Tonight’s episode of the Ultimate Fishing Experience TV Series features a wounded Marine with a Classic dream. It also features some very big fish. Tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network, viewers can join Larry Draughn (USMC, Ret.) on his Ultimate Fishing Experience with Bassmaster Elite Series Pro, Jason Quinn at Promise Ranch in Central Florida.
At the age of 21, Draughn re-deployed to Afghanistan as a proud new father, with the responsibility of making sure he took care of his family, resting squarely upon his shoulders. Just days after returning to the battlefield, Larry stepped on an IED that wreaked havoc on his body, but failed to bruise his spirit.
Doctors anticipated it would be 3 months before Larry was ready to leave Walter Reed Medical Center, but Draughn had no interest in lying in a hospital bed for that long. With motivation and support from his wife Kaytlin, Larry put himself on a fast track for recovery so he could be with his family, and so he could enjoy the outdoors again. Pushing himself through rehab, Draughn was out of the hospital in a record – 2 weeks.
Just six weeks after losing both legs and two of his fingers, Draughn fished in the Marines Helping Marines Bass Tournament with Bassmaster Elite Series Pro, Dave Wolak. Fishing from a wheel chair with pins and stitches in his hands, Larry not only realized that he could still do what he loved, but he also realized that fishing was doing more for him then just getting him outside. Since that first tournament, Larry has developed a love for the competition and camaraderie of tournament bass fishing. He dreams of competing at the sport’s highest level and becoming the first combat wounded amputee to fish the Bassmaster Classic.
Fast forward to December 2011 when the UFE-TV crew surprised Larry with his Ultimate Fishing Experience on Promise Ranch with Bassmaster Pro, Jason Quinn. The two spent a couple of days on the water trying to beat Larry’s personal best largemouth bass, but it was the Bassmaster Pro who earned his own personal best and set the new lake record with a 13lbs 03oz giant. That bass also helps establish Promise Ranch is a Trophy Catch caliber fishery. Trophy Catch is the new Catch, Record and Release Program being launched by the Florida Wildlife Commission later this year as part of the state’s new Black Bass Management Program. In addition to gathering data, Trophy Catch is will attract more anglers to the water and increase public awareness on the value of releasing big fish. Once launched, the program will reward anglers with verified Trophy Catches with prizes that include, free fishing tackle and Ultimate Fishing Experience Fishing Trips. FWC plans to launch Trophy Catch later this year.
Larry Draughn lipped the giant bass that Quinn hooked while bouncing a worm in about 35 feet of water. That 13-pound fish rounded out a banner day for Quinn, who’s best 5 fish totaled nearly 40-pounds. That’s the point when Quinn claims the trip turned into his Ultimate Fishing Experience, then again Larry’s Experience wasn’t quite over yet. Thanks to Semper Fi Fund, Legend Boats, B.A.S.S. and others in the fishing industry Larry’s trip was about to get better.
To see Jason Quinn’s Trophy Catch and how Larry’s Experience topped it, watch Ultimate Fishing Experience TV, tonight at 8:30 pm EST on the NBC Sports Network.
Viewers are invited to nominate a Hero to be on the show at http://ultimatefishingexperience.com.
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