Operation: Fishing Freedom was created as a result of over five years of taking US Military Veterans fishing through a non-profit organization co-founded by host Jay Garstecki. Through this non-profit, called Take a Vet Fishing, NFP – Jay and Ben take US Military Veterans fishing as a means of healing the effects of PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) on returning soldiers. It’s been proven that FISHING, through mental relaxation, low-impact exercise and social camaraderie can alleviate the effects of PTS, and clinicians are taking notice. While meeting thousands of Veterans from across the country through this non-profit organization, we’ve heard COUNTLESS stories of heroism. Stories which were too good and MEANINGFUL to go untold to the American population, so Operation: Fishing Freedom was born….
Jay Garstecki is a professional muskie fisherman and the host of “Operation Fishing Freedom”. He grew up in Bridgeview, Illinois, less than hour from the city Chicago. His passion for fishing developed when he was young and he would spend many of his weekends camping and fishing. Jay is also the President and Co-Founder of the non-profit organization Take a Vet Fishing, NFP – A non-profit organization that takes US military Veterans fishing to raise awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), and guest speaks at numerous fishing shows on their behalf. His professional fishing career began in 2003 and he has participated in many Pro Tournaments. Jay’s best catch to date is a 52” Muskie caught on Eagle Lake in Ontario, Canada. Jay’s inspiration for starting his non-profit and the show “Operation Fishing Freedom” comes from a family of service members. Jay’s Grandfather was on the beaches of Normandy during WWII.