SAN DIEGO — Anglers from all five military branches battled it out to see who could catch the biggest fish.
Organizers say this competition is about much more than fishing.
This was the third annual fishing competition to see which branch was the best at sport fishing. But it also highlighted the therapeutic benefits of getting out on the sea.
Anglers weighed the largest catch to see which military branch caught the heaviest fish at the third annual “Battle of the Branches” competition.
“Get them to come together,” organizer Joe Hines said. “Expose a potential outlet for them which is great. We call is ‘salt water therapy.’”
The competition that even got UFC champs Don Henderson and Tito Ortiz in on the action.
“Some lean cod,” Ortiz said. “Some red snapper. It was great, just to see the guys smiling, bringing their kids aboard. They had a great time also. We all caught some great fish.”
“Without their sacrifices, we wouldn’t be able to do these type of things, so I’m always appreciative of them,” Henderson said.
The fishing competition included 11 boat teams with servicemen and women from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force to battle for a trophy and bragging rights.
Army took home the trophy with a fish that weighed in at 10 pounds.
“Amazed and I’m grateful to everyone that put this together and the people I was on the boat with. It’s an amazing day!” winner Don Rodgers said.
All the fishing supplies and licenses are covered by the event as a way to give back to the military and say thank you for their service.
“These guys, you know, have a chance to fish together,” Captain Steve Taft said. “Spend the day on a boat and celebrate brotherhood. It gives them an outlet.”
The teams hosted more than 300 people across the boats.
The teams from the other branches say they look forward to beating Army, maybe next year.