing up from as far as Jacksonville NC and as close as the Norfolk area.

    This event was spawned off of the event that is held twice a year in North Carolina, and they have been doing this event since 2006 after 3 Marines were refused entry to a sports bar in Wilmington NC, on the sole purpose of them being Marines. Within a short amount of time, a small amount of money was raised and took a few Marines basically bar hopping in Wilmington, and even went to the same bar they were refused entrance to. After this, the same group of fishermen that found out about this on the local news decided to do something more, and a decent amount of boats went out for a day of fishing, and MAD was born.

    There obviously is a lot more to this, but I just wanted to ‘hit the wickets’ so to speak. There is much more information on the website and there are facebook pages for the events in Delaware, North Carolina, and Virginia. A quick search on facebook will get you there.

    This message is mainly about the volunteering aspect. The biggest thing we need help with in preparation for the event is getting the word out – to the troops, to the boat owners and to anyone else that would be interested in volunteering and/or donating. Donations can be whatever, whether it be tables, chairs, food, beverages, (non-alcoholic), giveaways, and of course money donations.

    Money donations can be made in the form of mailed in check or using PayPal. See the Donations Page at the website.

    I would like to know, before the event, what each person would like to do. During the event, we will need to set up early, and tear everything down afterwards. I will handle all boat check ins and serve as the Dock Master and may need help tying up boats as they come in. This is strictly a volunteer effort, and safety IS paramount. I’m an active duty Marine, and my main priority is safety. No one will expected to do anything they are not comfortable with.

    A few things during the event will be a ‘shoot from the hip’ type of thing, but setup, tear down and cleanup will be the main jobs to be done.

    So with that being said, let me know what you would like to do. Please, send me an email stating what you would like to do.

    Thank you again for volunteering, and we have a great group of people helping out with this event. I truly am blessed to have the help I do, and without them, this would just be a dream.

    Bob Gohsler
    MAD Hampton Virginia Chapter President

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