Franco Natividad

I grew up fishing where it was our primary source of food. I was an army brat so living in many places I’ve learned to fish fresh and salt water. I eventually enlisted in 2004 and was medically retired in 2014. I was wounded in 2011 and ever since then my health began deteriorating. Unsure about the future and my health, I knew I couldn’t just sit there and wallow. I have a wife and two kids who look up to me. I didn’t reach out to anyone or any organization as I saw it as being weak. I started fishing again. Eventually bought a kayak and that’s when my life turned around. My mental state got better. Catching fish was just a plus. Eventually we relocated to Florida where I took the chance of participating in the EKFT’s Sailfish Smackdown. Being that it was my first tournament and first time offshore in a yak, I wasn’t in it for the competition but for myself. To gain as much knowledge as possible. Winning it only pushed me to do better in other aspects in life. Fishing will always be therapeutic for me. The day I take a tournament serious, is the day I give it all up. That mindset doesn’t sit well with many, to include tournament directors. I fish to escape, I fish for my brothers who are no longer here. I fish to share my experiences and excitement of being on the water. I’m in no other organization except the military order of the Purple Heart. I hope to bring many good things to this group.