Bass Angler Magazine

Hobie Eyewear Joins Forces with USA Kayak Fishing Magazine and Heroes on the Water

Virginia Beach, VA [May 7, 2024]— Heroes on the Water, Tidewater Chapter (HOW), a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting veterans and first responders in finding solace through therapeutic kayak fishing outings, proudly announces the success of its recent fishing tournament in collaboration with Hobie Eyewear and USA Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Held at a private lake in Smithfield, Virginia, the event brought together veterans, supporters, and community members for a day of camaraderie, competition, and celebration of our nation’s defenders.

Travis Lucas, Patrick Soderholm, and Billy McGowan were among the standout participants, showcasing remarkable skills throughout the tournament. Travis Lucas, a former 12 Bravo Combat Engineer for the VA Army National Guard, emerged as the Biggest Fish winner, reeling in an 18.5-inch largemouth bass weighing 2lbs 8oz. Travis’s dedication to service and his passion for angling was evident as he clinched this trophy.

Patrick Soderholm, Coordinator of the Heroes on the Water Tidewater Chapter and a US Navy Submarine veteran with nine years of service exemplified leadership and commitment both on and off the water. Despite his responsibilities as an essential part of the Navy’s Fleet support Submarines overhaul team at SUPSHIP Newport News, Patrick participated enthusiastically, embodying the spirit of the organization.

Hobie Bluefin Floating Hank Cherry Sunglasses

Billy McGowan, a retired Navy submarine torpedo man who served for 20 years and retired as Chief, showcased his expertise by winning the Most Fish Caught during the tournament. With an impressive tally of 11 largemouth bass, Billy’s skill and determination inspired all in attendance. His relentless pursuit of excellence mirrored the values HOW and its community uphold.

Hobie Mojo Floating Hank Cherry Sunglasses

The event, made possible by the generous support of the volunteers for Heroes on the Water, provided a platform to bond, relax, and find solace in the therapeutic waters of kayak fishing. As part of the prize packs for the winners, Hobie® Eyewear graciously included their popular and reliable Hank Cherry Bluefin Float and Hank Cherry Mojo Float sunglasses. These sunglasses enhanced the fishing experience and prioritized the safety of these courageous individuals on the water. This gesture reflects the support and gratitude extended to our veterans by the broader community.

Dylan Coates, Marketing Manager for Hobie® Eyewear, emphasized the brand’s dedication to safeguarding anglers’ eyes, especially those who have served our nation, stating, “At Hobie® Eyewear, we prioritize protecting vision during outdoor pursuits, particularly for our country’s defenders. We stand behind Heroes on the Water and their admirable cause, and offering our premium polarized sunglasses to them is a testament to our commitment to ensuring the safety and comfort of our veterans and first responders. Hank Cherry has long been known for his gracious support of our nation’s heroes and veterans, so equipping them with pairs of his Champions Collection sunglasses at this event was a perfect match.”

For more information about Heroes on the Water Tidewater Chapter and their upcoming events, visit Join us as we continue to honor and support our nation’s heroes through the healing power of kayak fishing.

About Hobie Eyewear:

As the exclusive licensee for Hobie Eyewear, Eyeking LLC stands as a multi-generational, award-winning design firm dedicated to crafting and delivering distinctive eyewear globally. Specializing in private label and licensed eyewear, Eyeking LLC fosters the evolution of Hobie® Eyewear, a brand inspired by the legendary waterman Hobie Alter. This sunglasses collection is tailored for outdoor enthusiasts, water sports athletes, and those passionate about adventure.

Since 1982, our extensive line of performance polarized sunglasses has consistently upheld a legacy of cutting-edge vision technology and design focused on enhancing performance. Committed to excellence and driven by a shared love for enriching outdoor experiences, Eyeking LLC and Hobie® Eyewear jointly shape the future of performance eyewear. Explore the collection at or for more information.

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